Verbal Abuse on Children
Parents must always remember to watch that their words and behaviors do not raise to the level of verbal abuse on children. Sometimes we lash out in anger with hurtful words, but children should never be the target.
It may be doubly hard for parents to remember this if they themselves were raised in an abusive household. “What we say to our children affects them profoundly. Parents who verbally criticize their children were usually raised in the same way. They may be in denial about this. It may be that they cannot properly identify what they experienced as ‘abuse.’ They can justify their parent’s cruel treatment of them all day long. They can get angry with everyone but their parents or no one at all. Anger creates a desire for change. Anger can be very transformative. Anger helps us confront injustice.” (divinecaroline.com)
Studies indicate that verbal abuse on children can have lasting negative consequences on the victim. A negative self-image is “the most common and pervasive effect of verbal abuse.” (behavioralinstitute.org) But abused children also demonstrate higher-than-normal rates of self-destructive activity and anti-social behavior. “The New Hampshire study found that verbally abused children demonstrated higher rates of physical aggression, delinquency, and interpersonal problems. Your child may hit other children, frequently quarrel with his classmates, or be cruel to (or even torture) animals.” (behavioralinstitute.org)
If you are worried your behavior may be causing damge, “in moments of stress and anger, try to refrain from saying anything mean or sarcastic to your child. Remember, you’re his main and most important role model. If you tend to fall apart, lose your cool, and act abusively at challenging times, you’ll likely raise a child who does the same.” (behavioralinstitute.org)
If you would like more information about verbal abuse on children, please visit one of the links below, which were referenced in the article: