I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY EXPECT
- I’m just a little kid!
Previous: Traits of Abusers
READ: ACAs ACOAs ACODF Blog, re. childhood abuse’s effect on the brain
SOME PATTERNS: the following come from various Child Abuse sites. These source of these abuses are primarily from the immediate family, but apply as well to other caretakers and peers. You can add any of your own experiences not included.
Buying, selling or trading for legal or physical custody of a child. Does not apply to legitimate adoption or domestic relations planning.
Expressed in all 3 T.E.A. forms. Some characteristics: acting superior, angry, critical, distant, guarded, indifferent, little or no empathy or compassion, passively withdrawn, self-absorbed, too independent and self-reliant, shut down, uninvolved, untrusting, withdrawn….
• When parents are consistently unavailable, emotionally cold & also don’t allow or ignore the child’s own emotions, they deprive them of the necessary ingredients for intellectual and social development. Children subjected to consistent coldness grow to see the world as a ‘dangerous’ uninviting place, and will likely have seriously impaired relationships in the future, AND may never feel confident to explore and learn.
• HEALTHY: If parents are warm and loving, children grow to see the world as a secure place for exploration and learning.
DEF: To contaminate morally, ruin utterly in character or quality, change the original form of, destroy or subvert the integrity of…
✶ From the Canadian Criminal Code: “Corrupting children: Everyone who, in the home of a child, participates in adultery or sexual immortality, or indulges in habitual drunkenness or any other form of vice, and thereby endangers the morals of the child or renders the home an unfit place for the child to be in, is guilty of an indictable offense and is liable to imprisonment for two years.” (S.C. 1953-54, c. 51, s. 157)
When parents model for, teach or force children to engage in antisocial behavior that is harmful to themselves & others, they grow up unfit for normal, healthy social interaction, such as:
• encourage or allow criminal activities
• ignore or reward child for substance abuse; supply child with any form of illegal substance
• teach “Win at all costs”; encourage violence in sporting activities
• reinforce inappropriate sexual activity; force or promote prostitution
• reward child for bullying and harassing behavior
• encourage & reward child for lying, cheating and stealing
• teach hatred, racism, ethnic or religious bias
DEF: Causing the suffering of another, indifference to the pain that is caused, even feeling pleasure in inflicting it. Can be direct (cruel comment, physical torture….) or indirect (any form of withholding, such as deliberately ignoring a child, or someone not supplying a desperate need of another which they’re actually able to provide)
• Results can be similar to ‘coldness’, but more severe. Children need to feel safe and loved to explore the world around them, and to form healthy relationships. Experience cruelty from their caretakers causes the world to stop making sense – so that social, emotional, and mental development of the child are hindered & prolonged.
DEF: A pattern of assaultive and/or coercive behaviors in the family, including physical, sexual and emotional abuses, as well as economic coercion that adults use against their intimate partners to gain power and control in their relationship.
• This includes parents battering the child, exposing children to the adults harming each other or another sibling, as well as cruelty & inhumane acts against animals, in & out of the home.
It is present in all cultures, socioeconomic classes & communities of faith. 2 out of 3 children growing up with physical & other kinds of violence will either become a batterer or consistently mate with one.
DEF: — “Acts or omissions by parents or other caregivers that have caused, or could cause, serious behavioral, cognitive, emotional, or mental disorders. (From the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect)
– “When a child is regularly threatened, yelled at, humiliated, ignored, blamed or otherwise emotionally mistreated”. AMA
✶ E.A. is a type of brainwashing which leaves deeper & longer-lasting scars than physical ones, which eventually show up as problems mentally, emotionally &on all 4 PMES levels. It can include excessive teasing of infant or child; ridiculing youth in public, telling a child it’s adopted (when it’s a lie) to make them feel unwanted, threaten to give them away….
• One of the most common forms of E.A. is belittling children, causing them to see themselves as the caregivers describe (worthless, lazy, selfish, unlovable …) acting like a very distorted mirror. This slows down the growth of the child’s talents & skills, or inhibits them altogether, by severely limiting the child’s own sense of identity & what they can accomplish. E.A. systematically wears away the child’s:
– trust in their own perceptions, thoughts & experience
– self-confidence, sense of self-worth, value & identity
– ability to judge situations realistically
– belief that anyone else could ever want or love them
– willingness to try new experiences, or to take appropriate risks
– ability to take in compliments & trust positive reinforcement from others
SEE posts on E.A.
NEXT: Abuse of Children (Part 2)