About two weeks ago, I learned from an Auburn mother and a young woman from the region that two middle-school girls, ages 12 and 13 had killed themselves this fall—one in Auburn and one in Kent, Washington. The young woman also knew of a Hispanic boy, age 14, who had killed himself this fall.
The mother I spoke with had seen the Facebook page from her daughter of the girl in Auburn and said the girl relayed shocking and tragic abuse by peers.
I believe it is possible that these incidences could have “attachment dynamics” at play—where the parents – the children’s compass—are away so much of the time that the children form attachments to their peers who are around more; when this happens the children begin to view the parents as the “other” and no longer share problems with their parents.
It is also possible that these youths had vitamin D deficiencies, and not enough physical and other constructive after school activities.
My heart goes out to the families, the spirits of those who died, all those who knew them, and for the loss to society of huge their potential. I hope we can prevent these sorts of tragedies in the future.
I believe parents can prevent this sort of thing by reading the book Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More than Peers, by Gordon Neufeld, Ph.D., and Gabor Mate, M.D.