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

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Active scribe

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

I am not sure if there is benefit for my daughter. Certainly there is no benefit for that 10 year old. 


That girl sounded like an angel telling my daughter for many weeks: life is beautiful, you are beautiful, do not self harm. My daughter's response is always: life is pointless, we are all going to die anyway. 


Then in the past 2 days, this 10 year old started trying self harm. That is 100% from my daughter's influence. 


Last night I said to her as an impulse, I said I saw something used for self harm in the bathroom. She run away, refused to talk to me. That is usual her. And it is impossible to have any conversation after that. She was all happy and crazy after that playing with her brother. I did not push any more. I know there is no point to make her unhappy before I really know what to do. 


Then she got online continue her self harm conversation with this 10 year old. That girl said: no, do not.  Then this morning the other girl said: she self harmed. My daughter: no, you should wait for me, we can do it together. 


I am not sure there is any stress but a little crazy adventure for them. If she does not have this girl, she might stop her 'fun'? Certainly the other girl should not have my daughter in her life. But I do not even know who she is, where she lives, why she is available chatting anytime my daughter gets on line. I do think there is a little possibility they both will stop self harming when there is no audience. 


She is otherwise happy and normal. She definitely self harmed less(no I suspect the past few days only talking to action) because she is busy at school and I keep her really busy outside school. And when she chat online, I walk around her make her feel not relaxed. So she rarely has long conversation with people. I hope by doing this, I can bring her back to 'real world'  slowly. In the mean time, my husband and I are meeting therapists to find someone we can trust, then go to the next step. 

Parent Peer Supporter

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

Hi @tsuwei, it certainly sounds like a situation that could benefit from counselling. It must be very concerning for you knowing the conversations between your daughter and this younger girl so really hope you can find the right help for your daughter. Are you able to shut down this conversation with this young girl, or restrict the means of communication your daughter has with this girl?


Just to let you know, I've edited your post to keep in line with the community guidelines around discussing methods of self harm and implements used. 


We'll be keen to hear how you go with counselling Smiley Happy

Community Manager

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

Hi @tsuwei

I agree with @taokat that counselling might be something your daughter will benefit from. It sounds like this is already something you have taken steps towards. 


I know it has been mentioned before, but I wanted to check in and see whether you feel the parents coaching support ReachOut offers may be of benefit to you in this situation if you are based in Australia?


I really feel for you and what you are going through right now, I can hear how hard it is when you don't have the contact details of the 10 year old's family to intervene. You are doing a great job with monitoring to reduce the amount of interaction they have online, this will make a big impact Heart


I'm also glad to hear your daughter's self harming behaviours have decreased the last few days when she has been kept busy. You have such great insight and in tune with your daughter's experiences and needs, and recognising when she is less likely to self harm is really important Heart

Active scribe

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

We live in USSmiley Sad wish I could have similar service in US, our therapist charges 225 dollars per hour.

This is also awkward to ask others for recommendations, but I know like any profession, there are good ones, there are ones not fit for us. My husband and I want to meet them to see if they are the right fit for our family. 

For now I try to read as much as I can to get myself educated. 


Active scribe

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

no, I did not shut down their conversation. I do not want her to know I am reading her private messages. That is the only way I can monitor her, so I am not sure I want to break her trust at this point. It will be even more difficult to understand what is going on with her. 


Since she knew I knew, I can never bring it up. She has always been like that, anything even remotely she thinks she might be at fault, she would not talk about it. 




Community Manager

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

Meeting the therapist to see if they are right for your family sounds like a great idea @tsuwei! Finding the right fit you is important Heart

Community Manager

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

Hi @tsuwei,


I just wanted to check in and see how you are going this week? How was your weekend?

I really feel for you and what your family are going through and am sending lots of good wishes your way today Heart


I have been looking through ReachOut's resources to see if there are some that might be helpful to you. I'm not sure if you have come across these before- but if not here are a few that I would recommend. ReachOut has some resources on self harm, including a practical guide on how to support positive coping skills for self harm and information/tips about managing self harm here.


We also noticed that you may be joining us from outside of Australia. There is a website in the USA that lists a whole lot of different services here which may come in handy.


We look forward to hearing how the road trip goes Smiley Happy And we are always here to lend an ear and offer support and understanding Smiley Happy

Active scribe

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

It has been normal and peaceful, my daughter still chatted about self harm with her friend, but she could not find time and reason to do it. It is funny that she is looking for sadness in her heart so she has a reason to do it. She literally told her friend: can not believe I do not feel anything sad. So there are many reasons for other children to self harm, for her, I feel it is more like a new adventure she is trying. 


Her amazing 10 year old friend kept telling her to stop, she said if you do it, I will do it too. That little girl actually did it. I do not know if that brought her conscious back. She told her friend she was trying for over one hour and could not do it. I doubt she has one hour to really think about it. Since we are watching her and make sure she does not look herself in the bathroom for too long. 


Other than talking on line about self harm, in life, she is happy and normal. Went with her friends for birthday parties, theme parks. I know self harm is still in the back of her mind, she might try again in the future. I make sure our house is stress free. That is a good thing for me, I keep my own temper in check, always try to find a way to getting along with my husband and the children.