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Bonnie, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 2189
Experience:  and pediatric nurse practitioner with 30 years of experience counseling parents.
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My 14 year old step daughter has been caught sending explicit

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My 14 year old step daughter has been caught sending explicit photos to 6 boys. She is now saying she hates herself (evident from the messages in the texts) and that she hates her life. What can I do to help boost her sense of self worth?
Hello and thank you for consulting JA,

I am sorry to hear that your step-daughter is struggling so. You are already doing all the right things to make her feel good about herself but her behavior is suggesting that more intensive help is needed.

Her expression of hating herself and her life is a call for help...she may be depressed. If so, you will need to call upon your mental health system to help. You may need a referral from her GP.

A mental health therapist will help her to understand her reasons for sending the photos. Since she is a home body (socially withdrawn), this exhibitionism seems very atypical for her. Maybe she is yearning for attention from peers but does not know how or is afraid to reach out. Again, a therapist can help her cope with this or perhaps teach her some social skills.

Since your question is really about YOU taking action, I would recommend getting her a book from this collection:
This book is about feelings in general and is a good start to helping her (and you) to figure out what is going on underneath the behavior.

I hope you find this helpful and kind regards,
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