June 05, 2008

A cry for help?

I took a reasonably early train home yesterday night and got home in time to hang out with the kids for a bit. The Girl Child, who is an eating machine, helped herself to a second dinner / light snack while I was eating. When she went to serve herself some more, that process brought to mind an earlier incident at school that I guess she thought we might find interesting. And so, in a very matter of fact tone, she related the following.

She was sitting at snack time with two other friends when one little girl said:

I hate my life; I wish I was dead. I want to kill myself.

The little girl in question is 7 years old and in first grade. Without trying to get too serious here, I questioned my daughter at some length and determine that this is about the 3rd time she has heard this little girl say this or something like this in the last month. The little girl, the daughter of immigrants from India, is unhappy because: her parents yell all the time; her parents regularly make her cry; and, her parents force her to spend all her time doing extracurricular homework that they create for her. No adult, according to my daughter, has overheard the little girl say these things.

I called the teacher and left a detailed message relating what I had learned from my daughter. I decided not to call the parents. I am not at all sure that this was the right decision, but, just the same, it was the decision I made. The school is well equipped with mental health types who will take this kind of thing very seriously and the threats or comments have all been made at school. Besides, I donít know the parents. Maybe this was not the right decision. I donít know.

I asked my daughter what she thought of all this and, bless her heart, she replied without hesitation:

I think it is just so stupid. I mean, if you hate your life: change it!. Donít kill yourself. You can grow up and move out if you are so unhappy.

It made my wife and me very sad to hear all this.

Posted by Random Penseur at June 5, 2008 09:58 AM | TrackBack
Comments

You absolutely did the right thing, my friend.

If I had even a passing acquintance with the parents, I might have considered calling them, but the teacher was the correct place to start.

Posted by: Christina at June 5, 2008 01:56 PM

RP, I think you did the right thing. If this little girl is serious, it's good that someone knows about it. Maybe the school will contact her parents and they can work it out. They may not even know how unhappy their little girl is. Good for you, AND for the Girl Child for bringing it up.

Posted by: jules at June 5, 2008 03:35 PM

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