Teenage is a crucial period in everyone’s life. While some have colorful memories of their teenage years, what others might have can be painful. No matter what you went through when you were growing up it is your duty that your teenager should not be hating everything about their teen years.
If you have noticed that your teen boy or teen girl has been having a tough time at school and in other aspects, then you should be making things easy for them at home.
Do not give away to the thoughts such as they are causing too much drama or they are just overreacting. Self-harming is an act that many teenagers get into when they feel distressed or overwhelmed.
Tips That Parents Can Try To Avoid Self-Harming In Teens
These are the tips and strategies for self-harming in teens that you as a parent can try doing. You can also talk with your teen and let them know that they can always help themselves and prevent them from harming themselves.
When you find out that your teen has been self-harming it can indeed be shocking and painful to you. But realize that this is the time that they need the most support from you and as the parent of the child, you should be the one who is supporting your child the most.
Here are some tips that you can try doing when you find out that your teenager is harming themselves. The first tip is to not panic.
- Provide first aid, if there are any cuts or wounds
- Rush to medical help if it is a serious injury
- Stay calm and patient
Your teen might not always be able to tell exactly what is going on with them. Even after asking them or encouraging them to talk multiple times if they do not start talking, do not lose your calm and be patient with your teen.
- Listen actively
Listen to their issue or what has been going on in their life and while they are talking:
- Do not be judgemental
- Do not dismiss their feelings
- Be respectful
- Be reassuring
In case you have not actually seen them harming themselves but have noticed any scars or wounds on them, you can talk to them gently and let them know that you are there for them no matter what and assure them you will never judge them and will never leave their side.
Strategies That Parents Can Implement To Avoid Self-Harming In Teens
These are some strategies that you can introduce your teenager to:
You will always be there for them but at times there can be some situations where you are not physically present around them. Your teenager should be trying to stop self-harming.
Tell your child that you really want to help them, but without their support, it can not be done. Ask the child to help you in order to help them back and that without their help you can not do anything.
Convince your teenager that they can help themselves. Your teen will be, in most cases, the first person who can identify the thoughts that they are having. In such conditions ask them to
- Find you and help them to think about something else
- Go for a walk
- Go for a run
- Listen to music
- Draw or paint something
- Write down
- Breathing exercises
- Get professional help
You should provide your teen with professional helpline numbers.
The Bottom Line
Your teenagers might or might not be harming themselves. If they are and when you come across that, the bottom line is to understand that it is not the time for criticism and advising. It is the time to be non-judgemental and to think from their shoes.
Always keep in mind that most of the time teens will not want to harm themselves and they might be also trying to stop themselves from doing that. And in such a situation your support and the way you respond matters the most.
Q. What are a few self-harm minimization strategies?
A few self-harm minimization strategies to try are to hold ice, punch on a pillow, scream into a pillow, pinch yourself,
Q. What should I do when I find my teenager is self-harming?
You should immediately treat the injuries, and make sure that there are no further injuries. Let the teenager know that you want to talk with them and be supportive of them.
Q. Is self-harming a kind of suicide attempt?
In most of the cases, no. People who harm themselves usually do it without the intention to kill themselves.