Emotional abuse in children. Hope for survivors.

The problem of emotional abuse in children is rarely discussed unlike other types of abuse, despite the serious effects on children’s development. Emotional abuse appears in the form of verbal abuse and the injurious actions aimed against the child.

There are two types of emotional abuse in children:

  • Emotional indifference – a failure to comply with the emotional needs of a child, the parents do not give a child the necessary attention and support.
  • Emotional abuse – a model of parental behavior that includes such educational methods as humiliation, derisiveness and neglect.

Emotional abuse is directly related to problems of power and control over a child. The most common forms of the emotional abuse in children are:

  • Repulse. Adults are oblivious to the presence of a child, but do not respect his value. This behavior may suggest the child that he is undesirable.
  • Neglect. Adults who are not able (or not willing) to give adequate response to the emotional needs of the child, are not interested in him and often do not pay attention to him.
  • Isolation. Physical isolation is a restriction of liberty of the child. Adults do not allow a child to go around, play with his peers, and may even lock him in a room.
  • Terrorizing. A child is threatened or forced to do something through intimidation.
  • Indifference and apathy. Parents see that child act cruelly towards animals or other people but do not do anything about it, they may allow child to observe scenes of violence. Usually such parents and are indifferent to alcohol and drugs.
  • Exploitation. Adults use the child labor to satisfy their wants (in housekeeping or making money).
  • Inappropriate control:
    • Lack of control – the child is at risk for the hurting oneself or others.
    • Excessive control is keeping a child from developing their identity, exploring the environment.
    • Inadequate control leads to the problems in child’s behavior, as it causes misunderstanding of the situation.
  • Heartlessness. A child must be in safe environment and surrounded with love to understand the world, while living in cruelty the world becomes dangerous and hostile place to him.
  • Incoherence. If a parent acts inconsistently, the child is not able to learn.
  • Coldness in relation to a child. Feeling the coldness of parents and observing the cruel world, children fail to build relationships with other people and have a lack of confidence.
  • Degradation. Degradation is a behavior that destroys the self-esteem of the child that may include rudeness, abusive language, and public humiliation of the child. Often the violent methods of upbringing are used by those parents who are under stress.

Consequences of emotional abuse in children

The child may not show any sign of abuse for a long time. Nevertheless, the deep scars are left in his subconscious mind that can (and will!) suddenly show up in the future. The main consequences of emotional abuse in children are low self-esteem, emotional problems and difficulties in building relationships.

What can be done if you are an abusive parent?

First of all, you need to reduce the stress in your life. Visit a psychologist, if you can not solve the problem on your own. Psychologist will help to understand the causes of stress and find a way to get rid of it. 

How can you help a child?

  1. Give attention to all your children. Regularly tell them that you love them.
  2. Be a support for a child.
  3. Protect the child from the violence. Your house must be a safe place.
  4. Praise the child. Praise his skills, abilities, mark his strengths.
  5. Teach a child to cope with the problems.
  6. Teach a child to think independently. But be near when he wants to talk to you about his thoughts and feelings.
  7. Respect the thoughts and feelings of a child.
  8. Work with yourself. A psychologically healthy and stress-free parent is the best gift you can give your child.

If you are an adult survivor of child abuse (be it emotional or physical), you can eliminate your trauma and reclaim your life! Please do not let your past ruin your life! No matter how painful and ugly your childhood was, you can get rid of that pain completely, and permanently. Yes, it will be a painful process, and it will take time and effort, but the prize – freedom – is priceless. Do not let them keep poisoning your life! Click this link to learn more and download a free e-book that can completely transform your life.