Thanks Hannah, Really appreciate your response. The youth forum is a good suggestion as he seems to communicate better when not in a face-2-face situation so will offer it to him. He is still engaged with counselling however it is virtual and doesn't seem to be very effective. We will also check out Parentline, thanks for the suggestion. Thanks again, Brandon
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Looking for advice. We have a 14yo son who 2 years ago was confident and did well at school. During the disaster known as 2020, he started to be completely withdrawn from the family, addicted to gaming and is now failing school. We thought he was just a troubled teen going through a phase until 2 months ago he self harmed. We obviously flipped out. He claims it was nothing and he will never do it again and that we are overreacting. We got him to the GP then to a councillor who says there are no red flags, while personally I think he is very good at telling adults what they want to hear.
My gut feeling is there are two major issues:
The relationships he has established on discord. He has a large circle of friends on discord, most of which are older or adults. While I think discord is toxic, he has no close friends apart from the friends on that platform. I don't want to ban discord or gaming as I suspect it will make things worse for him. He has also said that many of the friends on discord helped him through the tough times.
Essentially I think he got bored at school, got distracted while learning from home and now his confidence is shot as he has fallen behind. Two years ago he used to get up in front of the entire school and read announcments during school assembly. Now he freaks out if he has to speak 5 words on a video assignment and goes into a fight or flight response. We really blame ourselves for not monitoring his learning more during this year.
Anyway we are really struggling and worried any changes or bans etc will just break our trust and we do could bring back another self harm (or worse) incident.
We have implemented other strategies but I won't go into yet as I don't want to influence others feedback.
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