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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?

Know your child’s mood swings

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?

Additional Tips

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:

1. The Game of Life Affirmation & Inspiration Cards   

2. Teen Talk in a Jar

3. Fifty Affirmation Cards  

4. Affirmation Daybook Journal

5. Self-Esteem Games: 300 Fun Activities That Make Children Feel Good about Themselves

6. Positive Affirmations Coloring Book for Young Children 

7. Kids Wake Up – Be Amazing – Be Brave – Be You Positive Message T-Shirt

8. The Best is Yet to Come Key Chain

9. Stay Positive, Work Hard, And Make It Happen Bangle Bracelet Motivational  

10. She Believed She Could Coffee Mug

11. Dream, Believe, Inspire, Create Silicone Wristbands

I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!

OPEN FOR COMMENTS  

IMPORTANT!

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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6 thoughts on “When Children are Cutters!

  1. Linda Hales says:

    OMG Dr. Cherrye! I can’t imagine how devastating that must have been for the child’s parents but even more so, for her. To feel so trapped, unable to move forward or back, induces some kind of action representing a release and it isn’t always a good one, cutting and suicide being the most serious of all. I want to hug that child and help her Mother give her the reassurance and self esteem she is so critically in need of.

    Thanks for all you do and I only hope that this beautiful child and all who are in the same danger, get the professional help they need to learn to be free again.

    Keep on posting this wonderful help line no matter how painful the subject may be because many thousands of kids will benefit through your helpful advice and direction to parents. It can be a lonely place for a parent to be as well but speed is of the essence to nip these problems in the bud before any tragedies result.

    I hope that other visitors will jump in and comment because collectively, we might learn even more about this delicate subject.

    1. Dr. Cherrye says:

      I’m with you, Linda. I just can’t imagine how much pain parents feel going through this. Our children must gain a sense of how to take control of their own destiny and feelings and not feel like a puppet to another person, or their peers. Too, we must train our children to love self-first, and to own the robust thought that it is just better to feel good than to harm themselves.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  2. Great advice Dr. Cherrye! Cutting is an issue on several levels and gaining as much information as possible is necessary. There are several websites, biblical and secular, about cutting that may help. Seeking counseling from one who deals with self-harm. I know you may have tried the avenues but I wanted to reiterate the resources available to you and other parents who are going through the same ordeal.

    1. Dr. Cherrye says:

      Thank you, Darlene. I’m trying my best to give wise advice. Cutting is a terrible, but real behavior that some parents must face. I just hope not many more!

      I am very careful about what sort of information I share with parents. I err on the side of caution because I’m not a medical professional, but I do want to help as much as my knowledge leads me. Bullying has become relentless, to say the very least. Most of what we are seeing on television with child-shooters and etc. has its roots in the on-set of bullying acts (I hate to admit).

      As I studied cutting further, I learned that approximately 20 percent of kids engage in the acts of cutting, so this topic is worth our attention.

      Your comments are spot on, Darlene. Thank you for adding to this story.

  3. Cande says:

    Dr. Vasquez (Middle Sister)
    Thank you for these Q&A post! Although sad by the horrific stories of bullying, I enjoy your responses.
    I’m certain you’re helping many parents and bullied children! Keep up the great work, advocates for children are needed more and more every day!
    Little Sister,
    Cande

    1. Dr. Cherrye says:

      You are very welcome, little sister! I am thrilled to see you’ve stopped by with your words of encouragement for me to keep going. I hope you’re correct. My goal is to help as many parents and their children as I possibly can.

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