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my 8 year old is hurting herself
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1959momtalk posted:
My daughter is 8 and is in 3rd grade. She is doing things like scratching herself deeply (not drawing blood but noticeable) as well as putting sewing pins in her arm and pretending this just happened to her. Today she said the thunder scared her in school and shoved a pencil led into the tip of her finger. I am concerned that when I ask her why she has done this that she says I do not know or it was an accident. There was the occasion with the pins when I asked her if she did it her father cut me off and said no she wouldnt do that...Well, she took one to school and walked in with it in her arm, showed her teacher who took it out and sent her to the nurse. She acts emotional, and dramatic regarding these incidences. She is notciably more immature than a majoriy of her peers and tends to struggle somewhat at school, She says she does not like school. We had her evaluated by the school and they said she was average as far as academcs. Her teachers say she is immature but has no behavior issues and is sweet and helpful to others. She attends private school and some peers are 9 and some will turn 10 before she turns 9. I asked her if she was looking for attention and she said no. I try not to get upset and talk to her but it is still happenning. Her dad and I argue sometimes and she sees it as well as her teenage brother. I do not feel we are overboard and try not to do it infront of her ( but sometimes it can not be helped). She gets lots of attention being the youngest and has after school activities she loves. We are a loving house but have the typical issues of raising children, homework and jobs. I am worried this may lead to worse things. Suggestions??
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Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi 1959momtalk,

Have you had your child evaluated by a doctor yet? You mention that you've had your child examined at school but it sounds like you may want to have your child examined by your family doctor and get a referral to a mental health specialist.

This article: Mental Illness In Children may be helpful to you.

We also have a Parenting Community board that you may also want to ask your questions on.

- Annie
 
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momuv4girls responded:
When a child inflicts self injury, I believe there is a need to have them seen by a child psychologist. There is something going on, and it needs to be dealt with.

Believe it or not, this is not uncommon, it is disturbing though, and I'm sure you and your husband are concerned - - rightly so.

Your daughter may not know why she does, she just knows it feels "good" to her and it gets attention.

I urge you to find a GOOD child psychologist and set up an evaluation as soon as possible.

Take care,
-Kathleen
 
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1959momtalk replied to Annie_WebMD_Staff's response:
She was examined by a different school than she attends and the total examination included the school psychologist to rule out ADD or ADHD. He again thought she was a delightful, happy, talkative child. We were informed that if this behavior continued to seek professional help. The thing is that it is not every day this happens, it has happened over a course of the last year and about 3 times. I am worried if I drag her to a doctor right away (which happened to me 35 years ago when I was a rebellious teenager) that she will think there is something wrong with her and think that she is different. I know I am being cautious about the doctor but my daughter is sweet and young and innocent and I am worried that I am over reacting and looking for any other parents that are dealing or have dealt with this experience with a young child. I definately have not ruled out seeking help for her but do not want to jump the gun,,,
 
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1959momtalk replied to momuv4girls's response:
I understand this is not uncommon, I do not think she feels good about the pain, just about the attention she gets from it. It happens when she is stressed about something like school work or friends..it is like a way for her to redirect the room or the situation she is in, or the way she is feeling about something. I will seek an evaluation if she continues this behavior. She has done it 3 times in the last year, but we continue to monitor her and talk to her when she is stressed or worried. Thanks for your response.
 
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MsJoanna replied to 1959momtalk's response:
Sometimes when an emotion becomes overwhelming, inflicting pain draws a person out of the emotional distress. It can becomse addictive. I suggest helping your child to find ways to relieve her emotional distress. Ask her simple questions each time something comes. For instance, if she was frightened by the thunder, what else can she do to ease her fears? If she is immature and immaginative, perhaps she could come up with ways to cope with her fear. It might be proactive, like a security item. Or perhaps, having an activity she turn to, drawing with pastels for ten minutes in another room. You two could brainstorm ideas and come up with something to boost her sense of security. If schoolwork is another area of stress, is it at home, with homework, or school? She might not be able to express why she does this, you might want to offer her the vocabulary to describe her motives for her behavior - but in a child's words.
 
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1959momtalk replied to MsJoanna's response:
Thank you regarding your reply, School work issues are both at home and in class. She shuts down when she stresses about finishing her work at school and will just write down anything when pressured. I try to allot her as much time as needed to complete assignnments at home but 2-3 hours into the work I need to consistently remind her that she needs to finish up. The teacher does not give too much it is just my daughter has a difficult time sitting down and getting it done. I do not like to sit and hover so I allow her to sit at the table alone and give constant reminders like "how are you doing", she says fine and when I stand up to go check she has only completed 1 or 2 problems..this goes on a long time..
 
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jelly3beans replied to 1959momtalk's response:
Please write again 1959momtalk if you're still on here. You've described the same usdues in currently having with my own daughter and I'm desperate to have some guidance.
 
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momuv4girls replied to jelly3beans's response:
I am not sure how old your daughter is, but I urge you to seek out professional help for her.

Here is a link that you may find helpful:

http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Self_Injury_In_Adolescents_73.aspx

Take care!!
-Kathleen


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