Between 2007 and 2015, deaths by suicide increased 31 percent for boys and doubled for girls. — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Pause. Breathe. Take a moment and reread the quote above.
It’s unbearable to envision your precious little one so distraught that she would consider, let alone accomplish, taking her life. Still, that statistic from the CDC tell us that you likely already know someone whose world was shattered because of suicide.
Our family does. Twice in this past year we’ve lost someone to suicide: a senior at our daughter’s small high school last November, and her dearest sophomore friend’s close soccer buddy.
From our distant perch, both of these young men appeared to be on top of their worlds. Those much closer to the boys also reported the same glowing “great kid,” “true leader,” “solid student.” We all freeze with fear as we realize that these seemingly “normal” kids, just like ours, took their own lives. So this month, we’re making a conversation about suicide our feature because not talking about it doesn’t make it go away.
Also in this issue: how caring for others helps kids. We’re discussing gratitude and volunteering — both parts of Raising Kind, our yearlong conversation on how families can nurture empathy, mindfulness and kindness. As we enter the chaos of the holidays, we encourage you to carve out time to give back, both at home and in our community. It’ll do us all good.
Finally, we’re ending on a seasonal note with the first part of our annual Gift Guide. There are no “turkeys” in our editors’ picks of the 12 best tech toys of the year. Personally, I’m eyeing one of those FurReal Friends. It eats, it barks, it blinks, it has an off switch.
And with that, let me wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. We at ParentMap are grateful for you and look forward to celebrating the season together.