Why is Cutting So Common Amongst Teens and How Can You Help Your Child?
A 14 year old rolls up his sleeve, takes a blade in his right hand and draws it across his left wrist. He then watches as blood flows. What’s most saddening is that he doesn’t do it once or twice, but often.
What could be driving him? Of course he is not attempting suicide. He might even be sitting in a classroom with other kids who actually watch as he pulls the blade out and cuts his wrist. If you are careful, you’ll notice that these kids aren’t stupid; they are mostly cutting their inner thighs and other hidden places that are usually covered by long sleeves and trousers so the scratches won’t show.
Cutting is becoming increasingly popular among teens with girls between 13 and 15 the most affected. In some schools, it has almost become a fashion-statement. Often, their parents don’t have an idea of what they are doing, nor do their teachers.
Why They are Cutting
In most cases, cutting enables them to forget about their problems. Kids, especially adolescents, face many biological and physical changes which often come with feelings of marginalization and self-loathing. Some say they cut because it reassures them they are alive, while others mention the thrill of breaking a taboo or what they call the power of blood. Teen cutting has also become a trend, where some teens do it just because his or her peers are doing it. In most cases however, cutting is usually a sign of an underlying emotional difficulty.
How You Can Help Your Teen
- Respond calmly – state what you’ve observed in a non-judgmental manner
- Talk to them – in most cases the kid won’t raise the topic so you as a parent most initiate dialogue
- Share your feelings – let them know that you care about their feelings
- Concentrate on the injury – instead, concentrate on what is driving them to it
- Feel guilty – it is natural for parents to blame themselves for their kid’s cutting, which is not right because cutting results from individual feelings
- Ignore the child – when kids cut, they are not merely looking for attention – There is always a driving factor
Please call 866-889-3665 to talk to a Visions professional about teen cutting.