My 4-year-old has thoughts of killing himself: Advice?

Contact a therapist that can do an intake, they will talk to you AND your child to determine if this is how they actually feel and if it’s something that needs to be immediately addressed. Chances are, he’s hearing inappropriate things from television or movies, or something he’s hearing in his fathers home or even at school.

But only a licensed mental health practitioner is going to be able to tell the difference

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Is it possible that he heard his father saying this to himself about himself? Like he caught his dad muttering to himself that he felt like nothing and wanted to die? I would take your son to his pediatrician as well as get emergency sole custody until this is investigated further and you find out for sure where he heard it from.

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You need to take him to be seen right away by someone. Because if he is in a regular school setting teachers are mandatory reporters, and they will have to report what he said. You need to do this right away psychologist know how to talk to him to see if it’s something he heard or something he wants to do.

I’d recommend a psych eval. I wouldn’t speak with your son any further about it until after the eval.

I would look at the family histories … yours and the boy’s father’s. If there is history of mental illness, inform the Dr.

Your son might have seen a TV show at his father’s place, or overheard a random conversation while in his father’s custody. Or his father might be suicidal.

There could be many reasons why a 4 yr old child will say something out of the ordinary, but a therapist can help you determine if it’s something he’s simply mimmicking, or if it’s something he’s feeling.

Therapists/psychologists are trained to know how to ask the appropriate questions to help him.

If it’s determined that it’s simply something he has witnessed or is mimmicking, then I would set up a family counseling session including you and the father. He might be your ex, but he’s still part of your family, as long as he is am active part of your son’s life. The session will let the father know how serious his son’s situation is.


Take :wave: to a therapist

My kid started saying stuff like “I just wish i was dead” around 5.
We got her a therapist who recommended some anger management … It has done wonders … Shes a happy, healthy, safe 9 yr old now.

It starting after dads is hella sketch, but i would get a therapist asap and let them try to unfold whats going on over there

Best of luck…xoxo

Does he use any social media? You tube? I’ve noticed a trend in some of the videos on you tube . My daughter has said similar things and from what I’ve seen that’s where it came from and also some other kids who I suspect are watching some of these videos. I started paying really close attention after overhearing some disturbing shit while she had her tablet.

I’m imagining his teacher will report this to cps they are mandated reporters. I’ve never heard of a 4 year old saying stuff like this. He had to have heard it somewhere or someone told him this which makes it even more horrible. Kids that age don’t think about self harm and if they are something is seriously wrong. I don’t think kids that age feel shame which is what he would need to feel to think so low of himself. I would start calling counselors so when cps comes you can tell them that you are already working on it. I would also go file for full custody and keep him away from dad until you figure out where he is learning this from. Best of luck to you.


I think you can call CPS stating your concerned about the environment there and explain what happened. It’s not like CPS is going to do much except check the house safety and if there are concerns require the dad to get help


Did the school contact the father as well as you???

I would take him to see someone just to get to the root of the issue weather it be self confusion or mimicked behaviours x
Good luck mummah

Talk to the school counselor it sounds ned

I child would NOT come up with something like THAT out of no where! End of story! It was clearly said around him somewhere sometime for him to have repeated that.


Get him to a therapist right away

4yrs old i would ask him what that means and if he knows get him some help more them likely he heard it some where

Please make sure you are always near your kid. If anything happens to him you will never forgive yourself.

just set him down and explain to hin how saying what u hear is not good sec be a parent.all 'this people make things bigger what it is explain to him what it really means and why it’s wrong

Get him in counseling asap! Research the best one for his age and situation! He may not know what it means, however he may! Also, if you are religious, you can take him to a paster. Also, let him know that he is loved very much, put actions with words! He needs it!

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He has to be getting somewhere.

The boy needs to be assessed by a professional NOW!
All the love and strength to your family :heart:

He’s probably heard someone say it. It might have been someone on tv or someone at his dads house. I’d take him to see someone just Incase

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I’ve never heard a baby say this. I’d seek help ASAP

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Take your baby to his pediatrician to get a referral for a psychiatrist or therapist. If you can self refer, call and make an appointment. The earlier the better! Document everything just in case it is coming from his fathers house. You should always take things like this seriously. I’d rather take him to the doctor, even if it ends up being some “random thing kids say,” rather then dismissing it. Better safe than sorry. Give him lots of love! More than usual. Maybe before his bed time read him a story, and after the story, gently bring it up. Ask him what makes him feel this way. Put the ball in his court, when kids feel like they are being pressured they usually shut down. Maybe he is being bullied by someone at his fathers house. That is a learned thing, he has to of heard of from someone. Gentle approach. If his father is ignoring this, schedule his appointments when you have him so you can be the one taking him. Also if it gets way out of hand and your momma bear instincts kick in, and you get really worried, I would go to court and file for full custody per the safety of your child. Try not to cause tension between you and his father. I know it is hard because he isn’t trying to help, but he can probably use something against you. Ask the school if they can also document things. Have a folder or binder of these documents. If you are comfortable with it, let the doctor talk to him alone. Act like you have to run to the restroom. Maybe he is afraid to tell you for some reason? Maybe he thinks he will get in trouble if he tells you whatever needs to be said? Hugs momma! Good luck :heart:

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He may be repeating what someone else that is actually suicidal at dad’s house said

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Does he play on ipad or youtube? Could of possibly picked it up there as alot of child videos have been known to show suicides, death ect in the middle if the videos…

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My nieces 4 year old came up and told her he was going to kill himself. She said what are you talking about. He was on a innocent children YouTube page He said the man on YouTube told him to. Somehow that disgusting pervert on YouTube was giving instructions on how he should hang himself. She came unglued. He wasn’t unsupervised but somehow this thing broke into what he was watching. Maybe that could have happened. Have a good talk with him, he will tell you the source.

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File for emergency custody and get him into therapy.


I’d just ask the kid, where did you hear that. Kids say wild things sometimes, they hear the tv, radio, etc…

Document it, what he said and when. Important if his dad is suicidal

He may just be repeating it from hearing it from someone or something but deff don’t take it lightly! Get him seen right away and monitor him closely. Better safe then sorry for sure ! I hope you get this figured

Talk to him he might not understand what that means. Get full custody of that child if it has something to do with dad. And seek a therapist they are really good at what they do and know how to talk to a child. Do not be embarrassed to seek therapy it will be the best thing you will ever do for your child if he is having these thoughts and feelings!

Do you let him watch you tube or his he on a device?. My nefew started doing this at that age and it was from his device and you tube.

Get him seen please !!!

4 year olds dont understand death in the way that adults do. I bet he heard someone else saying that or telling him that.


It could be away to get attention most kids will say anything for attention if he says it again you could try putting in a 72 hour hold to show him what happeneds to people that say they want to kill him self explain to him there other ways to get the attention that he wants without threatening suicide explain to him that you and his daddy would be severely heartbroken if you lost him also explain to him the pain it would cost you and how you will never heal or recover how you will always wander why you weren’t good why your son didn’t love you enough to want to live show him videos of families who lost some one to suicide so he can seek the pain they go through

My boy is 4 and talks about death all the time.
Not that he understands it but it is a frequent point of his conversations and game play.
I don’t know where he got it from or how he finds it so exciting but he does.
Is it possible it’s just a phase. Unless It is coupled with other concerning thoughts and actions then explore some more innocent options.

Maybe ask him where he heard about it? They are usually brutally honest

Talk to your son. Ask him if someone is saying those TO HIM or if hes hearing it somewhere. & counseling ASAP

These days kids are exposed to more then we were, since they have the internet & access to just about anything. Even if he doesn’t, other kids in his class can/do, so who knows what he’s heard.

Get him to therapy, document everything. Check what he’s been watching on devices. Also, if you suspect he is hearing it from his dad or while in his dad’s care, you need to get your kid out of his care.

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Take your son to a therapist as soon as possible they know how to talk to children to find out the source of where he is getting this

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Okay. Before you start signing this poor kid up for therapy, there is a reason he is saying it.
He either heard it from an adult or another child. No kid just comes up with that!
Try and figure out where it is coming from first. Sit down with him and talk to him about his words. Tell him what it really means. Be as blunt as you can about it


When my brother passed away my 6 year old didn’t know anything about death till we have to explain why and what happens after. He is near someone that shouldn’t be around since he’s knowing that knowledge way young in age. Bless you and your son communicate with him as a friend don’t rush to asking questions play with him have, have lunch. Tell him why he deserves to be here in this world and how much you love him make him feel that he’s wanted. Ask him why he’s saying that and how he knows about that.

Definitely meet with the school counselor and make an appointment with your pediatrician. If dad is saying these things dad may be a danger to himself or others. I would be seriously concerned and voice this to the doctor and school counselor and ask for advice on how to proceed to make sure your child is safe when with dad.

It could be the father, or it could be YouTube, TV or any other outside input. Not just the father.

This isn’t as shocking as most people assume. Like others have said, he is 4yo, does not fully grasp the meaning of or pemanence of death. This doesn’t really mean suicide like most people assume. He has probably figured out that these statements get a reaction. It is the attention and reaction that he wants.

Are you serious? Get him into therapy and call the police, obviously some form of abuse has happened, 4yo dont say that, why do you need to ask the internet, this is common sense

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I would not be allowing him to go to his father’s anymore. Involve the authorities

It means his piece of shit father has been drumming it into his head. Do something about it.

Counselor! And I would look at changing visitation.

Umm ask Cas. That could be a red flag. Ask him about it.

Always seek medical help . Even if you think 4 is to young. They know what there looking for

This child needs help immediately. As an educator for over 30 years this needs to be reported to the department of human services. This is mandated by law!!!

This is not good. At all. I don’t know what you are supposed to to but no way should a 4 year old be saying anything like that at all. I’d his dad saying that? Is his dad suicidal? That’s so scary and so.sad

So a young child can’t know depression, death, etc., but they can know if they’re gay, straight, transgender, etc.? So backwards.

Kids have feelings just like us older people. He doesn’t have to have been influenced. Do you realize how many little kids are in psych homes because of mental illnesses??? For attempted murder, self-harm, etc? Oy vey.

My advice is to get him an appt with a pediatric psychologist, not a therapist, and go from there. They’ll help find the motive behind his thoughts. Good luck.


My son said this when he was 4, he is 9 now. He just one day said he wanted to die. I asked him why he said that and he said he didn’t know. I got scared because it was during the time a little girl 6 or 7 year old hung herself for being grounded (he didn’t know of this). I called his pediatrician and they quickly got him in to see a child psychologist. After talking with him they diagnosed him with generalized anxiety disorder. The reason he wanted to die was because he was scared to get old and die. So he felt he had more control if he died now. It’s confusing but to his mind it made sense. After a while of going to therapy he stopped saying it. And has never said it again or ever tried to hurt himself.

Get him in therapy NOW. And go for full custody. This is not okay nor normal.


You need to call 1-800-273-talk to find services in your area. If you believe your child to be truly emergent, take him immediately to the ER, they can and will help you. They have to.

He ovisouly heard it some where. Take that baby to a psychologist. You know he heard it from his father or at least from his house. Do not let the father know what you are doing. Your son really needs to tell a psychologist where this came from. Any visitations with his father needs to be supervised.

You can get an indoor sand box can be small and a couple of small dolls and observe the conversation he has. I know someone who did this it was helpful.

I would sit down with your son and ask where he ever heard someone saying that they were going to kill themselves. I would also ask him why he would say it and why he would want to do it. If he gave me a explanation like he’s unhappy or I felt he was depressed I would contact his Dr.

Maybe his dad is saying bad things to him. Sit your son down and talk to him about, tell him nothing will happen to him if he tells the truth. Some kids are scared to say something because they were told they would get hurt or the other parent would. Watch your ex

He needs counseling, when I worked for latchkey we were supposed to call and report this kind of behavior to social services, and if it’s happening because he’s seeing his dad keep him away from him, and also remember that kids require mental health days not weekends let him skip school and have a special day, I usually pick two fridays a year and take my daughter to the zoo or we go to a nice hotel just to go swimming and have room service, kids need reassurance and sometimes a spontaneous day is just what they need.

Has he had a strep infection recently? Take him to his Dr asap. Therapy. Swab for strep

I’m sitting down have a long conversation with him because people generally use that phrase when they’re angry an alarm where he got it from and explain to him what it really means. And if it continues I would seek professional help

Bring him to see a doctor that is not normal behavior for a little guy. Good luck

It’s not in a 4 yr. olds vernacular. He must be hearing it somewhere and repeating it. Ask him what he means and I bet he has no idea.


I would start documenting. & immediately start talking to him. He is a kid & they don’t understand the severity of certain things they hear or are told. Please see a counselor as well. Our babies are leaving us way to soon. Get that baby some help & you some guidance on the matter. Praying…

Force dad to have a talk. Get courts or authorities involved. Kids feel and no more then we think.

Talk to the lawyer and tell them what is going on and dont let him go to his dad that is sad hope he is ok the only reason i said lawyer is because if its Court ordered you have to let him go to his dad in less the court knows that there is a problem

Keep a good eye on him. And I would not let him go to his dad’s till you figure it out momma

Get him counseling ASAP


My nephew started saying that when his mother was saying it, it broke our hearts, thankfully now she is in rehab and he is safe with family until mom can get her mental health and drug problems taken care of. It’s definitely a learned or heard and repeated kind of behavior at such a young age!! I hope your ex can get himself well.

Kids that age usually don’t understand death. Maybe explain how final it is, no seeing mom or dad, and it helps them to get it a little more.

Start documenting this. Take him to a counselor who specializes in children, ask for supervised visits if this 1) comes out that he’s hearing it from his dad and 2) it becomes a pattern.

Councling could b a option or try sitting down w him n talking to him f that don’t work try councling some kids work better talking to a stranger then there own parents

BIG red flag!!! He’s 4!!! Something is happening. Counciling and dr.


I would stop allowing him to his dads untill u get to the bottom of it.

Ask him if he knows what it means and why hes saying it
Take him to the drs !!

Need to talk to dr. Or play therapists.

Set down and talk to your son, ask him were he heard that, and why he is saying it. And from his answers you should know . If he getting it from his dad, or were and youll know what to do . Talk to a lawyer, or what. My stepdaughter used that everytime she didnt get her way, cause her mother would say it when she didnt get her way. She still to this day uses it so ive heard it from her for 22 years

Supervised visits till dad gets his shit together cause the lil guy didn’t teach himself these thoughts

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Did you ask him if he knows what that means ?

That’s got to be terrifying. I’m so sorry you’re going through this!

My advice: Full testing by a child psychologist. Is there someone, including the ex who may be abusing him? Physically, emotionally, sexually?

Get him medical care, possibly his PCP or a counselor. Also, if it is severe enough and they think there is some type of mental health issues I would contact your lawyer and ask for advice if this started at his fathers house…especially if he shows no concern for it

Ask him where he heard it. If you have a community mental health take him there. They will talk to you guys and then set him up with a counselor. Ask him why he feels that way