Too young to feel like that

My last patient of the day was only seven.  I had seen him about 8 months ago, did an exam then and fixed a few of the many really rotten teeth this kid had.  Then he missed appointments and did not return.  Till today.  Today he came in – brought by his dad.  He has three badly infected teeth.  It seemed evident from the dad that the teeth were really hurting him.  So we froze one of the teeth – the worst one and got ready to take it out. 

The freezing part went just fine.  Then he started to cry.  He wanted out of there bad. 

He just seemed like such a miserable little kid.  I mean he looked fine on the outside but when he started to cry he was pitiful.  His life, according to him, sucks, his family sucks and he started talking about going home and committing suicide.  The reason was that no one in his family ever gave him good presents – or so he said.

A seven year old should not be talking about suicide.  The word should be foreign to him. 

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0 responses to “Too young to feel like that

  1. Toni

    I’m sorry to say that kids are being presented with all the realities of adult-hood younger and younger. My take is that, regardless of how good YOU are to them, if they are allowed to be influenced by outside factors then they will be shaped by them in the full measure of their susceptibility.

    I strongly dis-approve of the Christian ghetto mentality, but I also see a need to protect them from the malign forces that would seek to shape them. To me, this meant primarily TV, although music also plays a significant role. The written word, to me at least, tends to have a more long-term cerebral effect on children, influencing usually after reflection. No child should be allowed to read something so shocking that it affects them instantly.

    I can remember having suicidal periods as a kid, although significantly older than that. But by then I’d been got-at, away from the shelter of home.

  2. Anonymous

    Toni, The saddest thing is that I don’t think this kid had much shelter at home. His description of home was likely fairly accurate. Nice gifts or not – his parents were probably pretty incapable of meeting his needs. He is one of the many neglected children I see each week – just a bit sadder than most.

  3. Many such children become train-wrecks, and it breaks your heart. As one who grew up in a similar home and found the love and grace of Jesus (eventually), I know that God does find his way into the saddest of hearts. You listened and showed kindness, and I know you prayed for him. Bless you.