If you ask someone what defines being verbally abusive to a child, then you may get different answers and perspectives. Some people share the ideology that if it is not your child, then do not interfere unless they are being physically harmed/assaulted. However, what a parent says to their child can be just as hurtful and have a negative impact on them mentally like physical abuse. Someone once told me that they heard a frustrated mother call her son a ”punk bitch” in a grocery store and no one said anything…they just stared at the mother in shock for a moment. The child was a toddler and his mother called him this…so this likely means she is verbally abusing her child at home repeatedly. Letting that sink in, this is a very ugly situation, can have negative psychological & relationship impacts on the child, and it hurts my heart to know children are being treated in this manner. I just really feel as if someone should have spoken up for the little boy even if the mother had a problem with input from a stranger. Nevertheless, no one wanted to interfere with the mother and her child, but people knew it was awful and wrong. Some people may have the ”well it’s not my child” mentality or were afraid to speak up. Personally speaking, my conscience would have been bothering me all day. Verbal abuse is often a more controversial subject that some do not see eye to eye on compared to actual physical abuse. Some people feel as though one should only step in if the verbal abuse is ”extremely harsh”, while others feel as though all types of verbal abuse is very harsh. Often, the child’s parents were verbally abused, and a person may feel the way they talk to their child is okay, so they continue the cycle. There are also parents who take their frustrations and dislikes out on their kids even though it is never the child’s fault…innocent children who never asked to be created or born into this world. I am thankful that my parents were never emotionally abusive to me, but it still hurts that countless children experience this every day. Verbal and emotional abuse is just as evil and harsh as physical abuse, and often the scars may not be visible, but it is forever embedded in their mind. It is easier to build up a child, then to try and repair a broken adult.
**Some helpful and informative organizations that try to prevent Child Abuse includes Childhelp.org (1-800-422-4453), and Child Welfare Information Gateway. **