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Dear Dr. Cherrye,
My daughter was a cutter!
Dear Dr. Cherrye:
I noticed my daughter was complaining about being sick, and then asking to stay home from school. This was beginning to be fairly regular. She wasn’t her usual happy-go-lucky self anymore, so one day I noticed her sullen mood and decided to press the issue further asking her if everything was alright, and if I needed to know about anything going on at school. She reassured me that all was good.
My daughter’s behavior remained the same, so I began to pay closer attention on a daily basis. I also noticed she was absent more and more from the family area where the others of us watched television and played games. Instead, she was spending more and more time in her bedroom, and refusing to join us. Well, I thought, perhaps this is just normal for a teenager, so I tried not to worry so much.
Fast forwarding – What I learned later is that my daughter had been cutting herself. I can’t begin to tell you how horrified I was, Dr Cherrye, but I kept my emotions in-tact. The last thing I wanted to do was judge my daughter. Why hadn’t I noticed this? I sat my child down immediately for a heart-to-heart talk. I found out that she had been dealing with a school bully for many months, and she was afraid to speak up. She kept all this bottled-up inside because she didn’t want to be known as a ‘tattle-tale’ at school.
Dr. Cherrye, so this won’t catch other parents off guard, would you please share suggestions and/or signs they need be aware of, and what they can do to avoid teen cutters? I was petrified!
~ I was petrified! ~
DEAR I WAS PETRIFIED,
Of course, I’ll help you with your request. By the way, Dr. Cherrye is happy to learn that you kept your cool and immediately sat your daughter down to talk about this very disturbing action. I hope by now you’ve gotten your daughter psychiatric care and professional counseling. It wouldn’t hurt to also couple private counseling sessions with visits to the school counselor as well.
Tips for Parents
Pay attention to your kids’ wardrobe. Have you noticed them suddenly covering up more?
Look for evidence in the laundry room or bathroom for signs of blood and cutting tools
Make it a point to become more observant of your children
- Do you see fresh scars/cuts?
- Have you noticed your child with sharp objects? Is this unusual?
Talk to your children daily. Do not assume everything is okay because they are teens
How is your child talking? Are his/her words uplifting and encouraging about self, or does he/she talk as if life is hopeless?
Ensure your children realize ‘telling is NOT tattling’ – Your children have every right to safety, happiness and life!
Tell your children to talk to a trusted adult (someone they feel comfortable with)
Monitor Social Media (you are the parents)
Have rules about Social Media (you might consider enforcing a Social Media curfew)
You might browse your child’s phone, and/or social media accounts. You are not being nosey. Your are parenting.
Hint: Your children have ways of disguising additional social media accounts. They use ‘handles’ and emojis, so don’t be caught off guard.
Dr. Cherrye also want parents to research the topic of child-cutters to learn the ‘why’ behind these actions. Get terminology from medical experts, please.
Note: I want to encourage parents to please use Affirmations rebuilding their child-cutters self-confidence and self-esteem. I believe in speaking into children their greatness and self-worth. You can find lots of Affirmation materials on line, but I’ll refer you to a few below:
I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!
OPEN FOR COMMENTS
I’ve made it my mission to assist parents in resolving the bullying issues their children are suffering. Offering your feedback and suggestions in the comment section could facilitate meaningful dialog on this critical issue among ourselves and I encourage this. I will respond to each comment in a timely way. Should you wish to speak privately with me, please email me at CherryeVasquez@gmail.com, and I will reply promptly
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