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Betraying my daughters trust regarding friends self harming?

(58 Posts)
lizzielogs Wed 14-Nov-12 12:28:15

My 13 yr old came home from school in tears yesterday & made me swear if she told me something I wouldn't tell anyone else. She told me two of her girl friends are self harming. I don't know the families directly, but feel I should notify the school & let them take action. This will betray my daughter though, & I am so happy she felt she could discuss this with me.

stinkinseamonkey Wed 14-Nov-12 12:30:17

I think you need to explain to your daughter that you will never betray her trust unless someone is at physical risk by you keeping quiet, which they are in this case.
Just like a teacher or anyone who works with young or vulnerable people would say

WaitingForMe Wed 14-Nov-12 12:30:50

You could tell the school that self-harming is going on without naming the girls directly. I'd hope a decent head teacher would want to arrange a suitable speaker/workshop leader to come in and talk to everyone.

littlewhitebag Wed 14-Nov-12 12:33:06

This does need to passed on and the school would be the best place to do this. Why not encourage your DD to speak to her friends and get her to support them to speak to their guidance teacher themselves. If she won't do that then you have a duty of care to let the school know.

YouSeveredHead Wed 14-Nov-12 12:36:55

You do need to say something

KatyPeril Wed 14-Nov-12 12:38:04

Not much more to add as you've received really good advice above. I started self-harming at this age and wish something had been done about it, as it became an addiction, and is something I still struggle with now at 27.

SusanneLinder Wed 14-Nov-12 12:38:07

I had a very similar issue. I hate to make generalisations but there seemed to be some kind of "culture" going on that somehow it is "cool" to self harm among teenagers at moment. hmm I had a very quiet word with the school regarding this issue and I believe they got a youth group leader in to discuss this .

I did not bring my daughters name into it, and she never knew I phoned, but I know teachers were made aware so that they could look out for it eg people wearig long sleeved tops at PE etc etc.

lizzielogs Wed 14-Nov-12 12:40:52

Thank you all for good advice. It's just confirmed what I thought. Will speak to her tonight & hopefully she'll see that it's for their good. After all, if it was her harming, I would want to know.

surfingbabies Wed 14-Nov-12 12:42:46

Good luck, its hard being a parent at the best of times isn't it smile

WorraLiberty Wed 14-Nov-12 12:44:56

Definitely say something.

Schools are well used to dealing with certain situations without getting the informant into trouble.

Good luck

manicinsomniac Wed 14-Nov-12 12:46:22

When I was 13 my friend told a teacher that I was self harming and the teacher phoned my mum. I refused to speak to this friend for a week or so but she is one of the only school friends I am still in touch with now and, from an adult perspective, she obviously did the right thing.

So yes, I think you need to do something. You could try and keep your daughter's name out of it but,e ven if you can't, I think her friends will come round and 'forgive' her in time (not that there's anything to forgive, she's being a friend!)

JaxTellerIsMyFriend Wed 14-Nov-12 12:47:33

I agree with the poster who said it seems to be a biarre 'in thing' to be doing at the moment, especially amongst pre teens and new teens.

I would alert the school without naming names. They will know how to deal with this sort of thing. My DS school does.

steppemum Wed 14-Nov-12 12:48:59

what seamonkey said, explain to your daughter, and phone school. You can ask specifically that your dughters name is kept out

HorraceTheOtter Wed 14-Nov-12 13:08:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Mousefunk Wed 14-Nov-12 13:56:38

A friend of mine when I was ten started self harming seemingly for attention. At the time someone on a well known TV programme was self harming and I gather she found it 'cool'.. well she came to school telling us someone had done it with a knuckle duster (we had no idea what the hell that was and knew she'd done it herself with a razor) hmm

I told my mum who then told her mum without fail, you definitely should do the same or at least tell the school. Your DD won't resent you forever over it, don't worry. When she grows up a bit she'll see you did what was right.

valiumredhead Wed 14-Nov-12 14:03:54

Am I the only one who wouldn't say anything?

I wouldn't because I would want my dd to trust me and if it ever got out she'd never tell me anything again.

I would encourage my dd to let her friends know where to seek help if they want it.

I might tell the school but without naming names directly.

musicmadness Wed 14-Nov-12 14:05:54

You do need to tell them but please be prepared that if the other girls know it was your DD that told you may be dealing with friendship issues for a while, and your DD might be very angry at you.

It depends on why they are self harming but when another girl reported I was self harming in high school I completely stopped speaking to her. Looking back as an adult I can see she did the right thing (not that it helped) but I couldn't see it at the time or for a long time afterwards.

mirry2 Wed 14-Nov-12 14:08:37

I would definitely tell the school but would insist that my dd's name was left out of it. Surely there are school policies on how to handle this sort of thing.

valiumredhead Wed 14-Nov-12 14:09:10

Thinking about this more, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't say anything because of what music said.

School is a big place and there is all sorts going on there, you can't swoop in and save everyone and not sure it's appropriate to either tbh.

I am currently sitting on a couple of things ds has told me and I'm not going to say anything, they'll come out in the end without any help from me.

valiumredhead Wed 14-Nov-12 14:09:35

I wouldn't trust the school to keep dd's name out of it.

Yellowtip Wed 14-Nov-12 14:12:37

A very withdrawn girl at school was in the loo drinking vodka (Y9) and when I surprised her (I think it was late after school) she blurted out that her dad was abusing her (though not her twin). She begged me not to tell anyone. Really begged. So I didn't. She disappeared from school not long afterwards and we never knew why, nor did I ever say anything about what she'd said.

I still think I made a bad call.

I think you should talk to the school; this girl almost certainly needs help.

valiumredhead Wed 14-Nov-12 14:13:17

Oh God yellow sad

mirry2 Wed 14-Nov-12 14:14:47

Valium, what would be your view if it was your daughter that was self harming and another parent knew but didn't say?

Yellowtip Wed 14-Nov-12 14:15:32

valium I'd have thought the trust issue was secondary to the needs help issue.

musicmadness Wed 14-Nov-12 14:16:04

The school kept my friends name out of it, as she was the only one who knew it was still fairly obvious who told. It didn't help anyway, the teacher asked if I self harmed, I said no and that was it. I had never cut my arms so there was no physical evidence that the teacher could see.

Mentioning it without any names at all might be a better way around this, they can then cover self harm in PSHE or something general for everyone, but there is no way to trace that back to your DD.

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