Kids Who Cut: What Parents Can Do

Written on June 7, 2011 at 4:53 pm , by

I will never forget the first time I saw cutting scars. This was a few years ago and a bunch of us 20-somethings had gathered for dinner at a friend’s house and there was a new woman there. When her sleeves rolled back, I saw that the insides of her forearms were rope-y with scars from wrist to elbow. I hope I covered my shock. I never knew what pain had caused her to torture herself so–but the image stayed with me.

Fast forward to our July issue and our story on cutting. While I was editing it, what was hard  to understand at first, and then to explain, was how one pain (the cutting) can release another (the emotional). It seems to be a question of focus–even ritual—for kids who hurt themselves this way.

I’m so glad the girl in our story, Caia, is doing well. I worry for the kids who still suffer. The best news in the piece is that early intervention can make a huge difference. Raising kids can be so hard, don’t you think? And so joyful when they—and you—come through. What have been some of your biggest challenges?