10 signs of emotional abuse in children


Just as physical injuries can affect a child, emotional abuse can cripple them emotionally, behaviorally, and intellectually. Self-esteem can be damaged. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the indicators of abuse.


One of the hallmarks of emotional abuse is the absence of positive interaction, such as praising the child. Following severe emotional abuse of a child, emotional and behavioral problems may be present to varying degrees. In small children, it can be observed in the absence of their care. After emotional abuse, these children can become withdrawn and anxious and lose basic social and language skills. They may become developmentally delayed, socially limited, and in some cases antisocial or unable to protect themselves from others. Emotional abuse and neglect can harm children of all ages, but they seriously affect infants and young children, leaving them with permanent developmental deficits.

It lowers their self-esteem

Abuse can lead to many changes in behavior. Abused children often appear scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive. They also have low self-esteem and blame themselves every time something goes wrong.

Returning to previous behaviors

Abused children may exhibit behaviors at a younger age, such as thumb-sucking, bedwetting, fear of the dark, or fear of strangers. In the case of some children, there may be a loss of acquired language or memory problems may occur.

Fear of going home, to school or kindergarten

Abused children can express their reluctance to go to school, kindergarten. They can be anxious when they are taken over by the person who abuses them or show an unusual fear of a certain person, of a familiar place.

You may also be interested: Do you spank your child? Look how bad you are doing to them!

Changes in diet

The stress, fear, and anxiety caused by emotional abuse can lead to changes in a child’s eating behavior, which can lead to weight gain or loss.

Sleep changes

Emotionally abused children frequently have nightmares or have difficulty falling asleep. I’m getting more and more tired.

See also: How to identify an abused child

They have unexplained injuries on their bodies

It is possible to notice injuries or bruises on the body, if the little one has been emotionally abused. Low self-esteem induces in the child a tendency to harm himself. It happens especially if they are no longer able to deal with their own emotions.

Changes in school performance

In the case of emotional abuse, children may have difficulty concentrating and low performance. Moreover, they have low attendance at school or kindergarten.

Lack of hygiene

Abused and neglected, children can appear unkempt. They end up wearing dirty clothes or have an unpleasant body odor. Usually, they are not dressed according to the weather.

It self-insulates

When a child is subjected to emotional abuse over a long period of time, he ends up becoming lonely and avoids being close to other children. Since they are emotionally wounded, they have difficulty making friends with others.

He behaves differently than children his age

A child who appears more mature or, on the contrary, as he develops physically, prefers to behave like a younger child, may have been subjected to emotional abuse. Moreover, they have different activities from those of his age and either choose ones typical of older children or of small ones.


Children who are emotionally abused today may become young people who will engage in high-risk activities such as drug or alcohol use.

PHOTO: Shutterstock