If you are a parent, know this –

“Being a parent does not grant you the right to emotionally and physically abuse your child.”

These words could alone change the world into a better place. But, Alas, child abuse, as it seems, has lingered, covering a wider spectrum of human society. It has been normalized way too much, stripping us of the consciousness to question it. 

Most of us think we had a happy childhood. But, if we dig deeper into our graves, we would fear the heroes we idolize as parents. Emotionally abusive parents are the worst things that could happen to a child. Although we often deny it, such parents lacked in one way or the other to fulfill the emotional needs of their children. 

So, what is it like to grow up with such parents? How do you spot them? If they affect you negatively, how to overcome them? I know the questions are brewing up in your mind. The answers are what this article is for. 

Who Are Abusive Parents?

Who Are Abusive Parents

If we compare, abusive parents are far worse than toxic parents. Toxic parents are worse than strict parents. I hope you get the comparison. 

Anyways, abusive parents verbally, physically, emotionally, or even sexually abuse their children. Not all abusive parents would abuse their children. Some would let others abuse their them. 

This type of parenting is nothing new. In fact, abusive parents have their recognizable places in classic fairytales, popular comics, anime, or manga. Some of the popular characters in fairytales end up as villains and hold their abusive parents as the Freudian excuse for it. 

With fairytales aside, emotionally abusive parents would often manipulate and affect their children’s emotional control, feelings, and behaviors. 

Middle school or high school teachers can often see some signs of their students coming to school with unexplained marks and queer behaviors. If they enquire empathically, certain signs of child abuse by abusive parents would be revealed. 

Signs Of Domestic Child Abuse

Some parents are not as great as you may think. Children subjected to physical abuse by parents often come to school with unexplained hurts and bruises. Here are some signs that suggest they had been subjected to physical abuse –

  • Bruises, cuts, and sores here and there on their body. 
  • Their explanations don’t match the injury visible on their bodies. 
  • These children have very timid and fearful behavior. 
  • They get scared or startled easily. 
  • Massive changes in their social, academic, and sleeping behavior are noticed. 

10 Signs Of Abusive Parents

It is more difficult to spot an abusive parent than to spot a child they had abused. These people are usually sheep in wolf’s clothing. But we have gathered some common signs to help you spot one. 

1. Physical Abusive 

Physical Abusive 

Abusive parents cannot control their anger and emotions. They would often go to the length of hitting, kicking, slapping, and choking their children. These parents also teach their children to come up with false excuses when others ask them about their bruises and injuries. 

2. Violence 


Such parents would only resort to violence to punish their children for unacceptable behavior. When their children display negative behavior, they always choose a physical way to display their reactions. 

3. Emotional Abuse 

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse from parents is just as bad as physical abuse. Some abusive parents belittle, name-call, or shame their children for any reason. They often mock or humiliate their children in front of guests and neighbors.

4. Neglecting Children 

Neglecting Children

Abusive parents often neglect their children and do not take their responsibility carefully. This includes depriving their children of basic needs such as food, clothes, and medical care or leaving them unattended for an undefined period of time. 

5. Sexual Abuse 

Sexual Abuse

Yes, it is unimaginable. But some abusive parents show different uncomfortable and inappropriate sexual behaviors towards their children. They might inappropriately touch, fondle, or harass their children at home (no, home is not the safest place for some people). 

6. Gaslighting Parents 

What Is A Gaslighting Parent

Abusive parents are often gaslighting ones. Some parents often manipulate their children’s memories and make them distrust their own experiences, feelings, and perceptions. Children who grow up around gaslighting parents often doubt their own memories and situations.

7. Isolating Their Children

Isolating Their Children

Abusive parents would go to the length of isolating their children. They don’t allow their children to talk, interact, or socialize with other kids. They limit their children’s social interactions and minimize their social boundaries. Sometimes these parents also minimize their children’s opportunities for education. 

8. Limiting/Withholding Love 

Abusive parents often limit or withhold their love from their children. They do it as a means to punish or often educate and discipline their children. This affects the children’s behavioral patterns. Children under such upbringing also develop a lesser sense of self-worth. 

9. Using Children For Financial Advantage

Using Children For Financial Advantage

This is usually visible in the entertainment industry. Many parents of the young actors emerged to have been using their children for financial benefits. Famous young actors were often subjects of abusive parents who claimed to have a separate account for their children. However, they used it for their own benefit. 

10. Using Religion To Control Children

Religion serves the purpose of spiritually guiding and providing a way of life to us. However, some parents use certain religious beliefs in a harmful way to control or abuse their children. This is often marketed as religious abuse. 

Comparing Their Children To Others

There are parents who have the tendency to compare their kids to other children, their siblings, or with themselves as well. This is something that can harm them in such a way that will stay with them all the future. It will lower their self-confidence. They will always feel that they are not good enough, everybody else is doing a better job than them and they are failing at it. They will always try to go that extra mile for love and attention that they deserve just for being their very own selves.

Signs Of Emotionally Abusive Parents

  • They rarely show affection towards their child or rarely touch them.
  • They are upfront about it fact that they do not like their child.
  • They describe and think of their child as burden.
  • They are not concerned about their child’s well-being and does not even let others help.
  • They are always pressuring them for better academic results and performance that is not possible for the child to achieve.
  • They rebuke their child in front of neighbors, friends as well and teachers.
  • They deny the fact that there is some problem going on in their school or at their home.
  • Asking to treat them harshly if they misbehave in any possible way.

Signs Of Emotional Child Abuse

  • They are always waiting for something bad to happen.
  • They have a tendency of avoiding certai people, they do not want to be around them.
  • They show unresponsive or withdrawing behavior.
  • They are not ready to go home.
  • They are overly passive and complains often.
  • They do not have an adult supervising their choices.
  • They are often irritated or in emotional distress.
  • They often show anger issues and aggressive behavior.

How Do Abusive Parents Affect Their Children?

Emotional abuse affects the emotional and mental well-being of a child. Very low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression are common issues affected by emotional abuse. Such children grow up to be emotionally unstable adults and have difficulty forming different types of relationships. They are prone to face behavioral, mental, and emotional problems going forward in life.

Here are some problems they might face –

Behavioral Problems

Behavioral Problems
  • Children raised by abusive parents become attention seekers or clingy. 
  • They usually don’t care what happens to them or how they act. 
  • They often try to make people dislike them. 
  • Risky behaviors like stealing, bullying, or running away often develop within them.
  • These children often display aggressive or withdrawn behavior around people. 

Emotional Development

Emotional Development
  • Controlling emotions or expressing them becomes difficult for children raised by abusive parents. 
  • Anger problems or lack of confidence is a common effect of emotional abuse by parents. 
  • Building and maintaining healthy relationships in life becomes difficult. 
  • A high level of depression or anxiety is a common sign. 
  • They also have difficulty reaching their full potential in academic and other physical performances. 

Mental Health Problems 

Mental Health Problems
  • Depression, suicidal thoughts, and anxiety are common among children raised by abusive parents. 
  • Doing self-harm. 
  • Eating disorders. 
  • Problems in language development. 

Academic Issues

  • They might refuse to go to school, or not attend school and go somewhere else.
  • Poor academic results due to lack of concentration and stress.
  • Showing disciplinary issues.

Career Issues

  • Because of their low educational attainment, they get limited job opportunities.
  • And even when they get into a job, they fail to be under pressure or feel induced all the time for losing their jobs.
  • They possess the risk of showing criminal behavior because of their childhood trauma.

Relationship Issues

  • They fail to have a healthy relationship because of the dynamics they have seen i their families, back at home.
  • They start showing toxic traits towards their pareners.
  • They might also get attracted to toxic people because that is the kind they grew up with.

How To Deal With Emotionally Abusive Parents?

It is exceptionally hard to break free from parents who are abusive to their children. But it is not impossible. It becomes harder since such parents completely manipulate your whole life, making you think what they did was for the best. However, if you try, you can break free. Here are some ways that might help. 

Distance Yourself

This is only possible if you are an adult. You should try to live on your own. It is better to live without parents who care little about your emotional needs is better. 

Don’t Go Back 

No matter how much your mind persuades you, you should never turn back. You might crave fair treatment and affection even if you distance yourself from them. But, in reality, that is not happening. So, stick to your decision if you said no to them and distanced yourself. 

Your feelings of love, devotion, and loyalty often cheat you into thinking you are doing injustice to your relations with your parents. But in reality, you are valuing your well-being over abuse. There is a difference between cutting ties and prioritizing positivity. 

Get Support From Friends And Relatives 

If this has been happening for years, your friends and relatives should be able to see your parents for who they are. You can bond with these people who accept you and are positive about you. You need a support system. Your friends and relatives can very well be it. 

Have Pity 

Abusive parents often act like destructive, sensitive, and toxic children in the bodies of a grown-up. They don’t have a hold of their emotions, actions, and more. They were supposed to love you but they failed miserably. You have every right to stay away from staying away from them. But you should keep the innocence and goodness of heart to accept their inability and pity. 

How To Deal With Physically Abusive Parents? 

How To Deal With Physically Abusive Parents

Physical abuse is hard to withstand when no one is around to shield you. But you can always try and stand against it. Here is some help –

Set Boundaries

You have to set boundaries and keep your abusive parents from crossing the line. They will try their hardest, but you should be firm and persist in withstanding. You should limit their frequency of contacting you and avoid discussing sensitive topics that lead to abuse. 

Seek Professional Help

Professional therapists have a better knowledge of such human relations. They help you identify and understand the dynamic and nature of your relationship with your parents. They can help you with proper guidance and teach you coping mechanisms to deal with it. 

Focus On Self-care 

Both emotional and physical abuse by parents leaves countless bruises in your body and your heart. You need to heal both of them at the same time. In such a case, you have to be your own healer. Develop healthy eating habits, get enough sleep and engage in activities that open you up and cleanse you emotionally. Also, get the bruises and cuts treated by your healthcare provider. 

Sometimes the level of emotional and physical abuse becomes so intense, leaving no other options but legal help. If it comes down to it, seek legal help and consider options like a restraining order.

The Final Takeaway

Different analysis shows the rate of emotional abuse by parents as 36.3%, while the rate of physical abuse rests at 22.6% and sexual abuse at 12.7%. Abusive parents can curse anyone. They cant be segmented by any race, gender, region, or others. However, if you have faced such parenting, try seeking professional help. Also, if necessary, try seeking legal help. 

This article was helpful. If you need further assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comment.

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Shahnawaz Alam
Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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