There are just some times in life when a lot of really sad things happen all at once.
In the past few weeks, three of my friends have lost elderly parents (and their children have lost beloved grandparents). One of my friend's mothers had an organ transplant. A third-grader in our community almost died in a drowning accident due to an undiagnosed heart defect (and thankfully, walked out of the hospital yesterday after amazing treatment and the implantation of a defibrillator).
And, the saddest of all is that a dear friend of mine (same age, with same age kids) was diagnosed this week with cancer. I am still struggling in a major way with this news (mostly in the middle of the night). It got me thinking of how to share terrible news like this with our children. These are the hardest conversations we will ever have to have as parents.
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I decided to turn to the wonderful Hollye Jacobs, founder of The Silver Pen, mom of a precious little girl, and breast cancer survivor. If you need to share really difficult news with your kids, take a look at Hollye's advice. She is thoughtful, wise, and she's been through it......
I have posted numerous times on mental health among teens facing the college admissions process. This article on campus mental health captures so many of the issues I consider important:
-The portrayal of a perfect self in the media.
-The pressure to be perfect, often driven from within an individual, rather than from their parents or from their teachers/schools.
-Constant contact between parents and kids, leaving kids with little ability to cope with even minor challenges on their own.
PLEASE read this article if you have a high school or college child -- consider all of these issues, and discuss them with your kids!!!
I am a licensed psychologist working with kids, teens, and adults with anxiety disorders.