Emotional Abuse in Children

This is what I witnessed in a local mall two days back: This woman a heavily built personality with a three-year-old girl in tow. Irritation is visible in her every step and the tiny girl hardly able to keep pace with her mother. Suddenly, the towering mother turned back down towards her daughter, I didn’t know what prompted her but she menacingly raised her hand to try to hit the puny little girl. The girl instinctively ducked safely, had the girl taken the massive thrust of the hand she would have got hurtled a few feet away on the floor. The girl shivered with terror-ridden eyes.

I shuddered to make out how much physical and mental trauma the girl might have experiencing at the hands of her grossly insensitive mother- at home

Emotional abuse is an attitude of abusive verbal or behavioral actions and ill-treatment of a child. Mostly it is intentional. Continued for a long time there is every chance that the child would experience long-lasting negative, psychological and emotional development. This can be inflicted by parents at home or teachers at school level.

It is a general practice and common pattern among most of the parents and teachers to use abusive and insulting language that attacks the self-worth of a child.

Abusive treatment can be:

Continuous punishments and threat of punishments for slightest provocation

Constant criticism and manipulative language to control and to make submissive in behavior and actions

Creating a climate of fear and withholding affection and isolation

Constantly shaming them – privately and publicly: not allowing them to voice their anxieties and concerns

To physically or socially isolate a child and not allowing them to socialize with others

Withholding affection, communication, ignoring their presence

Behaviours and attitudes like these are habitually found among most of the parents and in schools. Children are constant victims of emotional abuse and physical threat.

As parents, we need to be sensitive and develop a keen observation to recognize the signs of abuse in a child. Like:

Fear, shame, and humiliation

Poor self- image, depression, and anxiety

Unusual rebellious behavior

Self-destructive impulses

They become passive, silent, vague and withdrawn

Preventing child abuse can be done by learning about the parenting techniques, discussing with reliable experts about being a nurturing parent.

Parents should know about:

How to develop becoming attached to their children and language expressive of intimacy, care:

Parents must have an understanding of the role and the extent of influence of their language and attitude to create healthy conditions at home. Working towards positive relationships, good communications, and observation and listening to what the children are expressing.

Parents with good social connections friends, relatives can expect a good support network to help deal with difficult and stressed times. And home can be a tension-free place both for parents and children.

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