Breaking News
More () »

Seattle's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and More | Seattle, Washington | KING5.com

Build resilience in kids to prevent suicide

A pediatric cancer doctor reveals three ways parents can build resilience in their kids.

Suicide is the No. 1 cause of death for children in Washington state between 10 and 14 years old. Building resilience is one way parents or caregivers can help their kids better navigate difficult times.

Resilience is described as the ability to adapt to adversity or change.

Dr. Abby Rosenberg is a pediatric oncologist at Seattle Children's hospital, who studies resilience among young cancer patients, and she shared three findings on how we can build resilience in all children.

She says it boils down to teaching them how to build resources.

Often times people are uncomfortable when people are sad, especially when that person is our child, Rosenberg said. We want to protect and keep them happy. But she says the only way they will build resilience is if let them experience that sadness and then be there to help guide them towards those resilience resources.

1. Teach individual resources

Stress management, mindfulness, and coping skills are skills that are internal don't require another person in the midst of a stressful situation.

2. Teach community resources

This component is outwardly focused. It's helping your child consider who they can turn to for support. This means teaching your children to reach out for help when they need it and be willing to accept the help.

3. Beliefs

Rosenberg says beliefs can be the most powerful. It's about helping your child find meaning in hard situations. For some it's grounded in their faith or their purpose. For those who aren't religious, it can be about re-framing a situation to focus on something positive.