When we discuss child protection, there is this goal of keeping the child’s overall health. That includes his emotional, physical, and mental aspects. As parents, it is our responsibility always to consider his development before anything else. Thus, there is proper parenting. There is a need for support, care, understanding, and love. However, parenting is not perfect, and it will never be one. Sometimes, as adults, we do things that we think are okay for a kid, but are genuinely not. There is this mentality that because we are the “parents,” we have the right to control a young individual in inconsiderable ways. But that is wrong. It will never become a point to validate how harsh we can be to our child. That explains why a lot of psychologists want us to recognize what types of danger are there in abusing a child.
Childhood abuse develops into a life-long mental and emotional issue. It strengthens the child’s negative traits such as insecurities and self-doubt. It also leads to intimacy and relationship problems too later in his life. According to Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD, “For children that have suffered from abuse, it can be complex getting to the root of childhood trauma in order to alleviate later symptoms as adults.” Depending on the severity of any kinds of childhood abuse, it can cause the kid to suffer from PTSD, anxiety, and depression as well.
Name-calling or any other types of verbal abuse is typical to some of us parents. That is because we believe that words don’t hurt at all. We think that spitting out those words are reasonable to our current emotional outburst. We are confident that our kid will forget about it eventually. But the truth is, words mean a lot to a child. It severely hurts his feelings and changes his perception of life. Aside from the emotional damage the verbal abuse can do, it affects the mental state as well. It increases the child’s potential for developing a personality disorder. That is because verbal abuse negatively alters brain development.
Any harmful activity that causes our kid to feel pain in his body is physical abuse. Kicking, biting, slapping, hitting, choking, and throwing are only to name a few. These unfavorable actions that most of us often do to our kid develop scars, bruises, cuts, and broken bones. In some unfortunate instances, these physical abuses cause death, depending on how hard parents would beat him. Some parents would say that these actions are appropriate in punishing a kid when he makes a mistake. However, most experts don’t support the idea of hurting a child physically. They believe that it will not help a child understand a lesson. Instead, physical punishment will only result in emotional and mental damage.
Shaming a child for doing something that most of us parents think is wrong is abusive behavior. Psychologists explain it as something we inflict only to gain control towards our kid. For some of us, it is a significant practice because it makes a child listen and pay more attention. Thus, shaming supports some parents in getting what they want. However, its consistency in parenting creates an unpleasant outcome. Our kid loses trust and confidence towards other people. With shame, he will fear to do something without approval. He becomes dependent on instructions and is often anxious about his decisions in life. As he grows up, our child becomes more hesitant in developing social connections due to the fear of betrayal.
The practice of helicopter parenting is so overbearing that we do not allow a child to have any say even on minor details on his life. Yes, it is understandable that most of us only want to regularly check-in on our special one. However, the negative behavior deprives the kid of having a healthy boundary. Helicopter parenting pushes our child to progress mental scars. With that, he becomes susceptible to psychological illnesses. These include different cases of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, sleep problems, PTSD, and phobias. “If trauma is repeated, for instance, as in chronic physical or sexual abuse, then the disorder might persist more than it would after only one incident. Repetition has a cumulative effect, as unresolved trauma is layered upon unresolved trauma,” says Natalie D’Annibale, PsyD, LMFT. In some unfortunate cases, our helicopter parenting even pushes a child to self-harm and encourages suicidal thoughts.
When a child gets neglected with proper understanding, love, and care, he instantly experiences many problems in both current and later life. We can expect him to develop emotional, psychological, physical, and social underdevelopment. As parents, it is essential that we know how our ways of parenting can avoid childhood abuses. According to Tanya J. Peterson, a certified mental health counselor, “Childhood abuse, especially child sexual abuse, increases the likelihood of PTSD in adulthood. Childhood abuse is physically and emotionally damaging, and it disrupts the healthy development of the child. This can make someone vulnerable to future abusive relationships and further exacerbate PTSD.”