MsMojo asks:

My 12 year old daughter has started cutting herself, telling lies, and just dont care about school. Restriction, talking, pleading dont work. Help

Her grades dropped this past grading period, she talks of killing herself, she recently cut on herself, she says she is EMO. Before this began she was teased at school about being EMO and the girls said she must cut herself because of this.I have talked/listened and even brought in another family member to help because she wont open up to me completely. Punishment for grades and telling lies dont seem to affect her anymore do to being on it so much. Even though I tell her everyday how much she is loved, she has stated that I dont care about her. I dont know what to do from here I feel like I am failing her.
In Topics: My child's growth and development, Cutting, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
May 26, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

The fact that you're writing in for help, tells us you are not failing your daughter!!  You are a very caring and worried mother.  I'm sure you feel as if you are helpless since you've tried several times to talk to your daughter about her feelings, but she won't let you "in".  You are doing a great job of trying to encourage her and let her know that she is loved and valued.  Continue to let her know that you are there for her when she's ready to talk.  

You're right to be concerned about your daughter's behaviors.  By your daughter cutting and isolating herself she's definitely crying out for help.  It's very important that she gets professional help as soon as possible to ensure that she doesn't hurt herself further by cutting.  Consider taking her to a counselor.  If you need a referral for one, you might try asking her school counselor if there is someone they recomment, or call the Boys Town National Hotline.  We have a national database for agencies all over the country that provide family and teen counseling.  We can be reached at 1-800-448-3000.

It's wonderful that you realize that what your daughter is feeling is not just "normal teen stuff" and that she may need further help.  A counselor will be able to talk with her about her feelings and work with her on improving her self esteem and identity among her peers.  With love and professional guidance your daughter will get through this!!

Take Care,
Boys Town National Hotline

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