My nine year old nephew told his (single) mother tonight that he wants to kill himself. What would prompt that?
His father is ... upstate ... for a little while longer, and they do have regular face time with him, as often as they may. He and his mother at times get a little heated with each other, but by and large they get along well. I'm generally the closest thing he has to a positive male role model, but I don't get to see him near as often as would probably be best for him. He's going to spend some time with my wife tomorrow (that was already planned before this evening).
He doesn't have a history of that sort of attitude in general, and altho he's had a few bouts of anger in the past, by and large he's a pretty well adjusted little kid. He's incredibly gifted for his age, compared to his peers.
I don't know what was going on between them tonight, I just heard from her what he said, and she didn't want to talk about it too much, he was probably in the same room. I'm sure I'll see him at lunchtime tomorrow.
Do nine year olds ever talk like that as a way of pushing their boundaries?
So I had the chance to sit down with him and ask him why he said that, which was probably the wrong way to approach it, but never-the-less, what his own admission was after-the-fact was that he was pretty well just doing it for attention. We then had a short chat about how that's about the worst possible way to get attention, and we discussed the story of the boy who cried wolf, again, and I re-affirmed with him that if he ever felt like that, he could always talk to me about it.
There was some other conversation about kids and bullying tactics (name calling, picking on, general young boy activities) and so ... yeah.
Life goes on.