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Interpreting Verbal Abuse In Children
Interpreting Verbal Abuse
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Interpreting Verbal Abuse In Children

Sometimes, parents tend to use words to correct a child or give positive criticisms on activities done by him or her but when these corrections, and criticisms become consistent with the intent of belittling and making the child less confident in themselves, this becomes verbal abuse.

What Is Verbal Abuse?

It can be defined as a type of emotion where a parent or caregiver uses words to ridicule, dominate, manipulate and belittle a child.

This could affect a child’s self-esteem, worth and value. It also harms a child’s mental health,  affecting his or her social skills, school activities and relationships with friends and family.

Most children don’t know if they have been or are facing this type of abuse at home because they believe their parents can always use any kind of word on them and it doesn’t matter but when this happens frequently to belittle and make you feel less, it becomes a serious case. If you don’t get medical support and help, it could affect you in your later years and relationships with people.

The following are signs that could help you understand what verbal abuse is all about.

Recognizing The Signs

  • Threatening and constant rejection:

When parents persistently tell a child words like “you aren’t wanted here”, ” I wish I never had you”, “I’m going to kill you one of these days”, and ” I hate you”. These can affect the child’s sense of worth, and self-confidence making him or she feel like a stranger and unwanted in the family.

  • Name-calling:

This is a common habit among verbal abusing parents. They use words that tend to belittle a child and him or her feel stupid and useless e.g: “You’re crazy”, ” You are more useless than a rat”, and “How could you be so dumb?”.

  • Humiliating The Child In Public:

This is when a parent embarrasses and humiliates a child in public by either giving negative criticism about an activity done by the child or insulting and swearing at them in public.

It could also be taunting and teasing them negatively about their body weights, attitudes, behaviours, personalities and identities.

  • “The Blame Game”:

This is when a parent constantly blames a child for their actions, and attitudes instead of them apologizing.

They make the child feel like every mistake, fault and wrongdoing is the fault sault and soon they begin to see themselves as the crux of every family issue. They are also known to say words like: ” It’s my fault mom and dad are always fighting”, ” I’m such a fool, I never get anything right”, “Why should I keep going, Dad says I’m just a simpleton who makes silly mistakes”.

You know, when they utter these words occasionally, they become it and soon, the enthusiasm to be themselves and enjoy growing up will be squashed.

How To Help A Verbally Abused Child

  • Communicate with them at their vulnerable age
  • Listen and interact with them
  • Always be patient with the child’s development and yourself
  • Understand their attitudes and behaviour before discipline.
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