Verbal abuse is derogatory language with the intent to humiliate, hurt, and/or undermine. It robs the other person of their dignity and sense of security.
Mostly, verbal abuse occurs in anger; sometimes it occurs with cold calculation (in which case, the abuser is much more of a threat to another’s well-being and that relationship should be terminated immediately.)
I’m going to address the former situation: Where abuse occurs in anger, when self-control is lost, and the person is remorseful afterward.
The tips I’m going to give apply to both the person doing the abusing, and the person being abused, because ending abuse while remaining in the relationship is actually a collaborative effort.
There’s a lot out there about how to talk to your kids, especially about difficult topics like drugs and sex. But what might be of greater value to your relationship and to their development is if you become a better listener.
Here are some tips.
I’ve got some pretty recent experience with this one, as my almost three-year-old has been alternating between intensely delightful and intensely–well, intense.
This can apply to your toddler’s tantrums (which tend to be brief) or meltdowns (which are protracted bouts of screaming and oppositional behavior that can go on for minutes to–worst case scenarios–more than an hour.) What’s key is focusing not on what they’re doing, but on what you should be doing yourself.
Challenging, I know, but here are some ideas to get you on a better path.
I think most parents have had this experience: You’re out somewhere and your child (toddler, teenager, anywhere in between) is behaving in a way that you find embarrassing, and that you hope is not reflective of your parenting. But you feel the shame anyway, and the judgment of others, and you wonder: Is this my fault? Is my child my reflection?
In a healthy relationship, fights are going to happen. (Often, a complete absence of fights is a sign partners have become irrevocably disconnected.) So the goal isn’t to eradicate all fights; it’s to make sure you’re fighting well.
What I mean is, a good fight is one that’s productive: grievances are aired, resentments are released, both parties ultimately feel understood, and the least possible emotional damage was inflicted. A bad fight is–well, the opposite of that.
If you’ve been having bad fights, this is a great post to read with your partner. If you can agree to the ground rules in here (and maybe even put them on the fridge or somewhere you can reference them), that can start turn things around. So here goes!
All grief is painful, and it never feels simple. But complicated grief is its own category: It’s when time is moving on, but you’re not; the loss and sadness won’t let go. Maybe it still doesn’t even feel real to you, no matter how much time has passed.
Here are some thoughts on how to begin to pull out of the quicksand.
Some people learned how to parent by experiencing good parenting. Some have learned the opposite (what not to do) because of the family they grew up in. But there are particular challenges for those who were abused or neglected, once they have their own children.
Here are some ideas of how to face those challenges and become the parent you wish you’d had.
In this social media-saturated, smart phone world, it’s harder than ever to be present. And healthy relationships require presence. Giving someone your full and undivided attention makes them feel valued and secure. If we never turn off our phone and really focus, how can we expect our children to do so?
Here are some ideas for how to be present, and how to model that for your children.
Once you’ve been burned (especially if it’s by a parent in your early life), it can be hard to open up again. In some cases, with some people, you really shouldn’t open up. But how do you know who you should trust, and who you shouldn’t? And how can you learn to trust yourself to make that determination?