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My 16 year old daughter has been having friendship problems

Customer Question
for a couple months....
My 16 year old daughter has been having friendship problems for a couple months. I noticed some marks on her hands a few weeks ago. She is a gymnast and claimed they were from her bar grips. Her coach called me last night and confided in me that my daughter told her a few weeks ago that she burned herself on purpose with her curling iron. She said it hasn't happened since. She has been better lately with the friendship issues. Her coach is afraid if I tell my daughter what I know it will break the confidence with the coach and close the line of communication. Do I tell my daughter what I know. We have a very open relationship(except for this). Thank you.
Submitted: 6 years ago.Category: Parenting
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11/11/2011
Parenting Counselor: Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist replied 6 years ago
Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4,627
Experience: Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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Hi,

 

You want your daughter to be able to come to you in time of need and the coach is not necessarily someone who is trained to handle her issues not will be providing any sort of professional assistance to her. Try to speak to your daughter initially about what had been going on in her life and discuss how is she coping with all of that. Self harming behavior is not a healthy coping mechanism and it may be more helpful in the long run to speak to your daughter about what you know. The coach is there to coach not necessarily to provide emotional nor psychological support. Their communication can still be open and in the line of what student coach need to discuss as it relates to gymnastics and not beyond that.

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Customer reply replied 6 years ago
I guess my problem is I'm afraid if I break the confidence she has with the coach then she will never tell anyone about this again. I want to tell her I know but she has been doing so much better than she was about a month ago. If she doesn't trust the coach anymore and won't tell me how will I know if the behavior starts up again?
Parenting Counselor: Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist replied 6 years ago
You would want to check her body for marks. The coach is not the parent and the fact that it is beyond their ability to help her further. She may have done this as an experiment and you can speak to her about your knowledge that some people self harm as a way of handling emotional numbness. Ask her to speak to you about what she is comfortable and you can even let her know that you may not understand all of her experiences bout you'd like to keep your relationship honest and have an open communication. If you believe that this was a one time incident, then you can decide to wait and hear back from her coach. If this happens again, then you'd have to act because that would indicate that the situation is not getting better and the fact that your daughter is speaking about it indicates that she's seeking help (she may not have told you because she did not want to worry you)
Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4,627
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Parenting Counselor: proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach replied 6 years ago
proexpert37
proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the fact that your daughter did not mention to you first about the marks with the same story that she told the coach. First if all, you need to ascertain where the marks really came from. Hopefully, they did not come from an abusive boyfriend or even the coach herself because of the tremendous pressures coaches put on student athletes these days when the athletes are not performing up to certain expectations. Even if this was a one time incident, it is still serious to have marks on her hands no matter where they came from. Keep an eye on your daughter's emotional state. If she seems to be becoming more introverted or depressed and you notice even more marks, bring up the issue with her. Talk to the coach again in confidence to see if she notices the same behavior. Then you may all three want to sit down and talk. Maybe the pressures of being a gymnast are too demanding. This is another insightful answer. Have a great day.
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