Children’s counselor says putting less pressure on kids to “win” may help bring down rates of depression and suicide

Kids under pressure

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Losing is something no one aims for. Especially young children.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention says in 2017, the number of kids ages 15 and under who committed suicide was 134,000. Scott Riviere counsels children at Kidz Inc. and says children are at an emotional and vulnerable point in their lives. He says we need to help them learn to lose with pride.

"It's okay to want to win. It's okay to want to do well. But when a person needs to win, they kind of tie that win into their self-worth," Riviere said. "Losing is certainly a part of life and it's a part of growing up, so as a parent, especially a young child, you have a lot of influence over that."

He says the need to win and succeed can sometimes be brought on by pressure from the parents.

"For a parent if it's a need for their kid to win, then they're going to have the same emotional reaction that a child would have if it's a need,” Riviere said. “They're going to be angry, upset, and feel devalued if they lose."

Riviere says parents need to pinpoint and encourage the qualities about their kids that make them who they are. Rather than needing to succeed when competing with others.

“Parents are generally the first people that see what makes their kid so unique and special,” Riviere said. “So as a parent you begin to point out those things that are already there in the kid so that in time as the kid grows up, they begin to see themselves as that way. Not because you told them. But because they saw that they could do it.”

Copyright 2019 KPLC. All rights reserved.