One out of five children are fearful at holidays



The commercials have started talking about all the fantastic presents you can get for one another and vacations you can take and all talking about FAMILY! Actors, politicians, school teachers, all acting excited of the upcoming holidays and again talking about spending more time with their family. The excitement and happiness seems to just be increasing for these people. For children like myself growing up in alcoholic/drug addicted and abusive homes, the only thing that increases is anxiety, stress and hopelessness. As much as school at times seemed to be an adversary of mine it was a shelter from me being at home. Now with school off and parents off from work children are now forced to be closer to and spend more time with their abusive parents and feel trapped in horribly anxiety filled and abusive homes. To make matters worse, active alcoholics and drug abusers will drink and drug even more during the holidays, becoming more violent than ever; and the verbal abuse from the domestic bullies become constant and overwhelming.

As a child I would cringe at conversations and TV shows about the holidays because they just acted as reminders of how dysfunctional my home, family and life was. One out of every five children today is the child of an alcoholic or drug abuser. Most of which live with some form of abuse and probably violence. They become miserable during the holidays and as a result of this, is it any wonder why so many children run away from home? They are desperate in trying to escape what they feel is a prison of abuse and pain. I call them more of “escapees” than runaways. Not to mention this is another reason why teen suicide will escalate, because it’s just another escape from feeling trapped in abuse and total hopelessness. It is so important for teachers, coaches, youth group leaders and club coordinators to arm young people with helpful information so that they know there are other alternatives than running away and suicide.

The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook provides personal perspective so that they know they are not the only ones with their problems in the world, encouragement and information of where to get help, and most of all hope! Because hope is the antidote to despair, depression and thoughts of taking one’s live and running away. The fact that The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook is an insert in Steve Simpson’s four young adult action-fiction novels it takes away from the embarrassment of a young person asking for it or the confrontation of a concerned adult or peer wanting to offer the helpful information to the young person in crisis. A concerned relative/professional/friend can even say it’s their holiday gift to them.

For signs of a young person who might be leaning towards running away or thinking of suicide, a disconnect from the family or even friends and things they normally like to do can be a sign, also a lack of interest in anything, being tired a lot, isolating themselves and many will make comments about not being able to take anymore and wanting to end it all which should not be taken lightly. The best sign that your child might be looking to harm themselves during the holidays is YOU! If you or your partner has an ongoing drinking or drug problem, or you know there is dysfunction or abuse in your home, including verbal abuse, don’t ever take verbal abuse lightly, it has been the cause of many suicides. Then you need to be honest and take action to protect your children.

Steve Simpson is a publisher, author, an expert of experience and an award-winning advocate for at-risk children. Simpson has taken his own experience as a victim of child abuse and devoted his career to exposing abuse, advocating on behalf of survivors, and spreading abuse prevention strategies for children, mandated reporters, parents and communities. For over 30 years Simpson has run a Nassau County, NY youth/young adult group called “Together We Can Make It,” sharing his experiences and giving support to its members. He has presented to hundreds of audiences around the country and has advised and consulted with various media outlets regarding the topics of teen runaways, suicide, abuse, alcoholism, self-esteem, etc. He has appeared on numerous national TV shows including Montel Williams, Sally Jesse Raphael, Geraldo, Ricki Lake, Maury Povich and the NBC News Network. His first novel, Runaway, has been endorsed by the National Runaway Switchboard as well as several national school curriculums and is now being re-released to include The Teenage and Young Adult Survival Handbook.

Runaway along with his three other titles, Who Am I?, The World is Wrong and Child’s Island, are all available for purchase at the author’s website as well as Amazon.  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to charity.