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15 yo self harm & skipping school

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15 yo self harm & skipping school


15 yo self harm & skipping school

Im relatively new to this step parent thing. I have two sons under the age of 10 and my partner has a 15 yo daughter.
We all have come from broken DV families some time ago. My partner and I have since provided positive and loving environment at home with stability.
15 yo step daughter is skipping school so consequence was grounding and removal of devices etc.
Ambulance came after she admitted taking an overdose of medicine. I am beside myself with worry, fear and panic.

Now, knowing that she is ok Im also cranky. Is this normal?
We are getting her much needed help and are providing her with unconditional support there is only one person that can turn this around and that is her!
Hopefully with help from a psychiatrist she will be able to develop strategies to help her deal with social anxiety issues she is feeling at school.
Teenagers these days have very little respect and seem to get away with not facing their problems like we had to growing up. It frustrates me to no end.

Her moods are up and down its like being on a roller coaster.
How can I best help her while giving her confidence to face up to challenges that life throws at us every day?

I fear we are not raising resilient adults in these uncertain challenging times.

How do we raise respectful teenagers without them walking all over us expecting the world?

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Re: 15 yo self harm & skipping school

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Hi @Bobby232 , 


Firstly, I'm so sorry to hear about what happened with your stepdaughter, that must have been a really challenging and confronting thing to go through. You describe feeling cranky now that you know that she's ok - I think it's completely normal to feel a range of emotions after something like that, especially as you're recovering from that initial shock.  Giving her that unconditional support and making sure she is getting professional help is by far the most important thing you can do for her, and it sounds like you and your partner are doing the best you can to provide a stable and loving environment for her, which is huge. Have you had any professional supports for yourselves? 


I'm wondering if your stepdaughter has ever opened up about why she was skipping school, and what led her to attempt to take her life? It's great that she's already seeing a psychiatrist, a psychologist can also be a great person to work with to help to unpack what was happening for her, and also build coping skills for the future. Your local Headspace can be a great place to start as they specialise in youth mental health and provide free services to Australians aged 12-25, they also offer online counselling at eHeadspace, and phone counselling services.  You can also get a mental health plan through a GP to see a private psychologist with a medicare rebate for up to 20 sessions. 


Does your stepdaughter have any hobbies that she enjoys, like sport, or music? Activities like that, especially ones that involve teamwork and working together towards a goal, can be great for teaching persistence and resilience. We also have some great resources on helping teens build resilience that you can check out here. 

We also have a great article on different coping strategies that you can help to teach teens  that I thought might be helpful. 


Thinking of you and your family - is your step daughter back at school now? How did your sons cope with what happened? 


If you think it would be helpful for you to talk to a professional to get some advice on how to help to support your step daughter and navigate these difficult times, we do offer a free one to one parents support service  which is available online or over the phone - you can find out more about that here