What do I do if my 7 year old says she want to kill herself?

My daughter was overly tired and throwing a fit at her grandparent's house. She wanted to come home at midnight and cried screamed said she said she hated her grandma and that she wanted to kill herself!

We also have a new baby in the house i didn't know if this would contribute to this. How should I approach this?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

You wrote a very full family context w many directions to examine.

Do you know or can you find out what the grandma and your daughter were doing in the evening of the screaming episode?

Is it possible the grandma abuses your daughter, or tells her scary stories, watches scary movies.  These are only suggestions of some problem between grandma and your daughter.

Also, ask your daughter directly why she wants to kill herself and what' killing herself" means.   Seven year olds don't have a concept of death being a forever condition.  Seven year olds don't have a sense of future meaning besides liking/disliking them.   

Maybe the new baby is a factor.  Do you feel this is a factor?   Trust your intuition to tell you if your daughter is resentful of your new baby.

Even if she is, I doubt a seven year old has the capacity to connect current unhappiness with the intention of a future action, including suicide.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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