Children often face mental health challenges while they are trying to understand the world with their still-developing capacity. Child abuse is not always physical or sexual - often it is emotional abuse that goes unacknowledged. (1)
Gaslighting is one such form of abuse where a significant adult says "But you see there is nothing!". Children are made to feel ashamed of their feelings and/or emotions as being either nothing or disproportionate to the triggering event. (2)
Scapegoating is another form of child abuse. The child is accused of being responsible for problems repeatedly. Planting the suggestion that the child was responsible for decisions with adverse results is an extension - "You were the one who wanted it!" (3)
Gaslighting and scapegoating leave the child vulnerable to anxiety and depression later on in life. The child feels low self-esteem and self-worth, second- guesses themselves, and is unable to recognise or repel further instances of abuse even as an adult. (4)
Significant adults in a child's life - parents, older siblings, teachers, extended family - need to be mindful of children's emotions. "Tough love" is no love. Striking a balance between discipline and indulgence is important. Children need to be nurtured, not oppressed. (5)
Children are the future of society. Mentally healthy children of today are mentally healthy adults of tomorrow. Let's keep are children safe from emotional abuse.
#Mentalhealth (6)
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