Guest Author - Kelli Deister
Emotional abuse is one form of abuse. There are several ways in which a parent might emotionally abuse their child. It can begin very subtly and then progress into extreme behaviors.
One type of emotional abuse occurs when the parent does not feel a closeness with their child and basically ignores the child. They may say the old statement of, “Children should be seen and not heard.” This statement can be very harsh to a child, especially if they grow up hearing it repeatedly. The statement insinuates that the child has no right to speak or be a part of the family unit. It’s as though they do not exist, in the eyes of their parents. The child most likely feels as though they are not a part of the family and, though they long for love from their parents, they feel that they don’t have a right to be loved.
Another form of emotional abuse happens when the parents pick one child to single out. This child receives all of the emotional abuse while their siblings have the love of the parent, as well as the acceptance. The abusive parents single out the one child They may forbid them to cry or feel any emotion. They may call them names and focus all of their abusive behaviors on the one child. That child soon begins to feel as though they are not worthy to be loved or accepted by anyone, even their parents. The parents might even tell the child that they don’t belong with the family. They may say that they were a mistake or an accident. These types of comments will forever scar the child emotionally.
Another type of emotional abuse is when the parents do not allow their child to have a normal childhood with the various activities and being with their friends. They do not permit their child to participate in after school activities or hang out with any friends. Forbidding a child to take part in normal childhood activities only further isolates them and, yes, is a form of emotional abuse.
The emotions are a fragile part of every person. Emotions are also a normal part of childhood. However, when a child is forbidden to express or feel any emotions, it can have long lasting effects on the child. The scars from emotional abuse can often be worse than the scars of physical abuse. The wounds inflicted from physical abuse will heal over time. However, the scars of emotional abuse last a great deal longer. It should also be noted that many times people cannot or do not see the scars of emotional abuse. That is why educating ourselves on the truths of emotional abuse is so important.
Every child deserves to have a healthy childhood!