If you are an adult who has lived through the hell of growing up with a narcissistic parent, you’ll recognize these 5 types of emotional abuse.
These are the things emotionally abusive parents do to their children. These are the things that leave invisible scars…but the damage is real. These are the things that taught all of us badass adults how to be strong.
Parents or caregivers who display rejecting behavior toward a child will often [purposefully or unconsciously] let a child know, in a variety of ways, that he or she is unwanted. Putting down a child’s worth or belittling their needs are some ways this type of emotional abuse may manifest. Other examples can include telling a child to leave, or worse, to get out of your face, calling him names or telling the child that he is worthless, making a child the family scapegoat or blaming him for family/sibling problems. Refusing to talk to or hold a young child as he grows can also be considered abusive behavior.
Adults who have had few of their emotional needs met are often unable to respond to the needs of their children. They may not show attachment to the child or provide positive nurturing. They may show no interest in the child, or withhold affection or even fail to recognize the child’s presence. Many times the parent is physically there but emotionally unavailable. Failing to respond to or consistently interact with your child constitutes emotional and psychological abuse.
Parents who use threats, yelling and cursing are doing serious psychological damage to their children. Singling out one child to criticize and punish or ridiculing her for displaying normal emotions is abusive. Threatening a child with harsh words, physical harm, abandonment or in extreme cases death is unacceptable. Even in jest, causing a child to be terrified by the use of threats and/or intimidating behavior is some of the worst emotional abuse. This includes witnessing, hearing or knowing that violence is taking place in the home.
A parent who abuses a child through isolation may not allow the child to engage in appropriate activities with his or her peers; may keep a baby in his or her room, unexposed to stimulation or may prevent teenagers from participating in extracurricular activities. Requiring a child to stay in his or her room from the time school lets out until the next morning, restricting eating, or forcing a child to isolation or seclusion by keeping her away from family and friends can be destructive and considered emotional abuse depending on the circumstances and severity
Exploitation can be considered manipulation or forced activity without regard for a child’s need for development. For instance, repeatedly asking an eight-year-old to be responsible for the family’s dinner is inappropriate. Giving a child responsibilities that are greater than a child of that age can handle or using a child for profit is abusive.
If you have gone through these types of abuse, my heart goes out to you. Learning to love yourself enough to replace all the love that wasn’t given to you is not an easy task, but it is something that must be done.