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Old 09-26-2019, 12:04 PM
 
820 posts, read 431,460 times
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My 8 year old daughter has a friend who just moved to a new elementary school nearby. My daughter still calls and texts her.

My daughter only has phone privileges when she has completed her homework, taken a bath, gotten ready for bed AND isn't on punishment for something or other. Yesterday, my daughter's friend was trying to reach her by phone, but my daughter didn't have access to her phone so she left two voicemail messages shortly after school.

Around 7-8, her friend tried texting her (yes I do monitor all her texts and calls). There were about 5-10 and they were along the lines of "Why aren't you texting me back??" and "Is it because I'm ugly??" These texts I kind of chuckled at, thinking it was innocent little kid impatience.

Later that night, more texts came. Around 10 after my daughter was long asleep. "You haven't wanted to talk to me since I moved." "I just fell and hurt my back...I'm sure you don't care." She also tried calling once or twice. Seemed pretty late especially for an eight year old. I started to feel really bad for the kid, and decided I would have my daughter contact her in the morning when she woke up.

But then I woke up this morning and there were a couple of more texts. The last one, "I just want to be dead."

I'm thinking I need to tell her parents, or perhaps the school. I need to tell someone. From what I'm reading, it's unlikely a child this young is actually depressed or suicidal, but still, it was alarming to read this child's texts. I think at the very least someone needs to talk to this young girl to help her manage her emotions. She is obviously very distressed.

If you were in my shoes, who would tell and how? I have never really spoken to this girl's parents, and I know how defensive some people can get even when things are raised out of concern. Although I believe kids this age don't have the same rights to privacy as adults for good reason, I also feel kind of bad "ratting her out" to her parents. I'm not sure what her relationship with her parents is like. I thought about telling a school counselor, but I'm wondering if that would be overkill. What do you all think?

PS: I hope this doesn't turn into a debate over kids having phones. I used to be very opposed to my child having a phone at this age. My husband disagreed and I obviously lost that battle. I'm making the best of it.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:13 PM
 
924 posts, read 338,844 times
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I would call her school's counselor. They can feel out the situation and decide the right course of action.
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:29 PM
 
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Yes, an 8 year old child absolutely can be depressed and feel suicidal. I have known a seven year old who tried to stab herself during her parents' divorce. Her pain and feelings of helplessness are very real.

How would you want it handled if it were your child? Would you want to learn of it through a school counselor or would you want the other parent to contact you and let you know what was going on?

If it were me, I would want the parent to let me know immediately so I could address the situation without someone in the school system either ignoring it or bringing in child protective services.
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:27 PM
 
13,258 posts, read 21,123,343 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miso Blu View Post

If it were me, I would want the parent to let me know immediately so I could address the situation without someone in the school system either ignoring it or bringing in child protective services.
So would I. It would also be a good time to mention my child's bedtime, and appropriate hours for calls or texts.
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:29 PM
 
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Young children can absolutely be depressed and have suicidal thoughts. I would call the parents. Chances are they have no idea this is even occurring. If you feel something seems off in their reaction, you could also reach out to the counselor at her school.

(I wouldn't just drop it if you get a weird reaction from the parents because you never know if there could be something going on with one of them abusing her.)
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
26,958 posts, read 64,032,086 times
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Probably a drama queen trying to get attention.

Still I would contact their parents, not the school unless the parents are unresponsive. Parents job to decide whether the school should be told, not yours. Many schools handle such things very badly. You could really mess things up for the kid.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 09-26-2019 at 02:29 PM..
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Old 09-26-2019, 01:43 PM
 
820 posts, read 431,460 times
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Thanks all! I think I will talk with her mother privately and then if I think it necessary, follow up with a counselor. I'll probably try to get the two together for a play date and then raise it with one of her parents privately.

I really hope she is just an overly dramatic child, but I got a sense of desperation from her that seems quite different from the other kids my daughter hangs out with. I really don't know what to make of it because this girl seems like such a happy kid on the occasions I've seen her and she does have other friends. She would never have thought she would have reacted this way. Maybe it's just the stress of changing schools...
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,948 posts, read 4,759,825 times
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My daughter had a friend do this in middle school. I called the school counselor's office anonymously and alerted them to what was happening.

They kind of drifted apart over the past few years, but my daughter says that the girl is in a better place now but was VERY miserable during those middle school years.

Can that same thing happen at 8 yo? I wouldn't be surprised.
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:04 PM
 
159 posts, read 79,832 times
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PS: I hope this doesn't turn into a debate over kids having phones. I used to be very opposed to my child having a phone at this age. My husband disagreed and I obviously lost that battle. I'm making the best of it.

Hard to avoid this argument when phones are known to cause depression in kids

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...ration/534198/
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Old 09-26-2019, 02:13 PM
 
83 posts, read 19,659 times
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OP. Call the parents. And feel no guilt. It is the right thing to do. If the parents give your a flip response, then contact the school counselor.
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