Childhood BFRBs, Pitfalls for Parents to avoid

Pitfalls for Parents with a Hair Pulling Child

Principal pitfalls for parents … things to avoid if you don’t want that quick-sand sinking feeling!

No one is to blame; it is nobody’s fault, not yours and not your child’s and not the school’s. Your child may complain of bullying, but this may be due to sensitivity levels associated with the condition itself. Listen, nod, hug, but do your best not to judge.

Try not to be angry about fibs or lies, which sometimes go alongside childhood BFRBs; this may be caused by limited impulse control. Your child may worry that the truth is intolerable, or be more inclined to say things that people want to hear. There are hormonal and chemical causes; your child is not deliberately being dishonest. Lying may become a lot worse in puberty, but generally subsides in adulthood.

Of course you’ll need to ask your child about their BFRB, but please only ask them once a day, and at a specific time, in private. This chat need not last more than fifteen minutes. If your child refuses to speak to a professional, bear in mind that they would probably also refuse to visit the doctor or get immunised. Some decisions do need to be made on behalf of the child but do respect their privacy.

Never Under-Estimate the value of a calm voice

Stay calm when you see your child pulling or picking: shouting increases urges to pull.

Treat it like a tic at home: if your child had a twitchy eyebrow, you would realise that picking them up on it would only make it worse.

SKIN PRODUCTS THAT SOME FIND 

INCREASE THEIR URGES

  • PH Balance Shampoos like Neutrogena
  • Shampoos/deodorants or hand creams 
  • containing alcohols, cetearyl, cetostearyl, cetyl
Talk to a professional outside the family about how YOU feel as the parent. Why is this so important? If you don’t do this, you will inevitably reveal your distress to the child.
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The child is being punished enough, 
without being punished for pulling.

It is natural to feel angry when you see someone hurting your child, but anger comes from sadness, and it is ok to be sad that your child has Trichotillomania. Thankfully, we can help. We’re also here to listen and our helpline number is on the footer.

We're sorry to say this, but
Your child's hair pulling is not about you

PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TRAINED SUPPORT SO THAT YOUR CHILD HAS YOU TO TURN TO.

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