Parents are expected to provided for their children, but not just financially. Parents don’t simply need to put food on the table, build a shelter to live in and provide clothing and materialistic necessities to their kids. Parents, most importantly, need to provide for their children’s emotional growth.
But how can parents make their children emotionally strong, when they abuse them emotionally, without them even knowing?
These are 6 of the most common emotional abuse cause by parent to their children:
Adults who have had few of their emotional needs met are often unable to respond to the needs of their children. They may not show attachment to the child or provide positive nurturing. They may show no interest in the child, or withhold affection or even fail to recognize the child’s presence.
Many times the parent is physically there but emotionally unavailable. Failing to respond to or interact with your child, consistently, constitutes emotional and psychological abuse.
no response to infant’s spontaneous social behaviors
failure to pay attention to significant events in child’s life
lack of attention to schooling, peers, etc.
refusing to discuss your child’s activities and interests
planning activities/vacations without including your child
not accepting the child as an offspring
denying required health care
denying required dental care
failure to engage child in day to day activities
failure to protect child
Narcissistic parents or caregivers who display rejecting behavior toward a child will often [purposefully or unconsciously] let a child know, in a variety of ways, that he or she is unwanted. Putting down a child’s worth or belittling their needs is one form these types of emotional abuse may take.
Other examples can include telling a child to leave or worse, to get out of your face, calling him names or telling the child that he is worthless, making a child the family scapegoat or blaming him for family/sibling problems. Refusing to talk to or holding a young child as he or she grows can also be considered abuse.
telling child he/she is ugly
yelling or swearing at the child
frequent belittling and use of labels such as “stupid” or “idiot”
constant demeaning jokes
constant teasing about child’s body type and/or weight
expressing regret the child wasn’t born the opposite sex
refusing hugs and loving gestures
excluding child from family activities
treating an adolescent like he is a child
expelling the child from the family
not allowing a child to make his own reasonable choices
A parent who abuses a child through isolation may not allow the child to engage in appropriate activities with his or her peers; may keep a baby in his or her room, not exposed to stimulation or may prevent teenagers from participating in extracurricular activities. Requiring a child to stay in his or her room from the time school lets out until the next morning, restricting eating, or forcing a child to isolation or seclusion by keeping her away from family and friends can be destructive and considered emotional abuse depending on the circumstances and severity.
leaving a child unattended for long periods
keeping a child away from family
not allowing a child to have friends
not permitting a child to interact with other children
rewarding a child for withdrawing from social contact
ensuring that a child looks and acts differently than peers
isolating a child from peers or social groups
insisting on excessive studying and/or chores
preventing a child from participating in activities outside the home
punishing a child for engaging in normal social experiences
Exploitation can be considered manipulation or forced activity without regard for a child’s need for development. For instance, repeatedly asking an eight-year-old to be responsible for the family’s dinner is inappropriate. Giving a child responsibilities that are far greater than a child of that age can handle or using a child for profit is abusive.
infants and young children expected not to cry
anger when infant fails to meet a developmental stage
a child expected to be ‘caregiver’ to the parent
a child expected to take care of younger siblings
blaming a child for misbehavior of siblings
unreasonable responsibilities around the house
expecting a child to support family financially
encouraging participation in pornography
sexually abusing child or youth
Parents who corrupt may permit children to use drugs or alcohol, watch cruel behavior toward animals, watch or look at inappropriate sexual content or to witness or participate in criminal activities such as stealing, assault, prostitution, gambling, etc.
Encouraging an underage child to do things that are illegal or harmful is abusive and should be reported.
rewarding child for bullying and/or harassing behavior
teaching racism and ethnic biases or bigotry
encouraging violence in sporting activities
inappropriate reinforcement of sexual activity
rewarding a child for lying and stealing
rewarding a child for substance abuse or sexual activity
supplying child with drugs, alcohol and other illegal substances
promoting illegal activities such as selling drugs
Parents who use threats, yelling and cursing are doing serious psychological damage to their children. Singling out one child to criticize and punish or ridiculing her for displaying normal emotions is abusive. Threatening a child with harsh words, physical harm, abandonment or in extreme cases death is unacceptable.
Even in jest, causing a child to be terrified by the use of threats and/or intimidating behavior is some of the worst emotional abuse. This includes witnessing, hearing or knowing that violence is taking place in the home.
yelling, cursing and scaring
unpredictable and extreme responses to a child’s behavior
extreme verbal threats
raging, alternating with periods of warmth
berating family members in front of or in ear range of a child
threatening to destroy a favorite object
threatening to harm a beloved pet
forcing child to watch inhumane acts
inconsistent demands on the child
displaying inconsistent emotions
changing the “rules of the game”
threatening that the child is adopted or doesn’t belong
ridiculing a child in public
threatening to reveal intensely embarrassing traits to peers
threatening to kick an adolescent out of the house
FACT: Children and youth who witness family violence experience all six types of emotional abuse.
Source: Truth Inside of You