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Child Abuse: Emotional Abuse by Parents

Table of Contents


Topic Overview

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The behavior of an emotionally abusive parent or caregiver does not support a child's healthy development and well-being—instead, it creates an environment of fear, hostility, or anxiety. A child is sensitive to the feeling, opinions, and actions of his or her parents. Emotionally harmful attitudes may include the following.

Showing a lack of regard for the child

This behavior often includes rejecting the child by:

Saying unkind things to the child

Emotionally abusive parents say things or convey feelings that can hurt a child deeply. Common examples include:

Creating an emotionally unhealthy environment

Some emotionally abusive parents place ill-advised or impossibly difficult expectations on their children, such as:


Credits for Child Abuse: Emotional Abuse by Parents

Current as of: June 16, 2021

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
John Pope MD - Pediatrics


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