Is It My Fault My Child is Hurting Themselves
It is normal for parents to feel anguished and distressed when they find out that their child is engaging in self-injury. No parent can be adequately prepared to deal with their child cutting or burning themselves. The fact that children, especially teenagers, are secretive and can successfully hide that they are suffering from child depression makes it harder for a parent to come to terms with the negative habit their child is involved in.
Shock, shame, guilt, and helplessness are common emotions for a parent whose child is suffering from depression or hurting themselves. For one, most people think that children and people hurt themselves to get attention. This kind of thinking leaves the parent wondering if they have failed to give enough time and attention to their child. This can make them feel like they are directly responsible.
A parent may also feel guilty and responsible for not being attentive and keen enough to catch signs earlier. This makes them more reluctant to share their problems with other parents or professionals who are better equipped to deal with the problem.
However, parents should realize that most children who engage in self-injury are not suicidal though they may accidentally kill themselves when inflicting injuries on themselves, especially by cutting. Self-injury does not necessarily mean that someone is miserable but it does indicate a serious underlying problem, such as child depression or psychological issues and/or addiction in older children.
Children who engage in self-injury are not usually seeking attention as widely believed and go to great lengths to ensure that they keep others in the dark about it. They will usually succeed in keeping it a secret for some time, and those close to them are usually left feeling guilty that they did not discover it earlier.
A parent should not feel guilty because their child is involved in self-injury or like they may have missed signs of child depression right under their noses. The important thing to remember is that people harm themselves for various reasons and not necessarily depression or self-hating. It is therefore important for a parent to not expend energy and time feeling guilty but to focus on helping their child recover.