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10 ways to die!

14 Jan

Boys will be boys. At least that’s what they say. We’ve all heard it. When they’re rough housing or throwing a ball through a window during a game.. “boys will be boys”. But when is it more than that and when as parents do we start paying attention to the signs.

I’ve got a 10 year old. He’s ALL boy. Stitches on his face 11 times before he ever turned 5. Sixteen staples 060421092352in his head last year from scalping himself under the bath tub facet. Three dislocated joints (TWICE), a broken finger, head concussion. Trust me, I know the meaning of ‘boys will be boys’. Mine’s the worst. He once covered himself in double sided tape and jumped off the bar towards the wall thinking he’d stick like spider man. He’s a nut.

But recently in the elementary school where he and my 11 year old daughter go to school, there’s been a new game going around. It’s called “Ten Ways to Die”. No, I’m not joking. Apparently, one person makes a list of 10 ways to die and puts each one on a strip of paper. They then take turns drawing from the pile to see how they are going to die and proceed to plan ways to achieve it.

Maybe they are just being boys, but I had to wonder what 9 and 10 year old boys would be doing thinking about death and could they even comprehend the severity of it.

I talked to my son about it. I asked if he’d been playing the game. He said, “Mom, that’s stupid. Who wants to die? No I don’t play a game like that.”

How would you handle this situation with your young child? Do you notify other parents? Do you make a big deal of it? Well, you all know me well enough to know that in the Wampler Household, we talk about every thing from sex, STDs teen pregnancy, abstinence, drugs, college, and loving those that don’t love us back. I did talk to the principal of the school and a few other parents. No one seems to be concerned.

Perhaps I’m a little over sensitive to the matter. My best friend died at age 11 along with his 9 years old brother. At the age of 16, another friend killed himself. Last year, a life long friend hung herself. When kids start ‘wanting’ death, I get concerned.

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21 Comments

Posted by on January 14, 2009 in encouragement

 

21 responses to “10 ways to die!

  1. Lea Schizas

    January 14, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    First off, like you, I would ask my child if he was playing this game. My next step would be to notify the school principal and make him aware of the situation, talk to other parents so they can have their eyes and ears on alert.

    These are times where our children need our guidance. As parents, and I know many of us are two income homes, but we still need to remember our first and most important job is being a parent. Being lax and rules around the home, allowing our kids 24/7 free playtime without any supervision, family time to find out what’s happening in everyone’s lives or for general questions – these are the times to stay on top of things.

    Watch what video games kids play.

    Set aside one day of the week for ‘Game Night’ as a family.

    Let’s not forget our children were not asked to be brought to this world. We choose and made a commitment to them so let’s keep them safe!

     
  2. Katrina Wampler

    January 14, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Great comment Lea. I couldn’t agree more. As a single mom, I try real hard to cover all the basis on my own. We do the game night and family meals and I ask loads of questions.

    I pay attention to everything they listen to and watch and again, I ask lots of questions.

    The fact that the principal and other moms weren’t bothered really upset me.

     
  3. Marvin D Wilson

    January 14, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    “He once covered himself in double sided tape and jumped off the bar towards the wall thinking he’d stick like spider man.”

    LOL that’s a boy being a nutcase perfectly healthy boy. But this death game? Not healthy. Glad (is it Jathe?) has the good sense to stay away. And YES, as a concerned parent, get your butt down to that school and give your 17 cents to the principle.

     
  4. Katrina Wampler

    January 14, 2009 at 3:32 pm

    It’s Colby, of course. And yes, he is such a nut.

    Oh I’ve gone toe to toe with the principle. She says nothing. Just, “oh, they’re boys” !

     
  5. Katie Hines

    January 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Katrina, I can’t hardly believe it. What a terrible “game” to play. I haven’t heard of it from my youngest (17); I think it would be a very “select” group that would be involved in that.

    You know, I’m not sure what I would do. Thanks for posting this.

     
  6. Vivian

    January 14, 2009 at 3:52 pm

    Katrina, in this time when children are making death/suicide packs, how can the principal make such an asinine statement. Does your school have a counselor? If so, contact her/him.

    Contact your local mental health authority. Contact your state board of education. This is not a trivial matter. Contact your newspaper’s investigative team or your local TV station’s.

    Peer pressure is the strongest influence on children, and this is not a “boys will be boys” harmless stunt.

     
  7. David

    January 14, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Katrina,

    In this area for another topic, but saw this and thought I (a Dad) would add some comments. I know and can appreciate the ‘boys will be boy’s view of life. However, it should be contained within the general context of play for which choices are made and the outcomes are manageable. In this instance, the outcome – fully realized – is non-manageable.

    I strongly concur with Vivian on this. IF your school Administrator is not giving you the confidence that the situation is being worked, then you need to up the pressure within your legal means. Contact your school board, a local council member, a Church (have them mention/pray for the boys and school) – that raises eyebrows), the local TV and the reporter that wants to break a story. Schools (and School Boards) hate the publicity and the potential risk of child injury and legal implications if somehow associated with School.

    By the way, for my kid’s awareness, I watch for and save those “quick headliner stories” that show some kids somewhere doing something so STUPID that it puts them in jail, expels them from school or ends in their death. I save them with the lead word STUPID. When my kids are older, I pull them up – give them to read so they at least have an awareness of the types of situations to stay away from, not get involved with, etc. – and we talk about the situations so they can see where things went wrong.

    It’s sort of like studying mountaineering accident reports – in the hope of learning from others mistakes.

    Protect your kids – no one else has the same incentive as you do.

    David

     
  8. Jackie

    January 14, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    We had a close experience with this during 2007. It wasn;t ten ways to die, it was black out, which causes oxygen to be cut off fromthe brain. My son had learned to do this from You Tube, and after church one day shows some of the other boys how to do this.

    We met with the pastor. I had Dallas write a research paper about the true dangers of this “game”. Then he had to write letters to every parent and the pastor summarizing what he learned and apologizing. He apologized to the kids to. Then I addressed it again during children;s church because I wanted the kids to know how serious it was.

    I also called my local juvenile office and found out, to put the fear of God in Dallas more than anything, that should one of those kids actually do that and face short or long term consecquences for it – he could be charged for it – even if it happens down the road or to kids they teach to do it. You Tube is now blocked from thier computer!!!

     
  9. Katrina Wampler

    January 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    My son and I talked about the Black Out game as well. They’d heard of it but didn’t know of anyone that had tried it. Again, they said, “well that’s just stupid”.

    So far, they tend to be leaders rather than followers and are very aware of dangers around them and willing to advice teachers of them. In fact, my daughter has taken a lot of slack from ‘tattling’ on the boys playing the game. She told the teacher 3 times and the teacher said, “I don’t have time for your tattling.”

    The principle, teachers, and other parents shrugged it off. Perhaps out of lack of knowledge as to what to do. I’m not sure. I’ve contacted the newspapers and am waiting to hear the results.

     
  10. Kimberly Eddy

    January 14, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I totally agree with what most everyone else has said so far. I would be concerned as to whether or not the teachers and principal knew about this situation, but as you pointed it out the principal doesn’t seem to care. I can’t imagine them condoning it, but then again, at a school near us they were learning some “death education” until the parents rightly made a stink over it. If I’m not mistaken, they were having kids make their own coffins and pair up to write each other’s eulogies. Bizarre.

    I think the next thing to do would be to alert other parents. This could be very serious. Even if the other parents decide you are a crazy, over-reacting alarmist, at least your conscience will be clear should something terrible happen. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t at least sound a warning to others involved. I am sure every parent at that school will want to talk to their kids about this “game”.

    I may even consider contacting local news media to bring some attention to this. Something of this nature could go terribly wrong and end in tragedy.

    Naturally, keep the lines of communication open. Sounds like you are doing a great job. I love the story about the sticky tape and wanting to stick like spiderman. What a boy thing to do. Last year, our son and his friend were digging with the post hole digger, and before we knew it we had to make them stop…it was about 7 feet deep, which could have been very dangerous. Too bad I don’t have any fencing to put in, though ;)).

    Jackie, good for you in doing that to Dallas. I think that was the right thing to do. When my daughter shoplifted a candy bar at the age of 4, I made her go talk to the security guard, and i think that got that idea out of her head for the rest of her life. A little tough love.

     
  11. Ginger Simpson

    January 14, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Oh, Kat! What dreadful things will our children come up with next. Lea’s response is right on. Clearly these children need some enlightenment. At their age, they don’t realize the finality of death, and video games have made it all too easy to push a button and come back to life and go another round of killing. People argue the games are great for hand and eye coordination, but I think we’ve created a fantasy world that is hard for our children to separate from reality.

    I recall when my oldest son mentioned something about dying. I had a friend who was a nurse, and I made arrangements to take him to the Cancer ward at our local hospital. I showed him people who would give anything for another chance to live, but their destiny wasn’t in their hands. It wasn’t pleasant for either of us, but I think we both came away with a better understanding of how precious life really is.

    In the case of this ‘death’ game, intervention is needed. I’m a grandparent and not always in the loop, so I welcome information like this. I’m going to forward your post to the principal of Spencer’s school…not because I think it might be going on, but because awareness is the best defense.

    Thanks for the warning.

    ginger

     
  12. Katrina Wampler

    January 14, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    That’s an awesome idea, Ginger. I hope you get further with Spencer’s principal than I did with mine.

    You all know me well enough that I don’t sit by quietly while things are going on around my kids. I’ll let you know what happens from here.

    Please, ask your kids if they’ve heard of it. They may call it something else. Kids tend to change the names of games.

     
  13. Joie at Canned Laughter

    January 14, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Your instincts are right on. Do not let this go. I’m assuming this is a private school because of the lack of response from the administration? A really good person to get in the loop is the school nurse if they have one. Please keep us posted on what happens with the media you contacted.

     
  14. Tiffany

    January 14, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Katrina, Hello,this is Jimmy’s sister Tiffany.I’d love to know how the kids are doing.Please send me an email back!Thank You my email is hotrods_tiffy@yahoo.com

     
  15. Kristen

    January 14, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Does the school know about this? If not they should be told and should put a stop to this.

     
  16. Deb Hockenberry

    January 14, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I don’t have any kids myself but I do have school aged nieces & nephews. I can only imagine the worry & panicky feeling! Anyway, here’s what I would do. I would pray & then take action. Here’s what I would do:

    1/ Contact the principle. Even if he/she laughs it off you warned them that it’s going on.
    2/ Inform the school’s guidance counselor or counselor.
    3/ Talk to the teachers.
    4/ (I know this one is going to sound extreme) Tell your local media-this way you would be getting the word out to other parents.

    After doing this I would feel totally helpless.
    Deb 🙂

     
  17. unwriter1

    January 14, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    ok,

    I’ve read all the comments and the first thing that I have to do is agree with all of them. You’ve done the right thing, up to and posting this on a blog that can and will be seen all over! Just to accentuate this, I’ll post it to twitter. Video games have become too intrusive, too dangerous. Write a commentary for the local paper. Contact any and every one in your states government. Raise hell! Personally I prefer angry parents over dead kids.

    Have your kids start a new game, ten ways of living. Turn this negative into a positve, you can do it Kat.

     
  18. Danielle N Calhoun

    January 15, 2009 at 12:30 am

    I have to admit, this is the very first time I have been to your blog, but this post caught my eye. I have a 14 year old niece, who once tried the choking game, and although she knew it was wrong, she acted like, whatever.

    My son is only 4, going into school this year, and I fear the day he becomes old enough to face this kind of behavior that is facing this generation.

    Being physically challenged, and single, being a mom is hard for me, but when it comes down to it, posts like this make me more thanful for being the tough mother I have become.

     
  19. Jackie

    January 15, 2009 at 1:23 am

    as I read over the comments, another idea came to me – write a letter to your local school baord (or go to one of thier meetings – get it on the new business agenda) and letter to the editor so that other parents can be aware and so the school board can know that it has been brought to thier attention. Principal’s are hired (and can be fired) – school boards are elected.

     
  20. Joyce A. Anthony

    January 15, 2009 at 5:45 am

    Ouch–I am SO glad I homeschool. My son tried to commit suicide for real at the age of eight-I know how dangerous a “game” like this can be for kids. Katrina–I’d contact the local newspaper-let them know what you know and tell them the school’s response.

     
  21. Katrina Wampler

    January 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I will keep you all in touch about the response I get.

    To answer one comment..no this is NOT a private school. New principle though> perhaps she just isn’t in touch yet. Not sure.

    It’s heart breaking to see kids with such a mind set, but as parents it is our job and responsibility to watch for these things. If we miss it, we’ve seriously failed them.

    I’m glad each of you stopped in to see this message today. Please spread it. It’s very dangerous.

     

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