Emotional Abuse

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Nicole asked 12 years ago

What makes a parent emotionally abusive?

1 Answers
Insight Psychological Staff answered 2 years ago

Hello. Thank you for your question.

Emotional abuse is commonly seen as someone using consistent patterns of behaviors or speech that damages another person’s self-esteem and mental health.

Emotional abuse can show up in many different ways, such as:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Manipulation
  • Isolation of the child
  • Invasions of privacy

Many parents that are emotionally abusive have poor parenting skills and engage in abusive behaviors to get their children to behave in the way the parents desire. Some parents are also emotionally abusive as a result of their own life patterns or unresolved mental health circumstances.

Behaving in abusive ways could be a:

  • Response to trauma
  • Reaction to having a poor distress tolerance
  • Due to mental illness that can impact how they act in their relationships
  • Result of the patterns they experienced in their lives. Sometimes they will project onto the children based on their relationships with others, such as their partner. In other words, bullies are often bullied.

Unfortunately, common repercussions for the child of an emotionally abusive parent include developing anxiety, self-esteem issues, trauma, and experiencing problems with intimacy and relationships.

If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of trying to heal from your experience with emotionally abusive parents, want to become more connected with your emotions, and want to build a healthy relationship with yourself, we have many skilled therapists that can assist you in processing your experience and decreasing anxious thoughts and behaviors.

Alternatively, if you feel that you are an abusive parent, our experienced therapists can work with you to find the cause of your abusive behaviours, help you to cope with your patterns of behaviour and alternative methods of discipline and parenting.

Our therapists are very knowledgeable about parenting styles and can provide you with resources to break the cycle of emotionally abusive parenting.