How to Help Children Who Are Exposed to Verbal Abuse
Children are highly sensitive to their environment. I believe that a child's mental and physical health can be directly affected by their surroundings. Knowing this, we must do something to help children who are exposed to verbal abuse during this critical stage of their lives.
What to Do for Kids Exposed to Verbal Abuse
Help Children Rephrase Verbal Abuse
Whether a child hears negative feedback from their parents, school, or friends, helping them rephrase these thoughts can make a huge impact.
Years ago, one of my children came home from school professing that they were stupid for making a mistake at something they did during their day. So, naturally, as a parent, I did not want my children to mature, thinking they were stupid and unworthy. I promptly told my child that they were not stupid because they did something wrong. I ensured that they knew that everyone makes mistakes, and it does not make them dumb. We also talked together about how making mistakes helps them learn to make better choices in the future.
Driving home the critical point that making mistakes is not bad or wrong is just one way to help children keep those negative thoughts away from being a regular occurrence.
Give Children a Safe Space to Talk
I have found with my children that if they have a home where they can discuss difficult situations, they feel safer and more secure with their choices. In addition, allowing my children to come to us with sensitive topics provides a platform for them to express negative feelings they encounter with friends or while at school.
Previously, my children have come to me with situations they encounter at friends’ houses. Some of these environments are not ideal for children and have prominent verbal abuse or other difficult circumstances. I talk to my children about these situations and how their friends may feel in those homes. Now, my children can distinguish between healthy relationships and ones that are not ideal. It is my hope that these talks help guide them as they mature and look for healthy personal relationships later in their lives.
Children Look to Us for Guidance
Whether you have children of your own or encounter kids during your day, it is beneficial to know how to help them deal with verbal abuse in healthy ways. Any time adults can reinforce better mental health for a child and turn around their internal verbal abuse will benefit them and future generations.
Wozny, C. (2022, March 3). How to Help Children Who Are Exposed to Verbal Abuse , HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 8 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/verbalabuseinrelationships/2022/3/how-to-help-children-who-are-exposed-to-verbal-abuse
Author: Cheryl Wozny
I’m wondering where to turn for help/guidance if a child has to be with their verbally abusive parent every weekend, as far as counseling/therapy goes. Any advice for which route to take would be so appreciated! Thank you and thank you for this article .
I am Cheryl Wozny, author of the Verbal Abuse in Relationships blog at HealthyPlace. Thank you for reaching out to seek assistance. It can be hard to navigate youngsters as they often don't know how to act and look to adults for guidance.
I encourage you to visit our Resources page here: https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/resources/mental-health-hotline-numbers-and-refer… for some ways to find assistance in your region.
I wish you and your entire family health and wellness through your journey.