This is Child Abuse

As I sat on a park bench waiting for the library to open I became aware of a young woman approaching, she was shouting, almost screaming and at first glance I couldn’t see who was the intended recipient of her wrath. Then there came into view a small bedraggled boy who must have been around three years old.
I can’t remember now her exact words, but do remember that she was calling this small child useless and bad, she was threatening that if he didn’t keep up with her he could find his own way home or stay in the park. The child was trying hard to keep up, he was distraught and crying loudly. She continued on her way, he continued to follow the stream of abuse being directed at him.

Who knows what made this mother so angry.

But what I do know is that by behaving in the way she was this young mother was verbally and emotionally abusing her son. She was damaging his future and on top of all that she was giving him a very poor example of how to manage his own anger in the future.

She was undermining his sense of self and his sense of security, how does a three year old cope with the threat of being left alone in the park? How does he cope with hearing the abuse?

More recently I observed a young mother dragging / lifting her child by one arm while demanding that he stay with her at the bus stop. She was deep in conversation with a friend, this small child tried tugging her long skirt to get attention, he danced around and jumped in front of her, he spoke to her, he shouted, he cried, all to no avail, so he wandered away again. This time when she caught up with him she shook him and shouted at him before dragging him back to bus stop…….
What was this toddler learning?

Of course we need to let children know when they are wrong and that sometimes what they do makes us angry, what we don’t need to do is abuse them and destroy the sense of security and trust they must have to grow into loving, well balanced adults.

Every interaction you have with your child teaches him something about YOU, HIMSELF and LIFE.



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