I read a quote on Facebook the other day that struck a chord. It went
“So many broken children, living in grown bodies, mimicking adult lives…”
It is apparently by the author Ijeoma Umebinyuo, but I am not quite sure about the source here. However, what I am mighty sure about is that I sadly know too many such “adults.”
What am I talking about
So many of the self esteem issues, complexes, confidence issues, hurt and other baggage that we see in adults stems from their childhood! A lot of times, parents end up inducing such issues in their kids either unknowingly or by practicing certain “disciplining” methods. We certainly don’t want our kids to develop such issues. I will take it that you want to do everything that you can to ensure that your kids have a healthy self esteem. Then we need to understand how we inadvertently end up abusing our children.
The different faces of abuse
Childhood abuse comes in three main forms: physical abuse, emotional abuse and psychological abuse. Let’s look at all three. And remember that I am not judging you. Parenting is a journey. If we are making mistakes, we also have numerous chances to correct them and set ourselves on the right path. Without further ado:
Understanding “Am I subjecting my child to physical abuse?”
If you hit your child, knowingly or unknowingly, it is tantamount to physical abuse. It is possible that you have been telling your child to not repeat the mistake over and over again. It is also possible that your child is simply difficult to deal with. Is “hyperactive” or stubborn. But when we hit kids, we induce shame, fear, and anxiety in them. We indirectly tell our kids that you are not good enough. Look at ways to constructively deal with such situations and put your point across without hitting your child.
Understanding “Am I subjecting my child to emotional abuse?”
Does it happen that you or an elder in the family holds your kid to ransom, by saying things like “I won’t love you if you keep doing this,” “You are a mean little kids for hurting daddy,” “Do this again and I will beat the shit out of you”? Is your child perhaps yelled at, all the time? If yes, know that this is emotional abuse. All that such statements do is induce fear, a sense of worthlessness and hurt in your child’s mind are the kind of statements that propagate emotional abuse. Know how to use tough love instead, to heal and grow confidence and love in your child.
Understanding “Am I subjecting my child to intellectual abuse?”
This form of abuse happens rather unknowingly. Using insulting statements to describe your kids is a form of intellectual abuse. Kids look for validation from their parents. They of course need to know where they are going wrong, but not in a hurtful manner. If you talk about your kids by saying things like “She is very confused,” “He is not very smart,” “He has a wavering mind”, “You are an idiot” etc., stop right away. That’s intellectual abuse. Use positive reinforcements instead to nurture what is good in them and slowly help them work on the areas that they need help with.
All this is easier said than done. That’s why we have defined simple ways to fill your child with love, positive self esteem, and confidence while also keeping them aware of the areas that they need help with. To know how to do all this, watch our videos on Building Self Esteem or simply write to us.