How Verbal Abuse from Fathers Affects Sons

October 28, 2021 Cheryl Wozny

The father-son relationship is a critical one as a boy grows into an adult. A negative male role model may alter the way a boy handles stress and deals with adversity. For example, when a father uses verbal abuse to correct his son, feelings of inadequacy and anxiety can be present into adulthood.

A father is typically the primary role model for boys in the family. How this figurehead talks to other family members and treats individuals outside the home is what a son will measure his life experiences to. Often, a boy who continuously faces verbal abuse will believe that this behavior is normal and acceptable for men. 

Effects on Boys 

A boy who conveys his emotions in a verbally abusive relationship may receive ridicule and taunting. A verbally abusive father may make these comments: 

  • Boys/Men don't cry. Quit your crying like a baby.
  • Suck it up and stop acting like a girl.
  • Do you need your Mommy? 

When a child shows any emotion, they should receive support and understanding. This attention is especially vital for boys who can face conflicting information about how to act and behave when they are an adult. 

Boys aspire to be the man their father is in many ways. Whether they want to be tall, strong, or smart, many youngsters will repeat the same behaviors they see in their fathers in hopes of being like them. 

Grown-up Men with Boy Problems 

Boys who do not receive the proper love and support from their fathers may grow into adult men who have unresolved issues. Some of the ways childhood verbal abuse shows in adults can be: 

  • Acting similarly abusive to their children or others in their life
  • Difficulty maintaining close personal relationships with others
  • Suffering from social anxiety or depression
  • Low self-esteem or self-confidence in their abilities 
  • Unable to control their emotions 
  • Physical pain for no apparent reason

Many men who experience these problems are unaware of the root cause. They may believe that they had a good childhood and that their father did not act abusively. Even with the lack of physical abuse, a boy can still harbor serious emotional complications when he grows up with a verbally abusive father. 

There Is Help Available 

No man should be afraid to seek the help and support he needs to feel better. Emotional wellbeing is critical for all individuals, and anyone suffering from the ill effects of verbal abuse is entitled to help. Learning how to process and deal with the damage of an abusive father from your childhood can be a long and challenging journey, but it is a worthwhile one. 

Many local mental health resources can get you in touch with someone in your area who will provide the tools necessary to begin the healing process. You do not have to live with the effects of your past any longer. When you start the path of healing, you can begin to find peace in your life, and your emotional and physical health will be better for it. 

APA Reference
Wozny, C. (2021, October 28). How Verbal Abuse from Fathers Affects Sons, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, November 30 from

Author: Cheryl Wozny

Cheryl Wozny is a freelance writer and published author of several books, including a mental health resource for children, titled Why Is My Mommy So Sad? Writing has become her way of healing and helping others. Find Cheryl on TwitterInstagramFacebook, and on her blog

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