Does your child really know that they are loved by you? Every day, children are killing themselves and many parents are ignoring the signs until it is too late.
A 15 year old girl in foster care committed suicide last week. As I walked into the bathroom of where this young girl ended her life, I could not help but feel her spirit. I felt her love and I felt her anguish. Did you know that she was denied mental health counseling by the county two weeks ago? Unbelievable! Everyone should have access to mental health services especially the children and youth that have gone through so much before, in and after foster care. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for ages 10-24. More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, COMBINED. An average of one person dies by suicide every 16.2 minutes. (CDC, AAS)
This young girl chose to commit suicide on the 6 month anniversary of when her best friend had died. Right before her best friend’s death, she had an argument with her and never had closure. Her friend died later that night after going to emergency for a gall bladder problem. She later died of a heart attack because of complications with her medication. Unbelievable! She goes to the hospital for help and dies! This young girl in foster care felt horrible about the argument and her friend’s unexpected death and wished she could take it all back. Her best friend whom she considered her sister was now gone. She then wanted to kill herself that next day but her other friend stopped her. Fast forward six months…Her last Facebook post stated… “I can’t live anymore knowing that you are gone. I hope I see you soon. Life is not worth living anymore.” Two hours later, she was dead.
I also found out that her foster mom drove her to have a visit with her biological mom and waited…and yet, her own mom did not show up once again. This was typical of her mom not showing up. This little girl felt rejected over and over again by her own parents. I know the feeling as my own biological parents did not visit me in the 13 years that I was in foster care. I would feel really sad inside when I would see my foster brothers and sisters have parent visits, and yet, no one visited me. I know this feeling of despair and loneliness. The fact is…even though I had loving foster parents, I still wanted a connection to my own biological family.
WE as a society must step up and help save the youth. They are feeling lost and invisible. I have traveled from Australia to Canada speaking to youth and adults and I am here to tell you that so many parents are not connected to their children. I have seen how children and youth are paying the price for their parents selfish mistakes. I have interviewed many youth and they tell me that there parents do not care about them! Many parents are hooked on drugs, alcoholics, molesting their children, brutally abusing their children, prostituting them out, giving them drugs, killing them or throwing them away into the foster care system. We must reach out to these children and youth to let them know that they are valuable and they do have a purpose.
Too many of our youth are lost and as a father (who didn’t know my father because he was in prison and tried to kill me) I needed to use my voice to bring the truth. So many of our youth are committing suicide, murdering others, addicted to drugs, joining gangs, having sex and then not taking responsibility for the precious baby they brought in this world. There are many youth that are locked up in juvenile detention centers and still have the potential to have a great life. They are possibly one caring mentor away from being a success story.
Watch this video and see how my life was saved and how I transformed out of the foster care system. As a motivational speaker, if I can save a life and bring a higher level of consciousness to our youth, I know it will help their sons, daughters and future generations to come. In the end, it takes one person to believe that they have a purpose and to know that their best days are still ahead of them. My inspirational message is all about helping others that are lost in the darkness… find a little hope… and give them the strength and tools to never let a weakness destroy their greatness.
Your children need these 15 powerful phrases to consistently ring in their mind. You must say these more than once a month or year. These phrases are inner wealth treasures for your children. Remember to always leave an opportunity open for you to ask questions and just listen to their responses without judgement and attitude. Also, don’t get to busy to not be connected, honestly they will feel like you ignore them. There may be a pattern in your parenting that was handed down by your parents. I realize that parents are not perfect but we can do better than our parents. Many adults have come up to me and said that they felt that their parents ignored them or never heard their parents say “I love you” to them. Seriously, that is so frightening that a parent will not take the time to say “I love you” to their own child. Actually, it is awful to think that!!! What is life really about then? My gosh, children should be your greatest investment in life…not your bank account, car, home, job or friends. There are parents that say “I love you” more to their best friend than their own child. These are children and they need your love and acceptance more than anything.
So What Can You Do? As a parent it is your responsibility to say these phrases often to your children. Love, self value and the foundation of great character traits are built within the four walls of your home. Let me tell you…your children want to know that you love them. They really do.
Say these often to your children. I recently met a 55 year old man that told me he never remembers his dad saying “I love you” to him and he in turn has a hard time telling his teenage son that he loves him. We have to break the cycle.
- “I love you”
- “I’m sorry”
- “I’m proud of you”
- “Just try it”
- “You are perfect the way you are”
- “You are awesome!”
- “You are thoughtful”
- “I would love to help you”
- “Tell me more; I would love to listen to you”
- “I miss you. I always think about you”
- “You are an amazing and talented child. I treasure you.”
- “God Loves You”
- “This is a challenge for you to overcome and grow from. You can push through this. “
- “I believe in you”
- “Forgive yourself for any mistakes that you have made”
Everything starts in the home. You set the tone and example with the your attitude. Some of the invisible forces that are shaping our kids lives come from the home such as anger, joy, feeling of being included, frustration, feeling important, complaining, feeling secure, uplifting environment, love, affection, respect and acceptance. What you focus on controls you. Never doubt the great power of love that lies within you. “When you doubt your power, you give power to your doubt.” –de Balzac. Your home can be a powerful and sacred place. Remember…how you treat your children is most likely how your grandchildren will be treated. Let’s pass on generational blessings instead of generational curses.
Parent with a purpose by imagining who you want your kids to become and then be that.
Please Help Me Share This Message of Hope with your Facebook, Twitter and Email friends, it may save a life. You have the power to share a gift of H.O.P.E.- Helping One Person Everyday.
Motivational Speaker, Author of Six Books and Rapping Dad in the Viral Video Hit
About Derek Clark:
Derek Clark’s life is one of resilience and redemption. As a child he suffered unthinkable child abuse, abandonment and emotional distress before being turned over to the psychiatric hospital at age five. His 13 years in the San Francisco bay area foster care system reflected an early life of humiliation, aggression, emotional distress, overwhelming anxiety and being wrongfully labeled. Eventually, with the help of foster parents and mentors he defied the artificial limitations imposed upon him. Derek knows first hand how to cope with adversity and overcoming hardship. His past has never held him back from accomplishing what he set his heart and mind to.
Derek is an inspiring speaker/trainer. He has been a featured expert on CNN Headline News, The Ricki Lake Show and The Steve Harvey TV Show. Google ranks Derek the #1 “inspiring motivational speaker” out of 1.2 million listings. He is the author of six books including “Disable The Label: Never Limit The Potential of a Child”, “Never Limit Your Life” and the “I Will Never Give Up” book series.
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