Lori Wildenberg | Helping Children with Anxiety, Depression, & Suicidal Ideation, 166

Lori Wildenberg | Helping Children with Depression, Anxiety, and Suicidal Ideation

Lori Wildenberg | Helping Children with Anxiety, Depression, & Suicidal Ideation

Lori Wildenberg, mom of a daughter who has wrestled with depression, is passionate about helping parents help their children navigate a messy life.

Lori is a licensed parent and family educator, national speaker, parent coach, and author or coauthor of six parenting books including the award-winning book Messy Hope: Help Your Child
Overcome, Anxiety, Depression or Suicidal Ideation and The Messy Life of Parenting: Powerful and Practical Ways to Strengthen Family Connections.

Lori leads the popular Moms Together Community Page and Moms Together Group on Facebook.

You can find articles by Lori over at Focus on the Family, Crosswalk.com, Christian Authors Network, ChristianParenting.org, Munce, Just Between Us, and Her View from Home.

She has also been a guest on many radio and podcast programs.

Lori Wildenberg and Amber discuss her daughter’s journey with depression and practical helps for parents as they navigate a world where rates of anxiety, depression and suicide are on the rise.

Questions Lori and Amber discuss about helping children with anxiety, depression, and suicidal ideation:

  1. (4:32) Today, we are talking about helping our children overcome anxiety, depression and/or suicidal ideation which is very personal to you.  Will you share why it is personal to you and a bit about your experience journeying with your daughter?
  2. (15:25) Depression and anxiety in children is on the rise and suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people.  Why do you think that is?
  3. (20:34) In your book, Messy Hope, you provide a number of useful tools to help provide our children with hope. Will you share a few of those with us?
  4. (34:00) One of my favorite chapters is Hope Killers, because you share some common hope killer statements as parents. What are some examples?
  5. (38:56) You also write about The War Within. Will you briefly speak to these wars that can rage inside:
    • Wear the Mask
    • Fake Book
    • Tender Hearts
    • Destructive Doubt
    • Rejection Stings
    • Back Talk
    • Stabbing Pain
  6. (51:47) You are careful to let readers know that reciting a Bible verse for someone with suicidal ideation will not likely alter their thoughts.  Flesh that out for us a bit and what are some better tools to use to support our children who are having suicidal ideations?
  7. (54:24) If there’s a parent listening, and they’re at this place where they they just feel kind of hopeless in how to reach out to their child, what encouragement would you give them?

Helping Children with Anxiety, Depression, and Suicidal Ideation Quotes to Remember:

“She was open with me…We would talk about it. But…I didn’t understand the depth of it. I knew she was struggling. I didn’t realize how big the struggle was.”

“He takes our hard things, and has us help somebody else, while He heals us in the process.”

“Avoid toxic positivity….It leads to someone feeling dismissed.”

“Start by labeling feelings. Once our kiddos, and even us, can label those feelings, then our brain can start making sense of what’s going on.”

“We want to be an emotionally safe place…for our kids to express what they’re feeling, so that we can help them move from that feeling to okay, now what?”

“My kids needed to hear on a regular basis that they were loved because of who they are not for what they do.”

“There’s a question we can ask, ‘How are you doing today?’ Specifically say, today, because that lets them know that you really want to know, and you are ready to hear it.”

“If you have a highly sensitive kiddo, they are going to respond in a highly sensitive way. They will take on other people’s emotions. Their emotions are going to be bigger than life. And we have to help them separate their emotions from other people’s emotions.”

“We need to be able to…separate what’s real rejection from what’s perhaps a way that we’re perceiving it.”

“When we increase remembering who God is and who God created us to be and who we are in His image…that starts changing our brain.”

“For our kids, rather than trying to gloss over whatever their pain is allow them to grieve.”

“If you can’t physically be there, calling regularly to check in asking, how are you doing today? And here’s the hard thing, asking some hard questions, when they’re really in a hard space. Have you considered taking your life? Ask that question. That takes the responsibility off of the person and they know you can handle the answer, because you’ve asked the question. It’s a terrible question to ask, but so much better to ask the question. “

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We want to be an emotionally safe place...for our kids to express what they're feeling, so that we can help them move from that feeling to "Okay, now what?"
Ask some hard questions... "Have you considered taking your life?" Ask that question. That takes the responsibility off of the person and they know you can handle the answer, because you've asked the question.
My kids needed to hear on a regular basis that they were loved because of who they are not for what they do.

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