You might think you are alone in this situation.. the only parent with a teenager who is cutting herself. You might wonder, “Why would she want to hurt herself?” “How does that possibly help her feel better?” I want to tell you that are most certainly not alone.
In the past week I received 3 calls from parents who recently learned of their teen’s cutting. All 3 were females in their mid teenage years. All 3 only tried it a handful of times and were “found out” by either a friend “reporting” their behavior to their own parent or by the teen herself telling her parent (usually her mom,) about the cutting out of fear.
The truth is these girls, and if you are reading this article, someone you know and love, are looking for a way to ease their emotional pain and they just don’t know another way to do it. The message to send is that there are healthier ways to handle their issues and if they don’t feel comfortable talking with you (and, no offense, most won’t want to) let them know you can help them find someone who can help them. Yelling and getting angry or trying to somehow “guilt” your daughter (or son) into stopping the cutting will not work. Teaching healthier communication skills and other ways to relieve tension are just some of the better alternatives.