Saturday, January 03, 2015

Suicide blackmail

In the wake of Josh Alcorn's suicide, it's important for parents to keep in mind that sometimes doing everything you can is not enough. There's nothing more you could have done. 

That's true of life in general. We can do everything within our power, but sometimes that's just not enough. We can do all the right things, and it will still turn out badly. We don't have the power to prevent some things from ending badly. We have very limited influence over the conduct of others. Try as we might, there's only so much we can do. We're not in control. 

Of course, even the best parents make mistakes. But kids should realize that even well-meaning parents are fallible and shortsighted, and cut them some slack. After all, parents generally cut their kids a lot of slack. 

We can't afford to create a culture in which kids can blackmail their parents with threats of suicide. That's the abdication of parenting. Kids need boundaries. Tragically, some kids will carry through with the threat, but the parents didn't wrong them–they wronged the parents. A revenge suicide. 

Responsible parents must be able to say "no." That's an essential word in the parental vocabulary. 


  1. Replies
    1. He was born male and named Joshua.

  2. I can smell a lawsuit brewing for Josh's Christian therapist/counselor.

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