7 Tips: How Does Emotional Abuse Damage Children’s Self-Esteem? Part 1
Did you know the effects of childhood abuse can last a lifetime?
Emotional abuse includes verbal violence and the lack of positive emotional support. Ab-users control, criticize, demean, ignore, make children less then, powerless, and victims.
Abuse robs children of the ability to trust, healthy psychological development, and high self-esteem. These children enter adulthood with a sense of inadequacy never feeling good enough. They fall into patterns of victimhood and powerlessness.
Did you know physical abuse almost always involves emotional abuse?
So how does emotional abuse damage a child’s self-esteem?
1. Emotional Repres-sion
Feelings denied or unacceptable in a family and unexpressed by a child became repressed. Children resist feeling by tensing muscles, shallow breathing, and repeating internal critical self-talk. They in essence numb themselves which I did as a child, teenager, and adult.
I ran constant records of self-talk like, I have nothing to say.
I falsely believed myself to be the lowest man on the totem pole
in terms of self-worth.
Limiting the expression of our feelings and also the creation of false beliefs erodes our self-esteem, as it did mine.
Learn to feel and express your feelings in healthy ways. Examine your critical self-talk and choose to change it. See Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem
by Patrick Fanning and Matthew McKay.
2. Emotional Violence
This violence stated to be prevalent in most physical abuse stunts our psychological devel-opment as children.
My parents verbal yelling and fighting with each other over my fathers constant drinking violated my family’s emotional well being.
I knew unconsciously as a child that if I spoke up or stood up to my father he would physi-cally beat me. For survival I shut down the expression of my feelings, retreated inside my-self, and became the invisible lost child.
As an adult I felt different and separate from any group I joined. As a result of my parents emotional violence, I attracted women who verbally belated and criticized me for my lack of emotional expression. They reinforced my feeling of inadequacy.
Tips: Learn to parent and heal your own inner child. See Healing The Child Within: Discovery and Recovery for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families
by Charles Whitfield M.D. http://ow.ly/8wIcg
3. Parents Use Children to Satisfy Their Own Needs
A healthy parent reflects back as a mirror a child’s behavior and feelings in a positive way. This builds and validates the child’s core of self-esteem.
Some parents, however, use a child to validate their own narcissistic needs. This type of parent has little or no awareness of the child’s needs. They also have little ability to mirror back to the child.
The child then gives up some or all of their needs for the parent. This parent never ac-knowledges when a child does something right or praises them. Children build their self-esteem through positive reinforcement from their parents.
With my father physically absence when he drank and emotionally absence even when physically around, I unconsciously as the eldest, took on the male role for my mother. I give up my core being and become the codependent caretaker.
Tips: Learn recovery methods for codependent behavior. See Emotional Health: The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, and Pain
by Michael David La-wrience. http://ow.ly/8wIme
Do you know someone who has suffered emotional abuse as a child?
See 7 Tips: How Does Emotional Abuse Damage Children’s Self-Esteem? Part 2 for the other 4 Tips next week
Michael David Lawrience
is giving away free 50-pages of his book, The Secret for Freedom from Drama, Trauma, & Pain
. His complete book gives more ways to improve your emotional health, chronic pain management, emotional healing, stress release, and ways to heal emotional abuse.
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