To the kid who thinks they’ve done something really really bad

Not too many kids read this website–most of you are past experiencing what we talk about personally and not yet onto what we're talking about navigating with our own kids. But maybe you ended up here by searching "mom will kill me" or "dad hates me" or "parents won't forgive me for this" or "i did something really bad" or "no way to get out of this."

Here's what I want to say to you: This is going to get better, no matter what you did.

I'm a mom. I have two kids. Boys. They do stuff that I don't like sometimes. I always like them. I always love them. There is nothing they could do that would make me not love them.

Your parents love you. You might have done something that's going to make them really mad at you. Or, even worse, really disappointed in you. They might punish you. But they love you. And they're going to help you fix whatever it is that you did. So stay here, even if it's scary and you can't see how it will possibly work out. Your parents will help you.

What if I'm wrong, because I don't know YOUR parents? What if your parents don't know how to love you, or how to give you the benefit of the doubt? What if your parents hurt you?

I am so sorry. You deserve to be loved. And taken care of. And not hurt. And someone out there will love you like your parents should, even if you haven't met that person yet. But there is someone that will help you. So don't kill yourself.

Please.

This morning, a friend of mine posted a letter from his brother and sister-in-law, whose 14-year-old son killed himself. Here's part of the letter they wrote to their son's friends:

"This
message is now for all of you. If you want to honor our son, then promise
to NEVER think there is a problem that can not be fixed. Everything can
be worked out someway…everything. Never solve anything on your own. We
just found out that our son panicked thinking he had made a terrible
choice over a common teen pressure. His life ended for NO reason. There
is nothing that he could have done that would have made us no longer
love him or help him. He just made an irrational decision. All he had to
do is come hug us and tell us he had a problem. We could have worked
through anything. Please know that that you to can work through
anything. Just talk to your family, friends, teachers, or preachers.
Most of all, look out for each other. Do not pressure each other for
things you are not ready for. If you are truly a friend, then want the
best for each other. It is time to honor our son's life by how you move
forward in your own life. May our sweet baby rest in peace. We love him
more than mere words could ever convey. Our life will never be the same."

No matter what you've done, it is going to get better. Just tell someone. Your parents love you and want to hug you and work through it. If you really can't tell your parents, talk to one of your friend's parents. (You know you have that friend whose mom tries to hug him in public? Or whose dad keeps trying to ask him how his day was? Go to them.) If there's no parent you can talk to, talk to a teacher.

Just please, please don't kill yourself. It won't solve your problem. The only way to solve your problem is to tell someone about it. Please stay.

 

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32 thoughts on “To the kid who thinks they’ve done something really really bad”

  1. Yes I’m also a mom of two and often wonder what my boys are thinking. Sometimes it’s a dead giveaway and without interrogation I know they are guilty, call it mom instinct.Other times I’m not quite so sure. There must be times when they hide things from me just as I did when I was a kid. Suppose I just need to keep telling them how much I love them regardless of lifes’ mishaps. I try to be open and honest with them as much as I can.
    There are too many young kids suffering anxiety and other peer pressures as it is.

  2. It’s my biggest fear… that one of my kids will think they’ve got a problem they can’t overcome. Thanks for reminding me that it’s time to have the talk again.

  3. My son got all panicked yesterday over thinking because he was not allowed to eat the lunch his dad had bought him (there was a nut product in it so the school wouldn’t let him open it) and the pure fear in his eyes when I picked him up just killed me. He really thought his dad would be furious with him. Although none of it was his fault.I’m going to paraphrase this letter for my boys tonight and keep doing that periodically. Kids need to know that we love them unconditionally and that we will help them get out of trouble.

  4. What I wish I had heard when I was younger and in trouble (and what I will tell my children):I am your parent, the adult. You’re the child, and you’re not expected to figure out how to resolve tough situations all on your own. You can be in over your head and I will help you. I have access to resources and experience that you don’t even realize, and I can use that to help. There are ways to fix this that you haven’t even thought of yet. Let’s figure it out together, but it’s my job, as your parent, to take the reins here and help with the tough decisions. If needed, I’ll even make those tough decisions for you. I don’t want you to carry your burden alone. Come to me and let me help. I want to, and I can.

  5. So… to you, the kid who is now looking through the comments…Moxie alluded to the fact that your parents might be THOSE parents. Maybe your parents aren’t around and someone else is taking care of you and they pretty much suck at it. Maybe you think that if someone finds out what you’ve done that they’ll hurt you, or they’ll kick you out, or they’ll ridicule you, or they’ll leave. Maybe you think that your mistake will totally ruin the life of someone you love. I have a lot of friends who have been in your shoes and I know that they had very good reason to think that their parents/adults weren’t on their side, and when they screwed up as kids they got super scared, too.
    The point is, there ARE people who care about you and who will absolutely help you regardless of what you did. For most kids that’s their parents, but in your case it may not be your parents or the people you stay with. But just like Moxie said, “You deserve to be loved. And taken care of. And not hurt. And someone out there will love you like your parents should, even if you haven’t met that person yet. But there is someone that will help you. So don’t kill yourself.”
    If whoever’s taking care of you has already hurt you for something way smaller than what you did this time, I believe it when you say that you have good reason to be scared. You know already how effed up life can be. You know how to do hard things – you’re a survivor, and you can survive this. There are people who want to help you. Please let them help you! Finding them might not be easy but please keep trying. Find a teacher or a counselor or a social worker. Or ask someone to hook you up with the number for an organization called United Way… almost every part of the country has a United Way organization and part of their job is to connect kids like you with people who can help.
    Don’t try and be a hero and go this alone. We all need help sometime. NOW is your time. You are so very strong and you can get through this. I’m so, so sorry for what you’re going through. I am praying for you and/or sending good thoughts your way, however you prefer to look at it.

  6. As a 17 year old I tried to commit suicide, obviously did not work since I am writing about it now. I was lucky, cause after my suicide attempt, one of my aunts made sure she was always around to talk to me and make sure I was ok. If you have parents with whom you cannot communicate (which was my case), then find someone who you trust and will take care of you when you need to talk it out.

  7. And if you’re a kid reading these comments, I want to share that there are great, glorious days ahead. When I was in college I wanted to kill myself, I went so far as to hold the knife over my wrists…and then I couldn’t do it. There have been so many wonderful days since that very dark one that I think “If I’d killed myself I’d never have this.” There are the very obvious glorious days — like my wedding and the birth of each of my children. But also, there are the simple glorious days, just sitting in the son, listening to my kids laugh, smelling the lilacs, feeling peace, when I’m so happy to have made it through to have this wonderful day.

  8. Thanks for posting this Moxie. I’m so sorry for your friend’s and the family’s loss.My sensitive, hold everything in and try to push it down til he acts crazy, 7 y.o. boy has been having some troubles, and was also having some tough memories about an incident at his old school where he made a questionable choice and has some icky shame feelings about. We were processing the old stuff (from a year and a half ago) and I told him, “I told you back then, and I’ll remind you, there is NOTHING you could do, no mistake you could make, that would ever change the love Mom & Dad have for you. Etc.” And then he opened up and told me about some other things that he’s been holding onto, and he feels so much better for getting them out.
    So THANK YOU. Very grateful. And sorry that it is the result of a crappy tragedy.

  9. Your style is unique in comparison to other folksI have read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just
    book mark this blog.

  10. I did something really stupid yesterday at school and i dont know why i did it but my parents are so dissapointed and ive felt so depressed since yesterday when i got in trouble and i had thoughts of leaving but i ended up at this website and it completely changed my pov on things thankyou so much moxie and all of the people who comment on here i know how to handle this now

  11. yes i am also a mum of 4 kids 2 boys 2 girls and the girls are tiwas and the you gets feels really sad because her brother and sisters don,t play with her

  12. This is a really big help. I messed up big time tonight and I think I’ve spoiled something really important. My parents are devastated, and I’m not sure they should even love me after this. I know I can’t go back, and I know I deserve to feel guilty, but I wish there was a quick fix for what I did.

  13. I done something bad at school and I don’t know what to tell my parents and I’m getting really nervous. Can someone pls reply

    1. I did something really bad and im really scared to tell my parents because I don’t want to be in trouble Even though I should. I was spray painting something for a project at school but then I looked at the wall and there was a smiley face two of them and I felt like it was like a mark that someone put there with a spray so I walked up to the wall and I made a small face but then my friend saw me so then she made a face right next to mine and then i started to get scared but then someone else walked outside and said hey you missed a spot and tried to say no but she took the can and made a sad face I was really scared because now there was three faces instead of one and it is way more noticeable . Then another guy came out and said Hey what are you guys doing and then he said don’t do it without me and he grabbed the can and I said no more were all going to be in trouble now and when I said that he put a face on. I was mad that they didn’t listen but then again none of this would have happened if I didn’t spray the face on the wall in the first place. So all of their punishments are on me and now we all don’t get to be involved with the haunted house we have been building. And we have to talk about it to the vice princable. And we have to tell our parents but I just don’t know how can someone please help me out. I really also don’t want to be kicked out of this collegiate school because I really like it. And that’s the most terrorfying part besides telling my parents I’ve been crying and I feel horrible.

      1. hello. i understand you’ve done something wrong. i am a child just like you. I’ve done something super terrible to. even worse then you.. i understand how nervous you always feel. and the sudden jumps when you see the people who where involved.
        all you have to do is tell your parents before the school or even the police do. then it will seem to them like you were hiding it. and you never felt bad at all.
        you need to tell them the full story and tell them how bad you regret it.. also for some more advice and encouragement call kids help phone. it will really help (1-800-668-6868) at first i thought it was really dumb to call. but surprisingly it really helps. just make the call and tell your parents.

    2. @Jessica

      Hey there. How did it go with your parents? I hope things went well. πŸ˜€ I totally know what you mean by that feeling. Once I broke a window at my local teen hangout spot. I was so scared that my parents would be mad but then I told them and they were cool about it. It’s taken me a while to understand that sometimes it’s best for adults to take the reigns and show you how it’s done. It’s their job to teach you how to clean up your mess but also their job to help before you go out into the world on your own. I bet this is something you’ll laugh at in a few years.

  14. (Warning, this story may not be best for the young ones out there) So… I doubt anyone will actually read this, but I really need to say something, even if it’s only to get it off my chest. Before I start, I just want to say that for as long as I can remember, I’ve kept my feelings inside about a lot of things. I’ve been told many times from a young age to not be dramatic, so I get so confused over whether I’m being melodramatic and trying to get attention or whether I actually need help. I decided to give myself the benifit of the doubt. So, here goes. When I was 9 years old, I stumbled across hardcore pornography for the first time. I was sort of scared/intrigued (you know that feeling?), so I kept on with it, not fully knowing what I was doing. It’s been many years since then, and I’ve started getting out of my habit, but I’ve had a relapse yesterday/today. I feel trapped. I’ve wanted to tell my parents for a long time (about a year), but I can’t get the courage. I am a Christian, and I find sexual purity very important. So do my parents, and my entire family. I know they’re going to be disappointed, and it breaks my heart. But I know I can’t go through on my own. I’m not afraid of punishment. I’m scared that I’ll ruin everything. Also, I need to apologize to them for lying about this. I’ve pretended to be that "perfectly mature child" that doesn’t struggle with common teen/child issues all my life, and I feel like I’ve been lying for so long even I have begun to believe it. Are there any parents reading this? Or maybe others going through the same thing? I feel so ashamed of myself, and I’ve even considered ending it until I realized that this isn’t nearly worth my life. It makes me so sad that your friend’s in-law’s son took his life over a struggle that he could have overcome if he knew his parents’ love for him was that strong. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, truely, they are. I see that these comments are all from 2 years ago, and this sounds so selfish and shameless, but if anyone sees this, and could reply, you have no idea how much that would mean to me. If I know that just one person read this and that one person cares, it will help me a lot. I haven’t told anyone about this, besides an online prayer group/subscription thing, but it was very impersonal and I didn’t get much out of it.

    Thank you, as well, Ms. Moxie. You’ve helped me realize something very important. I wish I could email you, but I don’t have nearly enough money, haha… If I could, I would love to support you, though!

    1. Wow. This is just such an amazing story to come across, for I have been looking for someone out there like me. I have done many things, ruined many days, trips, vacations… or at least part of them, for the shameful fact that I just cannot admit myself. I cannot accept my weaknesses because I am afraid I’ll get defeated, or even worse, just be a bad person for life. And the confusion that you’ve suffered, I go through the same thing. I make so many dumb excuses like, "I didn’t take my pill this morning," or "I’m having a rough day," …that even I believe them. That I never even know what to think or say about myself anymore, that I’m practically made of excuses. Thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one who feels bad about myself. And, besides, simply talking about this to your parents is not going to be such a big deal. They won’t hate you, they’ll still always love you, and they probably won’t be upset forever. And, if it makes you feel any better, tears can sometimes feel good as you drift to sleep that night… and wake up the next morning as a new person.

  15. I’m a child.. I did something really stupid some years ago.. probably something a child shouldn’t do..Probably no child have done this.. i could be in prison in some years..And at one point in my life i know Everyone will find out.. And when that happends. I wanna kill myself.. This is really great and all. But.. What if you did that big mistake.. That is bigger than anything.. My life is great. But that is the only thing i regret. I will anyways get in prison in some years, So why not end my life? ..

    1. Don’t kill yourself. Your life has value. My parents tell me this story (I’m 11, 12 tomorrow), that there’s an "accountant". He keeps track of everything you do. If the "string cuts", it’s wasted. So, don’t waste your string. Keep your string, and make it something better.

  16. I am a sixth grader that really did something bad at school. I spat on a teachers car and someone saw it. I had to wash the car and when mom would come home. I had to tell her but how. She will kill me if i tell her what i did. I will lose her trust and she will hate me. She wont talk to me in days. How can i say what i did?

  17. I broke a girl’s phone by bumping my friend into her, and I don’t have any ideas about how to tell my parents this πŸ™ Any ideas please?

  18. I’m an 11 year old kid, 12 tomorrow. This really consulted me with my problem. I was never thinking suicide, but I was worried. There’s this kid I know, and he has a low IEP, so he has to go to this special lunch. I go with him, to make him feel "normal", because the other kids have some pretty recognizable issues, such as autism. He only has ADHD. My teacher said she was talking with my other teachers, and how proud they were that I did that for him. Towards the end of the day, I was passing out our school newspaper. They called me down to the assistant principals office. The principal is usually a good thing, but the assistant principal is usually never a good thing, unless you get a positive referral. This girl, she’s always talking about how she doesn’t like what her friend does. She’s bossy, rude, disrespectful, etc. She doesn’t want to be her friend. I tried to help her de-friend her in the most positive way, but she was too scared. Some mornings, I talk with my friend. Sometimes he "bad-mouths" the two girls behind their back, which eventually led to me at my swimming class, which both the girls are in, to saying, "She’s an F-Brat". The girl said, "I’ve been wanting to say that my whole life". The girl got offended because I think she heard that. At school, she "wrote me up", and brought my friend, her friend, her, and me to the office. It was all cleared up and everyone left – except for me. When I told my story, the girl who wanted to de-friend the other girl got all defensive. When the girl said she heard she was called an "F-brat", the girl who agreed with me said, "I never agreed, I said I didn’t think of her that way, and she was always my best friend". I realized that the girl who I insulted never actually did anything wrong, and it was just my friend bad-mouthing her, and me getting all up in their, as my assistant principal said and I quote, "Girl drama". I realized that another part which led me to say that, was that my sister swears a lot at school and it was a bad influence. I’m supposed to be a leader at my school. I was one of the 20 kids out of 50 who were picked for our 6th Grade (top grade of the school) Leadership Council. (There’s not a 5th grade team). I’ve gotten two positive referrals/positive phone calls to my parents. My assistant principal said this. I’m afraid I’ll be revoked from Leadership Council, get a detention, suspension, miss 6th grade camp, or get my first "signature". What do I do?

  19. thx so much moxie for this website. ive been looking for a way to confess to my parents about something really bad i did. like really bad. and i dont know how todo it. i got in trouble by the head for it and she is gonna speak tomy mom about this. i want to confess but im afraidshe will hate me and never talk to me ever. ive been having bad thoughts but im really just scared ill be grounded and pressurised, cosmy parents beleive my grades are the most important thing to them for now…………and i was wrting notes in my class and the head got hold of it. it had swearing and bad stuff. my best friend was also involved. it was both of our faults no less no more.

    p.s. im a 13yr old

  20. something really bad happened and when I told my family I told only the second part of the story but not the first, which made me seem bad. One day later they found out the whole story and they got extremely mad and hurt. I haven’t eaten in 6 days and I can’t really sleep. In one way I feel very guilty but in another way I feel like I need their support from what happened. My parents are okay now but my sibling, especially my sister won’t even talk to me anymore. The last 4 days I have wanted to take my life (as bad as planning out how I would do it and writing my note on my phone) but now I don’t know anymore, because I think maybe my family will care???

  21. I am a 13 year old boy who I bought stuff using my dads debit card for games and now I’m scared if he is going to be angry at me pls help I’m sooooo scared😱😱😱😱

  22. So me and my friend the past two days ago were going to our local pool and we were being really stupid and bringing the chairs into the pool, but at the end we took them out. So today I was just riding my bike and i stop at the pool and I see a sign that says that the cameras work and that my friend and I have been identified and that we were gonna get prosecuted!!.. and I am scared to death to tell my mom but I know she would either get super mad at me or she would be simpithetic about it. I called my friend and told him about the sign and he said that I should just tell her about it because she could deal with it but I just don’t know how to tell her. Someone, just please try to respond because I’m nervous.

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