Emotional abuse signs can vary by age, temperament and even gender and they can manifest in behaviors that range from one extreme to the other. For example, an emotionally mistreated child may be overly aggressive or extremely withdrawn or both depending on the circumstances.
The signs of emotional abuse can be hard to detect and even harder to link, as a direct cause, of verbal and psychological maltreatment.
The emotional abuse of children seemingly only compromises 7% of all reported cases, but it is the one abuse that is present with all other types of abuse such as physical and sexual, so technically speaking, emotional abuse is present in 100% of all cases.
Emotional abuse can be present in schools (bullying), communities, workplaces and in the worst case scenario - the home. Emotional abuse warning signs in children can manifest in a variety of ways. The following are examples of the different types of emotional abuse signs.
Emotional Abuse Signs - Indicators:
Emotional Abuse Signs - Observable Behaviors:
Due to factors such as societal differences and cultural practices in the way that we raise boys and girls, many times the warning signs of emotional abuse will be gender specific.
Boys may tend toward more:
Girls may tend toward more:
Family, Caregiver or Parental Indicators
Common characteristics of the abusing adult include:
Emotional abuse signs can be difficult to discern and may be judged as "the child's fault." Verbal abuse and neglect often take place under a veil of secrecy. A superficial, happy, well-adjusted front may be put on by the family who is suffering behind closed doors.
It is important to create safe channels for parents to get help with their parenting, stress management or whatever else may be inhibiting a successful relationship with their children or partner.
If you would like more information on conscious parenting alternatives - click here to check out my free parenting course.
1. Child Welfare Information Gateway https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/factsheets/whatiscan.cfm
2.Understanding the Six Forms of Emotional Abuse, Oliver Tuthill, Autumn Tree Productions, 1998 http://www.worldcat.org/title/understanding-the-six-forms-of-emotional-child-abuse/oclc/43980174
3. Psychological child maltreatment. A developmental view. Garbarino J. Erikson Institute for Advanced Study in Child Development, Chicago, Illinois. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8356153
What do you think? I love hearing from you, so leave me a comment below. Share your stories, post your challenges and if you benefited from this article, consider sharing it with a friend!