Moms Speak Up About Bullying

Resources to Help Parents

Were you bullied as a child or teenager? If you were, then you remember whatbullying1 it felt like. You know how damaging it can be. Do you now find yourself as a parent who suspects your child is the victim of a bully?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA) Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. It can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle action.

Psychology Today claims that bullying is a distinctive pattern of deliberately harming and humiliating others. It’s a very durable behavioral style, largely because bullies get what they want—at least at first.

Some victims become so despondent they lose the will to live. A child or young teen might say, “I just wish I could go away and never come back”.

Completed suicides directly related to being bullied are on the rise. You’ve probably seen reports on the news. What a tragedy.

Our Stealth American Plague

An Important Message to Parents of Teens Who Appear Addicted to Digital Technology

I’d like to welcome guest blogger, Trace Embry. Take a look at his bio at the end of this post and you’ll see why he knows what he’s talking about in this article.

If you’re pulling your hair out because communication2your adolescent is glued to technology or an electronic screen of some sort, then this is for you. It will open your eyes to what’s really going on.

“Have you ever wondered why kids, today, are so easily bored? Why they can’t walk across the street or do homework without headphones? Why they appear to be addicted to anything with a screen or keyboard?

And, if you’ve wondered how and why America has gone from 1st to 26th in education compared to other countries around the world in just a generation, then you may want to read the rest of this article.

The Hurricane Matthews of Parenting


storm9-resizedIn parenting we sometimes encounter storms. Some come upon us suddenly without warning. Others give advance notice, like hurricanes. They bring fear and destruction. I live in Orlando, Florida. We’re waiting for hurricane Matthew to descend upon us and dreading his arrival. It could be the worst to hit the east coast in over a hundred years.

There’s nothing I can do to keep this hurricane away, or lessen its damage. Strong winds, heavy rain, thunder, lightning and sometimes tornadoes. Whew!

I must admit I’m a bit anxious not knowing what to expect. When I listen to the weather channel I feel even more uneasy. The sky is dark and foreboding. Palm trees are bending under the force of the wind. They’ll leave debris everywhere to pick up later.

Our son has an adorable little dog; a Yorkshire Terrier. Pebbles is her name. But there’s one thing: she’s petrified of storms. She pants heavily and shakes uncontrollably while running around in a state of panic. Eventually, this little fur ball  finds a throw rug to pee on and hides in a corner until the weather calms down.

Poor Pebbles. She can’t understand the storm will pass. In time, everything will be okay again. Dogs are clueless that their loving owners are right there with them to keep them safe.

Hey, wait a minute. In the hurricane Matthews of my life – the ones my child brought – I’ve reacted the same way as Pebbles. Have you?

Drug and alcohol addiction, rehabs, relapses, mental illness, self-injury (cutting), hospitalizations, psych wards, suicide attempts and incidences of rape. Terrifying. And there was no guarantee she would be okay – ever.

I hid from others by withdrawing and sleeping. Thank goodness I never lost control of my bladder, though, but I did lose control of my emotions. What a mess. Emotionally bent over from the stress and strain, I felt like those palm trees. Some days I was sure I’d break from the weight of it all. A nervous wreck, I paced the floor on the verge of panic. Somebody help me!

When You Can’t Change Your Child

What Can a Parent Do?

September 22nd was the first day of fall. Cooler weather, colorful leaves andfall7-resized shorter days are coming. Autumn makes me think of change and change can bring good things or bad, blessings or heartache. We all hope for more of the good, especially parents.

As our children grow up, we experience countless changes. I know. I raised three. Positive ones we keep a record of: rolling over, first tooth, first word, first holiday, first trip, first steps, first day of school, funny things they say, first dance, etc.

We don’t want to forget milestones, so we keep journals and take thousands of photos and videos. They’re special to our hearts. I did okay with my first two children, but with the last one . . . well, I tried.

However, there are other types of changes; the heartbreaking kind we wish we could forget. They haunt us in our dreams.

Some moms and dads have had more than their fair share.

That’s been my experience.

If your son or daughter abuses drugs or alcohol, harms themselves, suffers with a mental illness, is suicidal, has a same-sex attraction or is in trouble with the law, you’ve tried hard to change them. But you can’t make that happen if they’re uncooperative.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try, especially if they’re under eighteen. Do everything in your power to help: counseling, an evaluation by a doctor or psychiatrist,  rehab or treatment, maybe a therapeutic boarding school or wilderness camp.

After trying everything I knew to do, I realized I couldn’t change my daughter. The feeling of helplessness was horrible.

If you’re in this situation you know the gut-wrenching pain. Your child must decide they’re ready. It may still be summertime to them. They’re unwilling to move into a new season.

What can you do?

  • Accept what is. You. Are. Powerless.
  • Learn to let go.
  • Wait on God.

I’m sure our efforts did some good, but at the time they were merely a deposit our daughter could go back and draw on in the future when she was ready. Until she was sick and tired of being sick and tired; until she wanted to be well no matter what it would take – wanted it for herself and not to please me or her dad or anyone else, she wasn’t ready. Only God could make that happen.

Only God.

And He did.

“I can’t. God can. I think I’ll let him.”

When that statement describes your attitude, you can find peace in any situation, especially with your child.


How can you do it?

Remember your problem may be big, but God is bigger.

Realize you have no power to change your child, but God is all-powerful.

Admit you don’t know what to do, but God does. Trust Him.

Believe He can even move mountains, if that’s what it takes.

Pray. Stay close to God and pray some more.

He can do the impossible. And He can help you stop worrying while you wait.

If you apply this Bible verse in your life, you’ll experience the kind of change you need the most – in any season.

“Have no anxiety about anything . . . bring your requests to God and the peace of God will keep your heart and mind in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

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Did Your Child Die by Suicide?

A Message of Comfort Just for You

fall1This is my last post for National Suicide Prevention Month. The special focus is ended, but the need for #encouragement and #support goes on. #Parents who’ve been crushed by the weight of their child’s death by #suicide need huge amounts of ongoing comfort.

Today’s blog is what I would want someone to say to me if my daughter ever takes her life. I’ve come close to losing her numerous times.

Renee, now 29, has battled with #addiction, mental health issues, and suicidal thoughts since she was a teenager. Thank God she’s still alive  – only by His grace.

But many other parents – thousands upon thousands all over the world – are not so fortunate. I’m dear friends with some of them.

This is my heartfelt letter to you:

Your child’s suicide wasn’t your fault.

A Father’s First Year After His Son’s Suicide

Honest Words From a Grieving Dad's Heart to Yours

Today’s blog is a re-post from July 12, 2014. It’s written by guest blogger, Nick Watts, a father whose son died by suicide a little over three years ago. With beautiful authenticity he shares what the first year was like after this significant loss, what restored him, and where he found hope to go on. If you’ve lost your child to suicide, it is our prayer that you find help and hope from his words.

JORDAN’S BIRTHDAY IS THIS SATURDAY, JULY 12th photo.cred.BrunoCarlos.CaveBeach.Portugal
It took me eight months to come out of shock after the death of my son. I’ll never forget the morning this past January when I awoke noticing something was different psychologically. Powerfully different.

After a few minutes, I finally realized I had not woken up trying to undo my son’s death – which was a sort of psychological torture I had endured both consciously and subconsciously every minute of every day since he took his life the previous May. It was as though my mind finally exhaled.

I’ll never forget that moment. Truth was slowly having its way with my broken mind & heart.

What Parents Need to Know About Suicide, Part 3

I’ll never forget the day I discovered my daughter was suicidal. Paralyzed by shock and fear, I was at a loss to know what to do. I didn’t think there was anything other than keeping a constant watch over her. Have you been in my place or are you there now? Maybe it’s not your child. It might be another family member or friend you’re worried about. I thought there was nothing I could do that would make any difference.

twloha hopeBut I’ve learned that’s not true. There IS something we can do.

It’s not that hard and it could give them new hope.

It could save their life.

This post is the last in a series about a simple, easy-to-learn three-part process designed to help prevent death by suicide. The process is called QPR: Question, Persuade, Refer.

Developed by Dr. Paul Quinnett of the QPR Institue, the information in these blogs is from a workshop I attended. You can read more about it here:

Today I’m addressing the third step, Refer.

What Parents Need to Know About Suicide, Part 2

Listening Can Save A Life

You’re worried out of your mind that your son or daughter may be thinking about taking their life. Does it torment you that you don’t know for sure if they’re in danger? Have you been baffled by what to do to keep them safe, other than locking them in their room and keeping a 24/7 vigil? No one can do that for long.

I’ve been in your shoes. I know how horrible it is. I wouldn’t wish that kind of torment on my worst enemy.Compressed for website use 092

This is Part 2 of a series on suicide: warning signs and the QPR method for prevention that was developed by the QPR Institute:  This is the work of Dr. Paul Quinnett. I learned about it when I attended one of their workshops.

Please read my last two blog posts to familiarize yourself with the warning signs, and the first step of this method, “Question”.

QPR is an acrostic for: Question, Persuade, Refer. Today’s post explains the Persuade step. You can read more about this life-saving technique on QPR Institute’s website.

What Parents Need to Know About Suicide, Part 1

QPR Saves Lives

suicide.manos bourdakisSaturday, September 10th, is World Suicide Prevention Day. This is for parents who are concerned about their children. What do they need to know about suicide? They need to know there’s something they could do that might make the difference if they suspect their son or daughter is considering taking their life.

That’s great news. I never knew these things when my daughter was struggling.

This is part one of a three part series outlining a potentially life-saving technique called QPR = three simple steps (QPR steps) anyone can learn. It has been very effective across the country.

What is the number one cause of suicide?

Untreated depression.

When discovered, depression is highly treatable. Complicating factors arise, however, when a person self-medicates with alcohol – a depressant – or drugs.  As odd as it sounds, research shows that “once someone decides to end their life, the hours before death are often filled with a kind of chipperness, even blissful calm. This change in mood is a good time to apply QPR.”

Who needs to know this technique? Everyone – not just concerned parents. Please share this information with your friends. Let’s spread the word and save lives.

The 3 steps are:

Question – the person about suicide.

Persuade – the person to get help.

Refer – the person to the appropriate resource.

The first step of asking “the question” is the focus of today’s blog.

7 Lies of Suicide

The Letter A Daughter Left Behind

Today’s blog was written by Beth Saadati. I first shared it last May. Since September is Suicide Awareness month and I’m focusing on this topic all chaosmonth, I felt impressed to share it again. The message is powerful and is for anyone, not just parents.

“Given the opportunity, Jenna wouldn’t make the same choice again. But she also wouldn’t want her death to be in vain. She would want us to learn from it so we can live as overcomers. As victors. Her letter and writings are a rare gift.” -Dr. David Cox, counselor

A 14 year-old daughter’s suicide note? A gift? My thoughts reeled the day after Jenna’s death as a few close friends, my husband, and I braced ourselves for the reading of the three-page letter police had discovered on her thumb drive.

In shock, I heard the false accusations that had snaked their way into Jenna’s mind. Since then, I’ve reread the letter a hundred times and silently answered seven of its lies.


Dear Family and Extended Family,

I’m really sorry for leaving you like this. Honestly I am. During the last few months of my life I was incredibly depressed. You just didn’t notice since I put up a good front most of the time.