This may be one of the most important letters you could ever read if you are the parents to a preteen or teenage child. Please take it serious.

When I first made this site, I had a letter to parents and somehow it got deleted. Maybe it was for a reason unbeknown to me, maybe it was time to update that letter. When I first made this site, my surviving kids were only 8 & 10. They are now 12 & 14. So I have teens again. The message will be the same here. If you have a teen, maybe a troubled teen, read this seriously. If you are the parent to a teen and you are having any difficulty with them, still read it seriously. You never know when and if the information will come in handy. Our teens are in a world that is a mess. We as parents have our hands full and we have to keep on our toes. Our kids deserve that. If you do not have a relationship with your child, GET ONE NOW! They need you. If you think for once that your child has it easy, you will be quite surprised. I am not talking about the kind of easy like having personal objects and such, I am talking about the emotional life your child leads these days. We all know of peer pressure, recreational drugs (marijuana and etc) and alcohol. Those are getting harder as we speak. Gangs, very hard drugs (Oxicotin-Ecstasy-Meth) just a name a couple. Oral sex is something that is common now, even with young teens (12-14) Middle School age children are experiencing more things now, than ever before. Our children are growing up way too fast. Do you know of the things I just mentioned? I guarantee your kids do. Those are the things you might speak of to your kids, if you do, GREAT! Now have you ever spoke to them of suicide? Chances are you are going to say No, because for different reasons. Maybe you are thinking that your child doesn't think of suicide of an option, maybe you are thinking that your child has never even known of someone that has thought of suicide as an option. Hate to say it, but 9 times out of 10, you are wrong on both comments. If you think that if you do not mention suicide, then they won't think of it, you are SO wrong.....believe me it isn't easy to go to your child and ask them this, but it is one eye opening experience for you, I guarantee. Even if they say no to both right now, next week that can change. Do I sound harsh? I don't think so and I will tell you why. I taught my son Josh all about everything we were always taught to teach them from little up. Strangers, running in the streets, drugs, alcohol, drinking and driving, riding with a drunk driver, sex, peer pressure, girls, school, etc, etc. Did I mention depresssion/suicide? Sure I had seen signs of depression in him. I saw his eating/sleeping habits change, his grades drop, yes I jumped on those things immediately because I knew they were major signs, and I did take him to be evaluated and counseled. I felt good about those hard decisions. I wanted to help my son in any way I could. Did I understand the seriousness of his situation? No. I thought I did. Did I ever ask him once if death was something he thought of? No. I didn't because I didn't have the knowledge that I have now. I took 2 peoples' word, a 15 yr old child, and a therapist word that he would "shake it off". That is was a lot of "normal teenage behavioural". Do I regret this now, oh my God, I can't tell you how much I do. Do I do things different now with my surviving children? YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT! Josh was a good kid. He smiled and laughed and hid a lot from me. I saw some of the signs like I said, and I was mainly reassured they were typical teenage behaviour. How did I know for sure, he was my firstborn child, I had no prior experience with teens. We talked, we hugged, we laughed, we cried. I love Josh very much and would give anything in this world to have the knowledge I have now, back in 1996. Maybe my son would be here, getting ready to turn 21, instead he will be forever 15. So if you are out there reading this and thinking this can't happen to you or your family? I am sorry, it can. Talk "with" your child, not "to" them. Very important issue there. If you are talking to them, they will tune you out. Pick your battles with them. They are out there trying to figure out where the heck they belong. Long hair, short hair, earrings, piercings....blue hair, green hair, maybe no hair, maybe "normal" hair this week. Who knows. Some battles aren't worth the trouble, believe me. I would take back my son Josh today, even if he had rainbow hair, tattoos and piercings. Would I love how he looked, damned right I would, because I could touch him, hug and kiss him. Some battles are not worth the wedge that gets dug between you and your child. Find happy medium places for you both. Communicate. Talk, talk openly. You may not always want to hear what you might hear, but try really hard not to react defensively, they might clam up. I am not saying give them their way, compromise. But talk, talk, talk. If you have a child that is openly depressed, get help immediately. Do not be afraid to ask them if suicide is an thought for them. If it is, get them help. You can call your Dr., your Pastor/Priest, call your area Suicide Hotline. They are very helpful. Call someone. Don't let it pass just because you are thinking that your child isn't thinking of death, you don't want it to be too late. I don't want you to be me. I want you to have that second chance, I didn't get it......

UPDATE!!!! 9-8-05 My surviving kids are now 17 and 15....it is amazing how fast life is passing us by! My advice above STILL is in works and thank God, I have 2 great kids right now....my daughter is my little Advocate for Depression/Suicide in her friends. I am so greatful for them both. So, please talk to your kids and get them help if need be....Debbie Also: I have another email address of angeljoshsmom@gmail.com if you need to talk! Click here to go back to main page. Thank you for listening....

Email: MsBBSITTER@aol.com