Nothing can strike fear in a parent like finding out your child is engaging in self injury/self harm. If you have a troubled teen that is self harming, there are things you can do to keep them safe and help them through this difficult time. Oftentimes self harm is a cry for help and how you respond to a self harming teen as a parent can have long term consequences. As a therapeutic boarding school for girls, we’ve compiled some useful tips and information to support parents with a teen who is self harming.

Most Common Forms of Self Harm

One of the most common forms of self harming behavior in troubled teens is cutting or scratching their skin. This behavior can be difficult to understand, but is often tied to breaking the internal numbing that many troubled teens may feel. For others, it can be an emotional distraction from a deeper emotional pain they’re struggling to cope with. According to Self Harm Crisis Text Line, “approximate adolescent rates of nonsuicidal self-injury have been tracked at rates from 15% to 40% depending on the study”.

Signs Your Teen is Self Harming

Other than what we’ve mentioned above, there are other behaviors you can look out for if your teen is self harming. Some signs include:

  • Scars on arms, legs, wrists, or sometimes stomach
  • Covering legs or arms in situations where it doesn’t make sense (e.g., on a hot summer day)
  • Finding razors and other sharp objects in your teen’s bedroom
  • Unexplained or poor excuses for injuries

Preventing Self Harm in Troubled Teens

First, Talk to Them. She may not listen, but you have to try. The truth is, most teens don’t realize the serious physical and mental consequences of hurting themselves due to their emotional state. By starting a conversation, you’ll help her understand how much you care.

Keep an Eye on Them. Even though self harm/self injury behaviors can be a way for a troubled teen to manage their difficult emotions, it’s important to monitor their behavior for signs that they are in need of more professional support.

Ask For Help When You Need It. Sometimes, you need help, and that’s okay. Our boarding school for girls offers an environment where your daughter can discover the reasons behind her self harming behaviors while also catching up on any education she might have missed out on due to her emotional distress.

Treatment for Adolescent Self Harm

Many of the parents that come to our therapeutic boarding school for girls feel guilty that they need to ask for help with their troubled teen daughter. Unfortunately most parents don’t realize the sheer volume of families in our country who are struggling to help their own troubled teen. There’s no shame in getting the help your family needs. If you are looking for treatment for adolescent self harm, we may be able to help. Give us a call today 1-877-788-8422