Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

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Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

Hey @Rowanna, I'm glad that your daughter was able to get her homework done, and hope that helped calm her further. Hopefully she can get her back to see her counsellor soon.

 

Do you think ice on the skin or an elastic band around the wrist would be something your daughter might be willing to try?

Parent Community Champion

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

@sunflowermom - thank you for sharing about what's helped your daughter - sounds like activities that you do together are effective in distracting her from the urge to self-harm. 

 

This is a method psychologists recommend- some calling it "urge surfing" -a form of mindfulness to delay the action until the urge has passed. It's by no means easy for the individual, but having a supportive person doing it with them is going to make it a lot more achievable! 

 

An app called Calm Harm has been developed in the UK to help those wanting to resist the urge to self harm. Check it out here 

 

For those of you looking for more support in this area for you, or your teen - check out this page on our youth website, with a list of services that can help with self-harm.

 

 

 

Parent Community Champion

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

@taokat wow thank you for sharing  - it seems to be a common theme that not focusing on or reacting emotionally to the self-harm itself (apart from providing the essential first -aid and care) , and rather focusing what's going on for your young person and being emotionally supportive.

Also thank you for sharing about your own experience in self-harm, such valuable insight and tips for strategies to try.  HeartHeart

Star contributor

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

Thank you Gina-ro! I downloaded the calm harm app to check it out. I love the bright colors and cute customizing choices. I think it would be appealing to teens. I cant wait to tell my daughter about it. I think this will be a great tool to add to her support plan. I love this community! So many great ideas Smiley Happy
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

Yes, first aid done while talking calmly about what's going on for her. I should've thought to mention that!! It does sound like I ignored the self harm entirely, so I'm glad you clarified @gina-Ro!

 

I love the term "urge surfing" and and see how it could be used in many areas of life. 

 

I'm going to check out that app too Smiley Happy

 

Thank you so much for the fantastic info and resources @gina-Ro, they're so helpful.

Parent Peer Supporter

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

This is a comic I saw online that I thought was pretty on topic for this week. 

 

self harm comic_LI.jpg

Parent Community Champion

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

@taokat love this comic - very useful and clear information!
Those "dont's"  are really common reactions, and I guess the challenge as parents (and anyone), is to be aware of our own emotional reactions and the negative impact they might have, so that we can be better supports for young people when they are in distress.

 

And yes I also love that term - urge surfing - it is based on the notion that as humans we only experience really intense emotions and urges for a limited time.. like an itch, it will pass eventually. So if we can be aware of our emotions, urges and "itches", we can also learn to ride them like waves.  And just like real surfing, it is difficult but gets easier with practice! 

 

@sunflowermom I'm so glad that the app was useful!!

I'll be sure to keep sharing resources that could be helpful. 

Parent Community Champion

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

On that note, thank you to everyone who  participated in this week's Topical Tuesday discussion! Feel free to post any final thoughts, reflections or questions. 


The new discussion will be going up this afternoon - apologies for the delay but I was off out of action yesterday! Back today, and excited for the new discussion. 

 

I would love to increase members participation in the chats as everyone has such unique and valuable insights, so please tag other users that you think might want to contribute, or just read the discussion. 

 

@taokat@sunflowermom@Rowanna@Schooner@Zoesplace @Sister @jdbza

Super frequent scribe

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

I’ve just come across this Topical Tuesday topic. Self-harm is a new territory for me and I find it incredibly confronting. My niece has only started doing it in the last few weeks and with her returning home next Friday. I’ve had our family therapist has suggested that I use a 3 step process with her. To ask her what did she do, why did she do it and last does she think it is a good or a bad thing to do. My niece’s psychologist has told us that she does it  in an attempt to connect with someone. My natural instant is to want to give her a huge hug and say that no matter what she is thinking or feeling that she is ok and that I’m there for her.

Parent Community Champion

Re: Topical Tuesday - How to help your teen if they self-harm

thank you for sharing @jdbza,

I think your instinct to show your niece love and support, and let her know that no matter what she is ok and you're there for her is spot on. What amazing support your niece has from you! 
I don't know if you managed to have a read through the discussion, but there were some really great suggestions from other parents on how to respond, and how best to support. 

Focusing on the emotional pain behind the self-harm , and understanding that self harm is a coping strategy, is a good first step. 

 

Look out for our weekly discussions in the Topical Tuesday board - this week is on role models