Hey there, parents, teachers, coaches, and all you caring adults! Have you ever stopped to think about the impact of your words on the kids in your life?
According to media report, a recent study in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect suggests that shouting at, denigrating, or verbally threatening children can be just as damaging to their development as physical or sexual abuse.
The research, conducted by experts from Wingate University in North Carolina and University College London, reviewed a whopping 166 previous studies on child abuse.
What they found was eye-opening: childhood verbal abuse, which includes yelling and hurtful words, deserves its own category of maltreatment.
The recognition is crucial because verbal abuse can have lifelong negative consequences.
Unlike other forms of emotional abuse, like silent treatment or witnessing domestic violence, verbal abuse is considered more “overt.” This means it’s easier to spot, but it’s also essential to address.
The study was commissioned by Words Matter, a British charity committed to ending verbal abuse against children.
The study also suggests a shift in the prevalence of childhood abuse. While physical and sexual abuse have declined, emotional abuse, including verbal abuse, appears to be on the rise. This highlights the need for consistent definitions and interventions to address this pressing issue effectively.