A child as young as two can be affected by verbal abuse. Mistreatment during infancy and early childhood negatively affect early brain development and can have a long term effect into their adolescence and adulthood. The experiences we live through infancy and early childhood provide a framework for the expression of children's intelligence, emotions and personalities. When those experiences are primarily negative, children may build up emotional, behavioral and learning problems that carry on during their lifetime (Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2001). "Our brains are sculpted by our early experiences. Maltreatment is a chisel that shapes a brain to contend with strife, but at the cost of deep, enduring wounds" (Teicher, 2000 cited in Child Welfare Information Gateway, 2001). You've no doubt heard the saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." Well, it's not true. Name-calling hurts especially when the person doing it is a parent, a teacher, or a coach. Shouting and flashing your anger might hit you as a natural and effective form of discipline but for children it may cause emotional pain that result in long-lasting harm. Among other things, verbal abuse can dishearten your child's self-worth, damage his ability to trust and form relationships, and disfigure academic and social skills (Vardigan, 2006).
A child experiencing verbal abuse may not be physically or sexually abused. He/She may not also be neglected. Despite the lack of physical aggression or sexual behavior, however, most people probably view this behavior as wrong or at least, less than optimal. Verbal abuse, a form of psychological maltreatment, may be the most destructive and lasting form of maltreatment.
For instance, a kid wants to enter on a basketball team, he may hear abusive words spoken by his parents. The child's parent tells that he is too lazy to practice with the team or to dumb to shoot the ball in the net or he is too sensitive that he would...
References: Arceo-Dumlao, Tina (2007). "Spare the rod, spoil your kids with love." cited in _____(Ed.). Philippine Daily Inquirer. Vol. 22 No. 26, pp. A1 and A8.
Havelin, Kate (2000). Child Abuse: Why do my Parents hit me?. Minnesota: Capstone Press.
Miller-Perrin, Cindy and Robert Perrin (1999). Child Maltreatment: An Introduction. California: Sage Publications, Incorporated.
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