|Teach Children Not To Lie|
If there is an inexplicable change in a bright kid's functioning and if you feel more worried than usual about him, ask. It is always better to overreact than underreact. If your bright kid says he feels life is not worth living, insist he sees someone with you to sort it out. If he refuses, drag him along, If he still refuses, consult a mental health professional you trust.
The most consistent warning sign of suicide that we have is hopelessness and depression. Bright kids don't always get depressed in the same way adults do. Adults talk about being sad, mope around, drink more cheap wine, eat more chocolate, and generally convey their misery. Bright kids may talk of being bored or "pissed off" rather than feeling sad; they may become more irritable and harder to live with; their concentration may suffer; they may use more drugs, they may become either almost totally inactive or restless and pacing; and they may eat less. Others will write bleak poetry, speak of suicide and death, and listen to morbid music.
Given that most bright kids who become depressed have not been the cheeriest to begin with, working out if they are feeling more hopeless than usual can be very difficult. When hopelessness invades all areas of their life and they lose their ability to shake off self-absorption or to consider others' feelings, it's time to feel anxious about their well-being.
Self-care is another warning sign I find useful. Increased risk-taking behavior such as substance abuse, sexual behavior, deliberate self-harm, and dangerous driving should always be taken as possible signs of depression and despair.
From lying to honesty
Some bright kids will do whatever it takes, including lie, to get the outcome they want. They need to learn there is more to be gained from being honest than from lying.
Fibs, boasts, and "whoppers"
By three years of age, some children lie. By at least four years of age, they know that it is wrong to mislead someone but they don't really understand why it is wrong. Later is a summary of children's understanding of truthfulness at different ages.
Lies come in different shapes and sizes. There is the barefaced lie intended to deceive and mislead, there's sneaky behavior and there's non-committal communication. Here's an example of the latter:
"How was the party?"
"Who was there?"
"What did you do?"
Most of us lie from time to time - let's not forget Santa Claus, the "Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny! If lying becomes a major habit, it erodes trust and goodwill in a family. Parents often report feeling guarded, used, and abused when their bright kid lies frequently. Developing a habit of lying is associated with stealing, having negative friends, vandalism, and school truancy. To find out more, you can check out Teach Children Not To Lie.