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LaDuena
LaDuena asks:
Q:

My 10 year old daughter?

My 10year old daughter admitted to me and my boyfriend that she cut herself, she said that it was the first time she did that to her self, and that she will never do it again. I need some advise!
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Cutting
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Sep 29, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Cutting is a dangerous activity. Some young people, especially girls will do it for two reasons, one is to "try it" with a friend. The other is to do it because of emotional pain they are experiencing in their lives.

At 10 years of age hopefully your daughter is not experiencing that level of emotional pain.

This is however a wonderful prompt to you as a parent to set aside time each day to talk with your daughter about the things in her life that may be stressful. It sometimes works well to share about the things in your day that caused you frustration, anger or sadness.
Then talk with her how about how you dealt with those feelings. When listening to her make sure to validate how those issues could cause her to feel sad or mad or hurt or frustrated. Then talk about how those emotions are normal but it is how we express them that can either be helpful or harmful to ourselves and to others.

There are many unhealthy coping skills and cutting is one of them. Teach your daughter healthy coping skills. Prepare her to respond safely to the stressors in her life. When she feels angry, teach her to stop and count to 10 or to take 10 deep breaths before she speaks or reacts.
At home have her practice coping skills like swinging, reading, listening to music, going for a walk, or just taking a break when she needs some alone or quiet time.

Stay involved with her life. Talk daily in privacy. Monitor her alone time and be vigilant of her activities and friends. Thanks again for reaching out for advice.

Pat, Crisis Counselor
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000

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