It pains me to write about child abuse but if my article will save one child from the trauma of emotional abuse, it will have been worth it. All abuses are ugly whether they are physical or emotional. Unfortunately, we can’t see the scars of emotional abuse as readily as we see the scars from physical abuse. Experts believe the emotional scars last well into adult hood creating a vicious cycle. Our parenting inheritances kick in when we become parents. If we were emotionally abused as children we’re likely to abuse our children. It is up to us to break the cycle.
Awareness is the first step in correcting emotional abuses. We are perpetrators of emotional child abuse if we:
- Make a child feel unimportant or undeserving of respect by belittling them.
- Respond in opposition to a child’s comments and continually point out errors and mistakes.
- Find fault, are dismissive, make rude remarks in a joking, often sarcastic way, creating emotional put-downs.
- Tease, harass or ridicule our children.
- Refuse to provide emotional support, share information or otherwise not allow the child to participate in family matters.
- Shift the blame –scapegoat–to make our child take the blame for others.
- Criticize, correct and are relentlessly finding fault.
- Intimidate through words or actions that threaten harm or loss of something important to our child.
- Express criticism or disapproval of them through name-calling tactics.
- Lash out angrily by yelling, screaming, or issue demands.
If we see ourselves displaying any of the above, it becomes imperative that we notice what we are doing so that we, and our children, have the chance to overcome any emotional abuses of parental inheritances. It’s never too early or too late to affect the change needed to offer emotional stability to our most precious commodities. If any of the above mentioned emotional abuses are intentional, seek professional help. Our children deserve the right to a life of emotional security and freedom. Hugs!