Have you ever used emotional blackmail to get a reaction that you wanted from your child? Of course, maybe you never thought that this is how is called and interpreted, a phrase that your parents have used it on you as well, and it doesn`t seem to have affected that much. Phrases that have become almost a tradition among some families, such as “no child will play with you if you get dirty,” “I`ll punish you if you don`t learn,” “Bau Bau will come and take you if you are not good” and many others, are in fact ways of emotional blackmail, which create a state of tension in the child`s psyche, which may have some repercussions in his adult life.
Moreover, emotional blackmail is a form of violence that very few of us are aware of. Not just the screams and reproaches are part of this category, as most of us may think, but the words said with the best intention or at least seem so at first sight. The truth is that we can compare every child with a sponge, which absorbs all the information around him, and at some point they play an important role in his life. That`s why, in the following lines, you`ll find out more about the various forms of verbal violence and its consequences on your child`s psyche, but also what we can do to prevent them.
Table of Contents
What Is Verbal Violence?
Verbal violence is a form of abusive behavior, using language. We define by this phrase any word said intentionally or unintentionally, which results in affecting the positive emotions of the person who hears it. Another definition of this form of violence offers us a even more specific explanation, explaining both the state of the transmitter and receiver: verbal violence is defined as a form of emotional manifestation by which the abuser wishes to control a person.
So, even if you don`t use a high tone in the discussions you have with your family, the desire to manipulate them, to hurt them with words or impose your ideas is a form of violent manifestation.
We live these forms of manifestation of verbal violence more and more these days, without realizing that we are abused or we abuse. These is caused mostly by the daily stress, the areas and boundaries of our emotions and the various plans from our lives not being so well outlined, this often being reflected in our children unconsciously. Statistics show that suicides among adolescents have increased, due to some verbal confrontations with their parents, and that`s why we should all pay more attention to this particular aspect.
Causes of Verbal Violence
To prevent the occurrence of verbal violence, we should first what causes it. In this idea, we should take a look inside of us, making an objective introspection, to discover the real problem behind this behavior.
Verbal violence is caused by the feeling of negative emotions, frustrations and resentments, which are waiting to get their head to light to be solved. Still, as you may have guessed, their aggressive manifestation isn`t the answer, no matter if they are direct towards an adult or a child.
When you surprise yourself with a verbal outburst, stop for a second from your emotional download, retreat to a quiet place and meditate on the anger you feel Why do you feel the need to manifest this way? It`s the problem that triggered this episode that important to take such an extent? Maybe there`s another reason for which you are irritated.
Be careful! Most frustrations and resentments manifest themselves in episodes that have nothing to do with them. A concrete and common example is frustration caused by work, thrown over close family members, very often children. This is also because in your heart you are aware that they love you unconditionally and will remain with you not matter what, unlike your boss, who if you tell him what bothers you, this could have a negative impact on your job. But do your children really deserve to be the subjects of your “fire” just because your situation at work is stressful?
Among the main causes, we remind:
- An acute lack of communication or deficient communication with family members.
- Daily stress that each of us faces.
- Lack of a clear delimitation of the professional plan from the familiar one, or of the personal problems from those of the other members of the family.
- Disagreements between the family members.
- An egocentric, selfish or perfectionist personality.
- Depression or other disorder of the one who abuses the other family members.
Therefore, when a form of verbal violence manifests itself, the main cause is the one who uses it and not the ones around him, much less the children. – Click here!
Forms of Verbal Violence
The verbal abuse on children might take the form of:
- Insulting (insults, nicknames).
- Threat (intimidation).
- Free blame.
- Unconstructive criticism.
- Demoralization (disregard).
Verbal abuse makes the child think that:
- “Nobody likes me!”
- “I`m not good for anything!”
- “I`m the only one to blame for everything!”
- “Maybe it would have been better not to be born!”
Effects of Verbal Violence
- Depression: Screaming at children as well as their continued demoralization creates a favorable context for the deployment of depression and its effects that affect the quality of life and all of its compartments. – More details!
- Low mental and physical performance: Due to a lower self-confidence and ability to succeed, the child will have performances at kindergarten or school in other contexts that aren`t desirable.
- Complexities of inferiority: A child who is continually unappreciated, demoralized and verbally aggressed will develop the idea that “something is wrong with me,” blaming his own person for anything, he`ll even regret he was born.
- Health issues: The first to appear is depression, and this results in a lot of associated somatic disorders. The child`s appetite decreases or, on the contrary, flies into it. Subsequent growth or delays occur in the development of vital organs, bones or muscles.
- Self-destructive behavior: In rare cases, especially in the case of those with a predisposing psychic structure, a verbally aggrieved child can resort to forms of self-damaging behavior, he cuts himself, scratches until it hurts, etc.
- Aggressive trends: Experts claim that the numerous verbal “hits” on the children do nothing else than encourage them to develop an aggressive child with severe interpersonal problems. Also, experts claim these children are prone to become future delinquents.
How to Help the Child Cope with Verbal Violence?
First of all, it`s important to teach your child what is abuse and what it implies. You need to teach him that verbal violence implies any kind of treatment of a person that implies screaming, criticizing, nicknaming, manipulation, threats, etc. Explain on his/her meaning to know how to recognize them in the future.
Identify real situations that are classified as verbal abuses and explain them to him. The child shouldn`t be isolated from these situations, on the contrary, he learns more when he observes directly. Obviously, you don`t need to expose him to any violence that may traumatize him. But if a child puts nicknames on another child, you can let your child observe the situation and explain to him why this isn`t a good thing to happen.
Get involved in any role-plays by creating various scenarios and real-life situations, and teach him how to behave in such situations or how to recognize verbal violence signals in various contexts.
Be a model to him! Don`t verbally abuse anyone, not even the house pets you have.