a joke

Rowena - posted on 11/18/2015 ( 6 moms have responded )

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my daughter joked in her french class that she wants to be gone, like die. now they took it seriously, and i understand that. my question is, are they allowed to ask her questions without me? on the way to school, she texted and said she was joking. i told them "i know my daughter" the asst principal said she disagree. i felt insulted. but since i am from a different country and not as fluent in speaking english, i did not say anything cause i feel if i say something, things will get worst. and she kept saying they were a mandated reporter. all i know for a mandating reporting is if there was abuse physically, mentally, financially and sexually. so i am thinking now, did they think there was abuse in our house. my daughter insist she was just joking and was blown out of proportion. and if i dont do anything by the end of the week they will call the police and bring her to a facility for observation for 72 hours, do they really have that power?

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Raye - posted on 11/18/2015

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If they believe the child is in danger from others or from herself, then she should be evaluated. What harm is there for her well-being to be a priority? At a minimum, she will learn that it's inappropriate to joke about such things, that people who care will take action to help her whether she wants it or not. At most, if it wasn't really a joke (and she's afraid to admit to you that she's depressed), then maybe this could get her on the right path to the help she needs. If there's any truth to it, then she does need help.

Sometimes kids are really good at hiding their emotions from their parents. If it's true, you should not feel guilty for not knowing that about your child. You should just help her get her issues worked out and get better.

MaryAnn - posted on 11/18/2015

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Yes. Mandated reporters are obligated to report self abuse. You can know a person very well, but you may never know what is going on in their minds. Suicide is not a joking matter, and joking about it is a warning sign. They will need her to to talk to counsellors, and it would probably be in her best interests to speak to her family doctor. They WILL need to speak to her without you there, because your presence may prevent her from being truthful. Things like this hurt moms,and no one, especially those at risk of suicide, want to hurt their moms. Let her know that an observation is NOT a consequence. Its NOT a punishment. It is a medical process where they try to figure out what/if something is wrong. Having experienced many observations and psychiatric evaluations ad an adolescent personally, I can tell you that it is NOT damagingng or traumatic. At times, it is uncomfortable to talk about surpressed feelings, and other things that we are socially/culturally forbidden to acknowledge, but a large portion of it is observing daily activities replicated in a medical facility. Theyll watch her eat, monitor her hygiene habits, watch her interact with you, and many other people, including peers. They will probably monitor her doing leisure activities such as watching television, playing board games, or crafts. It can actually at times, even be FUN.
The reason that police escort resistant patients is because acknowledging these things can be so stressful that some may end up violently resisting. No one wants that.
My advice... Cooperate. See her doctor. Talk to her teachers about homework. Let her go to the hospital. Let her know that everyone is just concerned about making sure she is happy and healthy, and that only the professionals can make that determination. Shes going to be okay.

Jodi - posted on 11/18/2015

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Yes, they can ask her questions without you there. And yes, as mandated reporters, they may get answers that require they report the situation - self-harm or concern about potential self-harm by a child is reportable, it isn't just about abuse.

And when it comes to mental illness, it really isn't a joking matter and you won't necessarily know if she is having these thoughts for real. I know a girl who suicided and her parents, her friends, her teachers had absolutely no clue that she was even remotely unhappy. Your daughter may be telling you it was a joke because it has been explained to her about the 72 hour lock up and she is trying to avoid the consequence.

Let's face it, even if she WAS joking, there are consequences for joking about things like this - let her cop the consequences. She won't joke about it again! But it is a strange thing to joke about.

Raye - posted on 11/18/2015

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You really may not know your daughter. She could be hiding her feelings from you. It happens all the time, and doesn't mean you are a bad parent. What's happening is a opportunity for you to find out the truth. Why would she joke about such a thing if it had never crossed her mind to actually want to be dead?

Dove - posted on 11/18/2015

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Suicide is not a joking matter. If you threaten (even joking... cuz they don't know 'you' and know that you are joking)... the hospital can hold you for a 72 hour psych watch if they feel so inclined to do so.

So basically... yes, this can happen. Since it has gone this far, if I were you I would ask her doctor for a referral for a psych consult. Let her tell that person that she was joking and that person can assess the situation and let her know just how much you DON'T joke about that topic.

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Rowena - posted on 11/18/2015

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i was just hurt for the assistant principal saying she disagree with me when i said i know my daughter, when she said herself she dont know her cause my daughter was never in her office, that meant she is not a problem student, then telling me she disagree that i dont know my daughter who i eat breakfast and dinner for her entire life.

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