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Lost.. how to support

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Lost.. how to support

My teen is self harming. We're trying to get him to a professional that has the skills to deal with it but meanwhile we're (parents) are feeling shut out scared, that we are crap parents and at a loss with what we do. It's so easy to say just be there for when he wants to talk. He has always talked to us about heaps of stuff. We usually have a fun loving relationship but now we don't know what triggers the self harm and when it is occurring. When we fight (e.g. tell him we're taking the phone because it's a family dinner) we're scared it will trigger him but he refuses to talk about it or sleep in our room where he/ we can feel safe. Up until 6 months ago he would happily sleep in our room. Up until 3 months ago he didn't cover up his body. We want to check on him and ask to see what he's done. Ultimate question... what can we ask of him? Can we ask what things he's used to cut? Can we ask to see the harm so we know how recently he's done it?
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Re: Lost.. how to support

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Hi @NamasteHope,


I'm sorry to hear about what's happening with your son, and it makes sense that right now you must be feeling very scared and worried about him, especially if it is something he doesn't want to talk about.


I think that right now you are doing one of the most important steps, which is getting your son to see someone that he can talk to about what's going on; it can also be really helpful for parents to meet with professionals themselves to ask questions and talk about how best to keep supporting your son.


In terms of what you can ask of him, I think that is a question that depends on a lot on what your son himself is comfortable or okay with, maybe trying to open up the conversation in a calm and nonjudgmental way and gauging how your son is reacting to it. This article on has some really great suggestions on ways you can try talking with him about what's going on and in the meantime I hope that you will be able to help your son find someone to talk to soon!