It’s no wonder that some children grow up troubled, given the way some parents treat them. Even those with the best support and most engaged relationships with their parents can have trouble. But when parents say or do demeaning things to their kids, only the strong can overcome it. I witnessed a woman telling her son, how worthless he was. He appeared to be about 7 years old. He was walking behind her crying fiercely as she continued to tell the boy how he’ll never be worth a damn and would always be a nobody and how she wishes he was never born.
I have no idea what the boy did to make her say those mean things to him, not that a seven year old should ever be at fault when a parent says such things; however, I sure wish I could have absorbed some of the emotional pain he must have been feeling. Those kinds of negative messages don’t easily go away. Kids probably replay those “you’re worthless” messages over and over in their heads. I don’t know about the elements of the law in this situation, but I would personally classify that parent’s behavior as abusive. Maybe some people think it’s okay to talk to your child that way, but I think it’s not appropriate at all.
I read a report by the American Psychological Association, published October 2014, that found that psychologically berating a child can be just as harmful as physical or sexual abuse. “Children who had been psychologically abused suffered from anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, symptoms of post-traumatic stress and suicidality at the same rate and, in some cases, at a greater rate than children who were physically or sexually abused.” That makes sense to me. I felt belittled on that child’s behalf listening to his mother say all those mean things to him. I wonder what that woman’s own childhood was like. Some people mirror their parents when rearing their own children. People probably don’t even realize what they’re doing. I hope this kid has a strong resolve and learns to rise above it. I feel sorry for children with parents like that.