Monday, 7 October 2019

Oliver update October '19.

Quick update on Oliver...

Sometimes, it's so hard to be strong when you need to be.
I've mentioned in a previous post that Oliver struggled with his mental health which could be linked to his asperges, however, I thought I had it under control.
He's been hurting himself again, but kept most of it hidden under Jumpers and hoodies and he just wouldn't open up to me and talk about what was causing him to have concerns or feel like he wants to hurt himself and I was struggling to keep myself strong for him.
It sounds selfish - but I feel like I'm failing him. I'm his mum - I should be able to keep him safe. I then start thinking because I've had anxiety and depression, is it my fault? have I influenced his behaviour in any way? Are mental health issues hereditary?

I encourage him to talk about his feelings and use his coping mechanisms he was taught when we last went through the CAMHS system, try and explain that I want to help him understand his emotions etc. but what can I do when he wont open up to me?
Persistence! Persistence is key! Keep showing him you are there for him After a few days he mentioned it was stress to do with his Year 6 SATs!
I honestly couldn't believe that a boy of 10 year old was putting himself under so much pressure due to the SATs he'll be taking at the end of this school year. Oliver is a highly intelligent boy and usually loves taking exams and tests.
I want to just wrap him up in bubble wrap as do many other parents when they think about their children in harm, watch him constantly and remove anything which he may use to harm himself with - the latest was using a razor... but am I doing the right thing in taking things away? will it come across as a punishment to him for struggling with his mental health?

I've learnt I have to take each day as it comes - trying to show Oliver that each day has a bright new outlook and to not dwell on the previous day -  to keep pushing himself to see the positives of each situation. Getting something wrong doesn't mean you've failed, its just given you a new opportunity to learn more.
I've seen more and more children over the years worry about their SATs/GCSE's etc. and as parents we need to be proactive in teaching children that getting good grades does not make you the person you want to be. Getting good grades doesn't make you a better person.

I regular trawl through sites such as NSPCC - Children & Self harm looking for answers but nothing can prepare you for the emotional turmoil you go through when a child self harms or give you the right answers on what to do for the best.

Have you got any tips or ideas I could use to help Oliver? Have you been in a similar situation and found an outcome which works? I'm interested in hearing other peoples' opinions. Mental health has such a big stigma - I have only recently seen Mental Health being spoken about regarding Adults and don't recall seeing or hearing it ever being spoken about regarding children. Lets break the stigma! It really is Okay not to be Okay!

 (Some of the recent marks he's made with the razor. It wasn't until the ones appeared on his face that we checked the rest of his body. I also know I show Oliver's face regularly, however, I'm not comfortable showing his gorgeous little face with these marks on it so blocked his features)

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