16 year-old daughter dating a cutter - FamilyEducation
16 year-old daughter dating a cutter
01/12/2009 at 14:26 PM

Help!  I just discovered that my 16-year old daughter has taken up with a 16 year old boy who cuts himself.  He is controlling, manipulating, and emotionally unstable.  Unfortunately, this is who she has chosen to be with, and will not listen to me or anyone else when it comes to him. I came home and found this boy hiding in my house when my house rule was not to have him over when I was not there to supervise.  Needless to say, my reaction to the both of them was not good.  I threw him out and yelled at both of them for breaking my rules.  Although they were not engaging in sex when I got home, I suspect that they have at some point.  This "relationship" has only been going on for a couple of months, and I have noticed a stark change in my daughter's personality and attitude.  I found out that he cuts himself after being told by one of my daughter's friends that he puts it on his MySpace page.  In addition, I found letters which substantiates it. In his letters he made comments that "because you did not call me back, I felt like cutting".  I am scared to death to have her anywhere near this boy.  They attend the same school, and unlike her, he has no parental supervison at home.  I am a single parent and cannot watch her 24/7, although I am prepared to do whatever I have to do to protect my daughter.  Up to this point, she has really given me no major problems, other than a few normal teenage blunders.  As a result of the blow-up with her and the boyfriend, she went and put a HATEFUL message to ME on her MySpace page which was like a stab in my heart.  I have been nothing but good to this child, and she is showing no respect.  She has been gone for 2 weeks on winter break with her dad, who lives 400 miles away, and is sopose to return home in the next week.  We have not spoken in two weeks.  I have spoken with her dad about leaving her there for the next semester of school just to put some distance between her and this kid, but even that might back-fire.  If I do bring her back home, I am prepared to ensure that there are consequences to her actions, however, I would have to quit my job to keep them apart, which obviously cannot happen.  Any advise?    

Contact your local child mental health organization or one for youth therapy. Cutting is very dangerous and is an indication of some serious mental health issue. Your daughter may feel she can help him stop and this could be a pattern of trying to save her partner. She need to be kept away from him however you have to do this.

Is there anyone you can trust to keep tabs on your daughter while you're at work? Also, have you considered after school programs or sports to keep your daughter occupied? You can talk to her coaches or group leaders to make sure your daughter is showing up for these activities. Also, talk to your daughter's teachers, principal and school councelor. Make sure your daughter is staying on top of her schoolwork, and that her behavior hasn't changed in school. You can even try talking to your daughter's friends. Friends have a big influence on each other. If you find that they don't like this guy either, maybe they can talk to your daughter since she refuses to listen to you. Stay on top of this situation, and continue to put your foot down. Explain to your daughter that you're only looking out for her well-being. Communicate w/ your ex as much as you can. You both need to be on the same page about this. Get counceling for your daughter. Consider birth control for her (not b/c your promoting sex, but b/c you don't want your daughter getting pregnant or worse, any diseases). Talk to your daughter about the dangers of sex, even if she isn't sexually active at this time. Spend as much quality time as you can w/ your daughter doing things you both enjoy. Encourage her to meet other people and socialize w/ friends more. Chaperone her when she goes out. Nip this in the bud now before things get worse. Before long she'll be driving, and then she'll have even more freedom. If all else fails, consider switching schools. I hope your daughter realizes sooner than later that you are doing all this b/c you love her, and you only want what's best for her. Good luck.

Thank you so much for the advice. Amazingly enough, I have done 90% of what you advised, so at least I now feel as though I am on the right track to hear it from a third party. I just spoke with her principal yesterday, as well as a couple of her friends. I have an ob/gyn appointment set for her already, so when she comes home I'll be putting her on birth control. The one thing I had not thought about was after school programs. I will look into that. That is a great idea. Thank you again.

Thank you for the advise. I have been researching this cutting phenomenon online, and you are absolutely correct. Neither me or my daughter are equipped to deal with this issue. This boy's family needs to get him some help. I am going to have my work cut out for me, but I am willing to do whatever I have to do to protect my daughter.

when you talk about sex, remember that condoms or abstinence are the only ways to prevent STDs. Female condoms are still rarely used, so she has to be prepared to either use one, or insist that her partner use a condom. Birth control pills do NOTHING to prevent STDs.