Self harming pre-teen

(4 Posts)
lucywiltshire Sun 18-May-14 21:01:24

My 12 year old niece (13 in July) is self harming (cutting her arms). This has only just come to light although she has been very down since last Sept. Her brother went off to university then and her mum's relationship with her step-father ended very suddenly at Christmas. She has started counselling although so far has refused to open up to the counsellor but she has told her mum she hates the way she looks and hates her personality. She might be only 12 but she looks 18, is very tall and slim and wears very heavy make up which makes her look so grown up. Anyone have any experience of dealing with this and able to offer some advice on how best to tackle the issue?

khadra2001 Mon 26-May-14 12:34:22

I know a girl that my DD is friends with she used to cut herself.
I think that she is maybe being bullied at school because of the way she looks
If she will not open up then make her feel like she can trust you and you will understand her.
Maybe her friends or other people in her class know about something.
You can ask her teacher to be aware if she is being bullied many children can cut themselves if they are being bullied.
you can tell her to check this website below:

www.childline.org.uk/Pages/Home.aspx

I hope this helped

khadra2001 Mon 26-May-14 12:35:06
LaMamita Wed 28-May-14 15:17:01

Hi, I am very sorry your family has to go through this very troubling experience. Please take action NOW. I'd recommend to be honest and open w/ her letting her know you know she has been harming herself. In a very loving way try to take from her the burden of repeating what you know for a fact. Let her know that some people do that too (she is not alone) and make a simple straightforward list of all the ways you worry about that (you love her and worry for her well being, health issues etc)... after that... (given she done telling you about what she does to harm herself in specific ways).
Then I'd ask one simple question: What needs to happen for you to stop harming yourself? Do not interrupt her. Absorb all her information and non verbal behavior and cues. What she says is your plan...
If you think is appropriate and you see the opp. ask her what is her plan when she cuts herself... is she planning to take her life? is she planning to see if she can overcome pain? This is important. It makes her think for consequences in a moment when she can't hurt herself cause you are there. Is important to know if indeed she has considered taking her life. If she volunteers that specific information you are dealing with an emergency (cause she has a plan and is prone to execute it). In this case she should be taken with a specialist immediately. Her life is at risk and you have just come to that knowledge. if not...
Thank her for opening up. Tell her that you will help her with the information she gave you. You don't need to offer specific solutions at the time. Tell her you will develop a plan for her and will get back with it. Then do it. If she wants to keep talking is ok BUT if it is possible try to stop the conversation, divert the topic of go to a lighter topic.
I will be praying for you and your family.

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