Signs of Emotional Abuse From Parents

 Signs of Emotional Abuse From Parents

Signs of Emotional Abuse From Parents_ichhori.webp

What Is Emotional Abuse by Parents?

Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, is a pattern of behaviour sustained by a parent that causes emotional discomfort, undermines a child's sense of self-worth, and interferes with their emotional development. Rejection, relentless criticism, threats, or emotional neglect are all examples.

Child abuse and neglect are much too widespread in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with one in every seven children a victim. While any child can be a victim of emotional abuse, the CDC emphasises that poor children are at a higher risk of abuse.

While mental abuse does not result in scratches or bruises, it can cause serious emotional scarring and be just as harmful to a kid as physical or sexual abuse.  However, because it does not leave physical signs, it might be more difficult to notice and prove, thus individuals and law enforcement officials may be less likely to intervene and help the child.

Nonetheless, child abuse by parents or legal guardians of children under the age of 18 is a crime punishable by the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.

This article addresses the different types, indicators, and consequences of emotional abuse by parents.

Types of Emotional Abuse by Parents

These are some of the types of emotional abuse children may experience from their parents:

  • Constantly criticising the child 

  • Blaming the child for adult problems

  • Rejecting the child repeatedly

  • Dismissing the child’s feelings

  • Deliberately causing the child emotional pain

  • Ridiculing the child or mocking them

  • Humiliating or publicly shaming the child

  • Talking down to the child

  • Calling the child names

  • Getting angry at the child often

  • Yelling or swearing at the child

  • Threatening to abandon the child

  • Threatening to harm the child or their family members, friends, or pets

  • Intimidating or scaring the child

  • Coercing or manipulating the child

  • Gaslighting the child

  • Frequently harassing or picking on the child

  • Ignoring the child or using silence to control their behaviour

  • Withholding love, support, and guidance

  • Neglecting to care for the child and their needs

  • Allowing the child to witness domestic violence and abuse

  • Emotional abuse can be perpetuated in person or online, through text messages, emails, social media, and other digital apps or platforms.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

These are some common signs that a child might be experiencing abuse:

  • Sudden changes in behaviour or academic performance

  • Watchful demeanour, as though waiting for something bad to happen

  • Nervousness around certain people

  • A tendency to avoid being around certain people

  • Withdrawn or unresponsive demeanour

  • Overly passive or compliant behaviour

  • Early arrival and late departure from school or other activities

  • Reluctance to go home

  • Lack of adult supervision

  • Emotional distress or agitation

  • Aggression or rage

These are some of the signs of emotionally abusive parents:

  • Rarely touching the child or showing affection

  • Stating that they do not like the child

  • Describing the child as a burden

  • Showing little concern for the child and refusing others’ help

  • Demanding academic results and sporting performances the child cannot achieve

  • Berating the child in front of their friends, teachers, or neighbours

  • Denying that there are any problems at home or at school

  • Telling teachers and other caregivers to discipline the child harshly if they misbehave

Impact of Emotional Abuse By Parents

According to a 2014 study, emotional abuse can make a youngster feel unwanted, unloved, useless, and imperfect.

Children who grow up with abusive parents may not notice the abuse since it is all they have ever known. They may blame themselves for their parents' conduct and grow up believing they are unlovable or unworthy of respect.

Emotional abuse may be extremely harmful to children and have long-term ramifications long after the abuse has stopped. These are some of the negative consequences that a child may face as a result of emotional abuse:

Attention, learning, and memory problems are examples of cognitive issues.

Academic concerns include low school attendance, poor academic performance, and disciplinary problems.

Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and low self-esteem are examples of mental health disorders.

Challenges in interpreting, communicating, processing, and managing emotions are examples of emotional difficulties.

Substance abuse, such as the use of alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs at a young age

Acting out, behaving strangely, or trying too hard to satisfy others are examples of behavioural disorders.

Weight and appetite fluctuations, which could lead to eating disorders, nutritional deficiencies, and malnourishment

Insomnia and nightmares are examples of sleep disorders.

Physical aches and pains that have no other obvious cause and do not seem to improve with treatment

Career problems as a result of lesser educational achievement, fewer employment prospects, and a higher risk of delinquency

Relationship problems as a result of largely unhealthy patterns being modelled

Because this is the relational dynamic they grew up with, children who have been emotionally abused are more likely to be abusive to others or to seek out abusive people. As a result, individuals may become abuse victims or perpetrators in the future. The intergenerational cycle of violence refers to this.

A Word From Ichhori 

Emotional abuse may be painful and frightening for children, leaving deep emotional wounds and serious negative repercussions. As a result, it is critical to detect the warning signals and seek aid for children who may be at risk.

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