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What should I say and not say to my child?


I love you

You are beautiful

You are important

You are worthy

Your BFRB does not define you

Do not say

Stop pulling, picking, biting

You look like you've been pulling, picking, biting a lot

Cover that spot

Do not tell other people about your child's BFRB without their permission

Do not scold, shame, or punish your child for their BFRBs. Your child's BFRB is not something they can control and it is not their fault. It's not your fault either. BFRBs are not self-harm. BFRBs are not caused by trauma.

It is critically important that you keep the lines of communication open with your child in order to support their overall physical health and emotional well-being. The more informed you become about BFRBs, the better advocate you can be for your child.

To help parents and family members learn how to provide the best support for their child, the TLC Young Adult Action Council provided answers to some common questions parents have about BFRBs and created a video, "A Parent Perspective: Talking to a Loved One with a BFRB", to demonstrate how, sometimes, good intentions can go wrong and to share how you can show your support in a way that they'll hear it.