Need help now?

My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

Active scribe

Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

My daughter recently messaged a friend on 2 occasions that she was going to kill herself and that she was scared..(of what we do not know). This has in turn spiralled me into a mini breakdown, we both have been to the Dr's on different occasions where we both have been advised for counselling. My daughter broke down with the Dr n told him that she does it cos my mum (her Nan) passed away from Cancer.
I thought I was strong but not n broke down to my boss and got sent home from work and now am off for a week. Eating n sleeping are very difficult and constantly crying like a running tap.
Our support network is very strong friends n family ave been and r very supportive. But seeking that extra help I'm hoping will help us both! For others out there keep talking no matter how hard we r all super mum n superdad but sometimes we need help ourselves. 🌻👍
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

Message contains a hyperlink

Hi @Sunshine, I'm sorry to hear that things have been so stressful and that your daughter is feeling so suicidal. And I'm really sorry to hear that you both lost her Nan. That's really sad, and a big loss like that can be difficult to process.


It may not feel like it at the moment, but it's actually a good thing your daughter is telling friends. I'm not an expert by any means, but my first thought was that she's scared because she doesn't really want to die, she just really needs the pain to stop. I know when my daughter was very suicidal, it's extremely hard as a parent to hear. We want the best for them and wish we could just wave a magic wand and fix everything. Counselling for you both is a great move, and good on you for being proactive, not only for your daughter, but for your own mental health as well. 


ReachOut offers coaching for parents which I found to be really useful. It's free and flexible, and done online and over the phone. Have a look at the link here to find out more.

Super contributor

Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

Hey @Sunshine

My sincerest condolences for you losing your mum. She must have been very special to both you and your daughter. I'm so sorry for you both. What a huge loss.


It's so great that you're home and feeling your feelings, which I know is so bloody hard to do but is so much better than running from them or numbing them.


Can I ask what you think would be most helpful for yourse3lf and your daughter right now?  Have you considered something like grief counselling for you both?


Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

I hear you! My 12 year old is also self harming. Just  a few days shy of her birthday, I am considering cancelling everything. Not as punishment but because I was planning a sleep over with one girl and not sure if that is fair to the other child. I, too, am so angry and confused. I dragged myself out of bed to make a cake, arranged this crazy surprise celebration, running around and yet, she cuts herself. I know it cannot be helped and she did not readily tell us, but I'm still angry, What did I do wrong? My husband/stepfather wonders if he has done something wrong? I'm definitely knocked down; but not knocked out. Tomorrow, I cancelled all of my work, will pull her from school, and take her wherever she needs to go. Is this the right response? Should I cancel the sleep over?


Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

Hello dear, I know you're under a lot of stress due to your daughters self harm and wondering where you went wrong. Children self harm due to various reasons, being unable to cope with stress, being bullied, sexually abused and anxiety are some of the reasons. Your 12 year old is at a very tender age and does not have coping skills to deal with stress. Please be a support to her. Build her confidence that no matter what you are always there for her. Knee jerk reaction from you will just isolate her and make her feel that you don't understand her.
When my 12 year old started to self harm,she confessed to feeling like a failure , feeling worthless. Teachers in school were constantly after her back because she was not doing well in school, homework was never handed in on time. So we started to focus on her studies and made sure we worked with her and gave her lots of support. One year down the line she has scored above 80% in her exam results and has a very strong sense of achievement. All her teachers praise her performance in class. Now she looks forward to going to school. It's been almost 8-9 months sines she harmed herself.
All children want is our support, find out the cause of her self harm and deal with he root cause.
All the best.
Active scribe

Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

My daughter has been talking to a 10 year old about self harm, looks like they knowers each other through their online math class.
My daughter started self harm by showing this poor 10 year old all the scary pictures. The 10 year old is a really happy good kid, cared about her, asked her to stop. I feel my daughter is more for showing the 10 year old , got a strange pleasure of scaring her. I wish I knew this kid’s mom, stopp her daughter stay on line all the time. My daughter is not a person I want my 10 year old to hangout online. Last night I saw this kid started self harm too. Smiley Sad
Watch out whom your daughter hangout with. I feel sorry for the other kid, she has been nice, trying to help someone beyond her capability. Before my daughter’s influence, she was this happy go lucky singing everyday kid. Now she has something to hide from her mom, self harm.

Active scribe

Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

I am planning a road trip with my daughter, will go to mountains and force her off the internet for a week. I hope I can slowly get her realize the benefit of chatting less. I can not make everything stop, now I just do what I can at the same time monitoring her behavior.
Star contributor

Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

Hi @tsuwei,


I'm hearing from your posts the last few days just how distressing this experience is, and I'm very sorry to hear what you are working through right now. Seeing someone else's self harming can be really distressing, so it is good to hear you are going to try to intervene and prevent your daughter sharing these images with younger children. 

The road trip sounds like a good plan! Is your daughter seeing a counsellor/psychologist/General Practioner about her self harm?

I hope that the road trip is a nice break for the both of you Heart


Check out our community activities calendar here
Active scribe

Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

We are in the process of finding a therapist. We are not looking for one for her right now, it is more for us to get advice on what to do. If we want her to talk to someone, we have to be careful on how to bring it up.

Right now I enjoy her life appearing to be normal, and I am trying to help her live as normal and happy as she can, looks like she is happy.

The 10 year old is a really nice girl, caring about her, talking to her out this. It looks like the 10 year old tried self harm, then decided not to go on this path. She was trying to tell my daughter how good life is. My daughter said: we are all going to die anyway, what is the point?

The 10 year old gave smart wisdom: life is wonderful. 

She is really nice, but I think she is dealing with something beyond her. It is hard to admit my daughter is the bad influence. 

I somehow feel talking to 10 year old, showing her, scaring her is the main reason she is self harm. So I do wish there is a day they too can stop communicating. It will be good for both of them. I wish there is way I can find who the mom is. 

So for my daughter's case, I am not sure stress is the main reason for self harm right now.


In real life, she is shy and timid, and powerless. somehow online talking to this 10 year old makes her powerful, and my daughter is enjoying her being the big bad influence.  


Re: My 12 year old daughter is self harming - how can I help her?

Hey @tsuwei, a therapist might sound really helpful right now. It can be really hard to believe how easily children can be influenced especially if it is involving negative experiences.

Do you think your daughter communicating with this young girl is benefiting her in anyway? In the meantime, some time away from technology and focusing on something else might be really beneficial for your daughter. Let us know how you go!

Moderator Hours

On weekends moderators work:

09:00AM to 10:00PM

We are not a counselling or crisis service and we can't guarantee you'll get a reply, so if you need to talk now

Click here for help

The current time is Sat, 6:34 AM
(Australian Eastern time)