From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Beware of Emotional Abuse!

Recently, I wrote about interpersonal feuds between adult friends and family members. Most of these feuds arise out of inconsiderate comments that leave lasting wounds and damage relationships. This month, my thoughts turn to the children in our lives who are equally effected by things we say.

I recently encountered a woman in the orthodontist's office. She was waiting along with her son for his appointment. All of a sudden, her son said sheepishly, that he had left something that he needed at home. This woman in a very subtle fashion began a quiet tirade against her son's self-esteem. Her comments were brief, but cutting... and before long, her son's head was hanging low. As adults, we often make mistakes. When children make similar mistakes, they are often ridiculed.

To avoid assaulting your child's self-esteem, I recommend the following:

Children are just little people. They may lack experience, but they don't lack feelings. Self-esteem is a feeling of self-regard that grows out of a sense of how others regard us. If we want our children to grow up strong and secure, we must treat them with respect and courtesy. These are lasting impressions.

ęCopyright, 1993, 1995, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

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Last Updated October 17, 1998 by Gary M. Grandon, Ph.D.