14 teen cutting

Sandra - posted on 01/04/2014 ( 4 moms have responded )




I am so angry and I know I need to be empathetic. Last night, my 14 year old daughter showed my husband where she had cut herself and says she has been cutting since the end of summer. She has a circle of friends that includes a girl who is suicidal and cutting that she had told me she was helping. After research, it turns out having a friend that cuts is the number one risk factor. She says she cuts because she is mad at me--for rules that I have--like no phone after 8pm. I just feel so manipulated! She has a stable family, food in her tummy, a warm place to sleep every night and instead of being grateful, she does this! All because she wants more freedom at 14--what girl doesn't? I have a call into a psychologist so we will start down that road but I am so mad!!


Rebekah - posted on 01/04/2014




Ignoring the cuts may cause other problems... it is attention-getting behavior, so give her attention...from parents and the psychologist and give her more appropriate ways of communication. AND, the professional can impress upon her the consequences of using cutting as an outlet, as well as try to give her some tools to help herself if she is getting stressed out (or influenced by) this friend who is dealing with serious emotional problems.

If you bent the rules to stop her from cutting, THAT would be rewarding (and reinforcing) her behavior. Sounds like you aren't going to do that.

And...though she initially blames the rule issue for her behaviors, I would look at it as a larger problem of her needing to find appropriate ways to manage her frustrations/feelings. Maybe she's overwhelmed with this friend situation, or there is other stress/pressure going on. Don't always take the first explanation as the only explanation.

Good luck, and good call to go to a psychologist.


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Amber - posted on 01/05/2014





I don't believe cutting --- ie: inflicting physical harm, --- to ones self or someone else is "attention getting behavior"

It is an indication of a serious problem emotionally, and this is your childs way of a coping mechanism.
This sort of behaviour leads to teen suicide... it is a VERY serious issue.

Sandra - posted on 01/04/2014




I just don't know if it is better to try to ignore the cuts to minimize the attention-getting behavior or if that escalates the attention seeking. I refuse to change my rules and give into this blackmail. Hopefully the psychologist can help. I just can't believe this has happened.

Amber - posted on 01/04/2014




Honestly, you need to scare her straight... before she cuts too deeply and dies.
Sorry if I'm brutal. Just honest.

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