What Is Verbal
What is verbal abuse? It may
include such acts as threats of abandonment, cursing, demeaning
comments and other deprivations. It can deeply affect the
mind and spirit, destroying faith and causing confusion, doubt,
mistrust, guilt and fear.
Verbal abuse is very harmful to children on the above mentioned
levels. I have had to deal with the residue of such abuse as
a child. From this abuse, though, I have learned how to help
other victims as a healer now. One needs to always remember
that a child who is continually criticized can begin to believe the
negative messages. Children who suffer repeated emotional or
verbal abuse may experience depression, develop feelings of low
self-worth, and have difficulty in their interpersonal
relationships. All of these effects may be extend into
Be aware of any negative, hurtful verbal responses and reactions,
including negative words, tone of voice, and overall approach to
communicating with others - especially children. I have seen
the below eight "rules" work when put into practice by myself and
Instead of Yelling:
1. Pause and reconsider what you're going to say. Think of a
better response - or no response at all for the time being.
2. Remember the last time you felt like yelling, and concentrate on
what you did that helped you then.
3. When tempted to yell or use demeaning or threatening words, count to
20 or more before you yell.
4. Put your child, and even yourself, in a time-out chair.
Just sit there and cool off for a few minutes.
5. Sing or hum a favorite tune or song.
6. Call a friend to talk or even temporarily relieve you of childcare
7. Go outside for a breath of fresh air. Look at the sky to
get the bigger picture.
8. Write a brief list of your immediate feelings of
frustration. Then write the feelings you think you may still
have in 10 minutes or so.
The prescription is simple, and wonderfully effective. It is
love. It is plain, simple, everyday love and respect that is
the most effective tool in curing abuse and other family
problems. It is a tender plant that needs
nurturing. But it is worth all the effort we put into it.
My plea - and I wish I were more eloquent in voicing it - is a plea to
save the children (our future). Too many of them walk with
pain and fear, in loneliness and despair. Children need
sunlight. They need happiness. They need love and
nurture. They need kindness and affection. They do
not need nor do they deserve the abuses they suffer at so many levels -
in the family and as victims of abuse...and war.
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