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About Emotional Child Abuse And Neglect

Any child who experience any form of physical or emotional maltreatment is likely to bear emotional scars. For this reason it is necessary to use the following broad definition. A child is emotionally abused if he/she is:

(1.) Under the age 18
(2.) Subjected to non-accidental, serious physical or mental injury, sexual abuse or exploitation
(3.) He/she undergoes serious physical or emotional neglect caused by acts or omissions of the child's parents or other persons responsible for the child's welfare.

It is important to note that there are also other forms of child abuse as well. Emotional or psychological abuse is the least understood and hardest to prove form of child abuse though. Nevertheless, emotional child abuse and neglect may be the most common and damaging forms of child abuse.

It is generally agreed that a child suffering in any of the following areas may be a victim of emotional neglect:

(1.) Inadequate physical care
(2.) Absence of medical attention
(3.) Inadequate medical care.
(4.) Cruel or abusive treatment
(5.) Improper supervision
(6.) Exploitation of the child’s earning capacity
(7.) Unlawfully keeping the child out of school
(8.) Exposing the child to criminal or immoral influences that endanger her/his morals.

You must understand that any type of child abuse, such as physical or sexual abuse, can also involve emotional abuse or neglect. 90% of the time, parents are responsible for committing child abuse, including emotional abuse and neglect. Fathers and mothers are nearly equally responsible for committing emotional child abuse and neglect. Of course, caretakers and other family members can also commit emotional child abuse and neglect.

The reasons why parents emotionally abuse their children are many and complex. Mostly because parents have different circumstances and personalities, and children vary widely in their health and behavior. Most neglectful parents are isolated and have difficulty forming relationships or performing the routine tasks of daily life. Many of these parents are also burdened by anger and sadness because of unmet childhood needs and difficult current circumstances. Due to all of these reasons, neglectful parents find it hard to constantly recognize and meet the needs of his/her children.

Here are some common traits and themes that are found within most neglectful parents:

(1.) Most neglectful parents are unable to plan.
(2.) Most neglectful parents are indifferent to their behavior toward their children.
(3.) Most neglectful parents lack knowledge about how to meet their children's needs.
(4.) Most neglectful parents have had unhappy childhoods.
(5.) Many neglectful parents are experiencing financial or emotional stress.
(6.) Many neglectful parents are socially isolated and have few or no friends and little contact with relatives.

It is true that in many cases, unhappy parents project their day-to-day frustrations onto their children.

About the Author: Reverend Brenda Hoffman, is ordained by the Unitarian Life Church, and has been delivering holistic health and wellness advice for over 7 years since receiving a BA in psychology. As a home-based professional and mother of 1, she operates a holistic wellness network. She invites you over to


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