Dr Bernie Siegel’s Letter to the Editor!

Dear Editor,

The way to eliminate violent behavior is not by having more police in schools it is by changing how we raise our children. Abused children can always find weapons to be used to seek revenge. You can drive a car into a gathering of students or use an ax. The problem is their feeling of rejection and abuse.
Studies reveal the high percentage of high school students who are suicidal and self destructive. The solution is to change how children are raised and how their parents, teachers and authority figures treat them. When you are raised feeling loved and having healthy relationships with people and pets you have a reverence for life and have self esteem and you care for yourself and others. With love in your life drugs and addictions are not needed as a resource.
The abused students feel they are alone in what they are going through and so they do not share their experiences and lie about the source of their bruises thinking they are the only ones going through this. When you have students write homework paper about why they should commit suicide and why they are worth loving and put their papers on your desk the suicide pile is many times higher. Then they realize they are not alone and do not have to lie and begin to talk to each other, therapy begins and the suicide rate goes down as does the violence. This is a fact from studies which have been done by myself and others.
What we need to do is have classes in schools to help students understand they are not alone, begin their therapy in their school and share their wounds and their parents can, as should all parents, be part of parenting classes where they can learn how to raise children who feel loved and have discipline not rejection, punishment and abuse as a part of their lives. When we let the children know we care about them we become their chosen parents and help them to feel loved and worthy and change their lives.
Please reach out and share your love with the children you meet and seek help when you do not know what to do with your anger or theirs. As the father of five I know the problems but I also know that when we communicate and share love and have a sense of humor we can all survive the times we do not like because even at those times love is present.
Here is a quote from a patient of mine: “My mother dressed me in dark clothes so no one would notice me. She told me I embarrassed and disappointed her and her words were eating away at me and maybe gave me cancer. You gave me permission to become my authentic self and by a red dress and red high heel shoes.” She is alive today and I told her she didn’t need my permission. So help yourself and the children of the world find their authentic selves. All of whom are worth loving. Our childhood creates our lives. It is hypnotic in effect.

Dr Bernie Siegel

Mind Health Matters with Bernie Siegel M.D.

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