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Emotionally Abusive Parents

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Common Characteristics of Emotionally Abusive Parents

Emotionally Abusive Mothers

How to Deal With Emotionally Abusive Parents - Letters

How To Know If Your Parents Are Abusing You

Parental Alienation

Sex, Love, Needs, Rights

Personal Stories and Writing About Emotionally Abusive Parents

- Caring vs. control - University Student

- The World Doesn't Stop With Your Parents

Later.... Parents Who Kill Their Children

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Common Characteristics of Emotionally Abusive Parents

Here are a few common characteristics of emotionally abusive parents"

Each parent was emotionally abused by their parents. There is a high chance they were also physically abused or physically punished harshly, even if it was called "discipline"

The parents lay guilt trips on their children and teenagers.

The parents make their children and teens feel responsible for the feelings of the parents.

The parents invalidate their children and teens.

The parents are unforgiving.

The parents are judgmental.

The parents frequently disapprove of the child or teen's actions or feelings.

The parents emotionally abandon and or emotionally neglect their children and teens.

They may also:

- Ridicule the child or teen

- Mock the child or teen

- Humiliate the child or teen

- Ignore the child or teen

- Threaten the child or teen either with punishment, rejection or abandonment

Physical punishment

We believe that all physical punishment is emotional abuse. It does not fill any of a child, teen's or human's emotional needs.


Here is just one of the many examples of letters we have received which have led us to this conclusion:

Emotionally abusive parents cause self-harm

I have been talking to a friend recently who recognized what my parents (and step-parents!) were doing to me as emotional abuse (I'm 22).

I tried for weeks to deny this but eventually hit rock bottom. I have self-harmed for years and  this particular day was suicidal, I was forced to consider that what she was saying might actually be true. I did a search online and came across the EQI.org site. Everything on there resonated with what was happening exactly at home.

I can officially say finding that site saved my life and I would like to thank you, not only for that but for helping me realize the truth about what was happening no matter how much that realization hurts. It's easier to blame myself than it is to blame them but that's not the way to help me move forward in my life now.

Thank you

We could also say, "Emotionally abusive parents cause cutting."


More letters can be found in our book, Letters from the Unloved

What parents should do if their teen is self-harming according to www.focusas.com/

Parents must listen to their child (teen) and acknowledge their child's (teen's) feelings. In other words, parents should validate feelings...

What is not said is the reverse of this. In other words, one of the main reasons teens self-harm is because their parents do not listen to, acknowledge and validate their feelings.


Here is another quote from the same site:

One factor common to most people who self-injure, whether they were abused or not, is invalidation.  They were taught at any early age that their interpretations of and feelings about the things around them were bad and wrong.  They learned that certain feelings weren't allowed.  In abusive homes, they may have been severely punished for expressing certain thoughts and feelings.  At the same time, they had no good role models for coping.  You can't learn to cope effectively with distress unless you grow up around people who are coping effectively with distress. 

The site then says

Although a history of abuse is common about self-injurers, not everyone who self-injures was abused.  Sometimes invalidation and lack of role models for coping are enough....

But constant or frequent invalidation *is* abuse. It is psychological and emotional abuse, so it is more accurate to say that everyone who self-injures has been abused in one way or another. If someone receives the emotional support they need and are free to express all their feelings, they will never achieve a high enough level of emotional pain to cause them to self-injure. It is only without emotional support in the form of validation, acceptance and understanding that such high levels of pain build up over the years.

Things are even worse than this article sounds because it is primarily your parents who are the main cause of your pain. So they both cause you pain at home and don't help you handle pain from either inside or outside the home.