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My child self harms

sliceslice
posted 8 years 5 months ago
I was woundering if anyone else out there has the same issues, When my son gets frustrated and anxious and is struggling with his emotional regulation he will self harm himself, he will head bang, hit his head or his ears and will scatch at his face and arms, not only is this really hard to watch when your son is only seven and i feel completely helpless when he does this but i also worry about what people in society must think, he will often have bruises which he has made himself and scratches which have drew blood to the surface on his face and arms, are people thinking bad of him or even thinking i could be harming him, this gets me so distressed sometimes but it is important i dont show him how i feel as this would add to his distress, If he is asked about how somthing has happened or why he thinks he might of done it he will often either say he does not know or why or he will use the excuse I had an itch, this is very worrying to me as i dont know where it can lead as he gets older,please if anyone has any advice or has/is going through it with there child please let me know, thanks xx Kel


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BNGBNG
posted 8 years 5 months ago
Hi Kel, Firstly I hear how concerned you are. It is a challenging thing to deal with. There have been occasions when my daughter would sometimes knock her head against the wall when she was angry about something. Often this is when anger is turned in on ourselves rather being expressed in a different way, sometime maybe self blaming for something. I would encourage you to think about how you can initially support yourself for when this may next happen. Try not to blame yourself and see if there is a way you can remain calm when it happens. Then I would encourage you to provide alternatives for your son to use. It's important to go with whatever his body is wanting to do, so if he wants to scratch, give him something else he can scratch, if he wants to bang his head, give him a soft cushion or pillow to bang against which he won't hurt himself using. When he is expressing in this way, support himself by saying 'You seem very angry about <whatever he is angry about>.... and it's great that you have these strong feelings and it's important you don't hurt yourself'. Its useful to be firm about the part about not hurting ourselves when we are angry and that its fine to be angry. So, encourage him to express his feelings in ways that don't hurt him. There may be times when he is willing to talk about how he feels. See if he can identify where in his body he feels anger and what his body wants to do. He may want to kick something, punch something, draw an anger picture, etc. This is all healthy expression and can be encouraged.Hope this helps, Ben

sliceslice
posted 8 years 5 months ago
Thats great thanks Ben, it is very difficult as u say he may change how he vents this by kicking punching excetra,wellthe thing is he already does,if the frustration comes out when i am around he will usually turn it all on me and attack me,it is usually when alone he will self harm as we have watched him on camera when taking video evidence for pshycologists,and school have said when he is needing to sit for time which is very difficult for him to do or when he is being tested and finding the work hard he will start to scratch at himself. I like the idea of telling him that it is not good to hurt himself when angry and to try and help him pin piont where hes feeling the anger as this will probably help with his emotional regulation. thanks again xx Kel

Julian_DMJulian_DM
posted 8 years 5 months ago
Hmmm... Im sorry to hear you child is unhappy in this way. Do you have any ideas where he is getting his cues for violence from (ie TV, friends, other things he observes etc)? This could provide a first clue to a solution...

sliceslice
posted 8 years 5 months ago
Thanks for your reply Julian, Josh does watch the usual boys stuff but nothing that would indicate him to harm himself in this way, he only tends to use this when he is anxious and upset,I am posative its not for attention.I wish i could work out what makes him do it,all i know is that it is commen for children with the disorder that Josh has to do this kind of thing but it still does not make it any easier to deal with. xx

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