Parenting when our kids are self harming

Updated: Sep 30, 2020

Kia ora whanau

This is not an easy subject to write on, think about or live through. Although many of us have and are parenting our kids through very tough times. See this video for a bit of my story. And I have listed 10 tips that helped us through x

Tip 1. Get professional help. The Adolescent Mental Health Service in your local area is one place to start. We need to talk about what is going on.

Tip 2. Self harm and suicide idealisation can be very isolating for us as parents. Our kids don't usually want us talking to anyone about what is going on. They need support, but so do we.

Tip 3. This will be affecting everyone in your home. Schools often offer free counselling. Check in with your other children, do they need to book in and process what is going on?

Tip 4. Take steps to keep your child safe. Remove all sharps and anything else you think could be a gateway to them ending their lives.

Tip 5. Let your employer know. You may need to work from home, attend appointments or be called away as needed.

Tip 6. Take care of your self. Self care is very important. Ask your self; am I sleeping enough, eating well, moving my body, doing things I enjoy? What do I need right now?

Tip 7. There is no one else on this planet who loves your kid the way you do. Know it, let them know it, speak it out, show them in what ever way you know works for them: spending time, hugs, words of encouragement, acts of service, gifts: throw it all at them.

Tip 8. Tell them you love them, again. When they are in the dark space, they can't hear it. But say it anyway. And continue to let them know. Our love cannot save our kids, but it could edge into the darkness and bring a little bit of hope.

Tip 9. Do what ever you need for you. Check into Tip 6 again.

Tip 10. Do your day in bite sized pieces. Today is enough x

Arohanui Michelle x

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