Child emotional abuse, also known as psychological or verbal abuse, can be a form of parental behavior that impacts your child’s emotional development.

It can also be defined as when a caregiver or parent mars a child’s mental and social development, leading to intense emotional harm.

Examples include:

  • Constant rejection, hostility, teasing, bullying, yelling, and negative criticisms
  • Physically or socially isolating the child
  • Withholding love, support, praise, and attention from a child
  • Preventing a child from exploring, being creative, and mingling with friends
  • Frequently shouting, screaming, cursing at a child
  • Exposing a child to domestic violence
  • Damaging their self-esteem and worth
  • Creating a distorted view of what parents should be

Child emotional abuse also works with physical and sexual abuse to influence the child.

This makes them loyal to their abusers, making it difficult for them to speak up.

Signs To Look Out For

The following are signs that may indicate emotional abuse in children:

  • Extreme behaviors: aggression, irritation, anger
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Feels unloved, worthless, and unwanted
  • Trying hard to please parents
  • Slowly declines in school activities
  • Suffer from disorders related to sleeping, eating, and communicating
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Social withdrawal
  • Low self-esteem and confidence

These may be symptoms of other cognitive disorders, so don’t dismiss them. Take your child to the medical professional for proper evaluation.   

Risk Factors That Could Lead To Emotional Abuse

These are factors that may increase the likelihood that abuse will occur:

  • Having physical or mental illness such as PTSD, depression, anxiety disorder
  • Dealing with financial stress and unemployment
  • Social separation or isolation from extended family    
  • History of childhood emotional abuse 
  • Abusing chemicals or substances like drugs and alcohol

Tips For Healing From Child Emotional Abuse

These are steps that a parent can implement in the healing process of their children. They include:

  • Let Your Child Write Out Their Feelings:

Writing has been proven to help significantly with emotional stress and issues.

Get a journal or diary for them to write out how they feel and their thoughts. Tell them they don’t need to share with anyone except if they want to.

If they are confused about how to start, the following prompt by all four kids.org can help out:

  • How are you feeling? Explain.
  • What was the best part of your week?

              What was the worst part of your week? Why?

  • What are some things that make you feel good?
  • Build A Safe Space:

Create a safe talking space where they are allowed to express their complex feelings and emotions. Let them know you are there to listen and not judge them.

Don’t pressure them to talk; let them open up and listen with full attention.

  • Book A Session With A Therapist:

A professional will help them learn how to trust again, manage conflict, and deeply understand their prognosis.     

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