Can Abusive Parents Change?
300 million children between the ages of 2 and 4 years old are regularly subjected to severe physical punishment and/or psychological abuse by their parents or caregivers. Child abuse is the term used to describe when neglect and child maltreatment are causing children under the ages of 18 years of age to feel unsafe. Abuse includes, but it’s not limited to, all types of physical and/or emotional maltreatment, sexual abuse, neglect, negligence, and commercial or other exploitation, which causes harm to the child’s wellness. These abusive behaviors are most likely to affect the child’s survival skills techniques, development, and dignity. Therefore, they are also likely to lack trust and be overly scared towards the power figures in their lives. Because of this, can abusive parents change? Is there a possibility for this to happen?
Is It Possible For Abusive Parents To Change?
Meanwhile, It’s possible to leave a relationship where abuse has taken place, even if the survivor doesn’t want to, or can’t for multiple motives. In abusive households, this choice is not easily available for the child. However, it’s not as straightforward as deciding between having no contact and minimal contact on the child’s part; it isn’t up to them. Children need all the proper care from their parents and their needs shouldn’t be considered as a choice or something that needs to be earned. Many kids who have abusive parents – even if they’re not living with them – would like to stay in contact with their parents because they play a critical role in their lives and because manipulation is another source of how abusive parents maintain the abuse.
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A parent who abuses his or her children psychologically, that abuse does have a massive effect on the child’s entire life, from the moment that the abuse starts, and it continues throughout the years when they hit adulthood. It has been said that growing up in these types of households usually makes the child develop a sense of sensitivity and compassion when they begin encounters with other people. While this might be true, I do not think, it is inhumane, that a child has to go through unbearable trauma just so they can climb up the ladders towards adulthood.
Having a harmful and controlling parent can result in a lot of emotional work that you must do on your part, whether it be through counseling or just acknowledging that your parent’s troubles are not at all yours to keep, nor to resolve.
Signs Of An Abusive Parent
There are countless signs of potential child abuse that it would be impossible for me to name them all. With all the signs and stigma around this issue, it makes me wonder if abusive parents can change.
• They Treated You As If You Were A Burden – I am a firm believer that if you don’t want kids, then please don’t bring an innocent child into this world. We were never asked if we wanted to be born, that decision was made for us. Having a child means that you have to provide a roof over their heads, food, health care, and love them. Making your child feel like they need to accomplish or do something in order to have those basic needs, it’s not good parenting. A child cannot provide for themselves. You’re the adult and the parent, and it’s your responsibility to keep your child safe.
• They Blamed You For Anything Bad That Would Happen To Them – Dealing with an abusive parent meant that you were always the main target and the reliable individual that your parent would decide to blame for whatever reason something bad went wrong. No gas money? Your fault. No, electrify? Your fault. The neighbor’s mother died? Your fault. This is all a constant pattern that keeps repeating itself without you taking notice.
• Fearing How Your Parents Might React – When growing up, you were probably scared to ask your parent if you could invite a friend over, or if you could go to your friend’s house. You were probably scared of asking for money to go hang out with your friends at the movies or to purchase a book. As we grow towards adulthood, we still have those fears. Even if the abusive parent is no longer in your life, you still fear what your other parent might think, or if your parents are not around, you fear what they might think regardless of where they are, or if they know what you’re up to these days. This is because said parents were determined to make their kids afraid of making their own decision just so they could manipulate them as they pleased.
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• Threatening A Child – Even if the parent doesn’t act on the threat, just the feeling of uncertainty can make a child doubt their decisions and opinions. Telling a child that if they won’t stop crying then you will hit them is never okay and should never be considered as if it was okay to even bring up in the first place, even if it was just a joke. Those types of jokes are never funny.
• No Boundaries – As the child grows older, parents teach their kids that privacy is important and that if anyone tried to kiss, or touch them, whenever they didn’t want to have that physical contact, kids are supposed to be taught that they should speak up and say no. Abusive parents do not understand boundaries, and they try to disguise it as them having a right to know what you do and what you don’t. If the child feels uncomfortable doing or saying something, then they should be able to manifest that, and have their boundaries respected instead of shutting them off with a lame excuse of how you’re their parent, and it’s their right to know absolutely everything.
• Hurtful Names – It’s not unusual for abusive and controlling parents to use verbal harassment, sarcasm, and even threats. This can be a tool of oppression used among emotionally abusive parents in order to get their kids to act the way that the parent wants. As a result, you may be called derogatory names or insulted while not acknowledging your intellectual capacity, image, character, or any other component of your persona.
If They Don’t Change…What Can I Do?
It is common for those who’ve been abused to feel fearful, empty, or confused as to what has happened to them. These individuals may feel responsible, ashamed, afraid, and they may even blame themselves for what has happened to them. Please remember that abusive behavior, however, is not ever the victim’s fault, no matter how hard the abuser attempts to put the blame on someone else; they’re the only ones who need to be held accountable.
It can be difficult for people who are abused to go and get support and assistance; this is due because it requires them to disclose a loved one who has been hurting them — someone who may be fantastic most of the time and terrible to them in other times, which can also confuse the victims thinking that they’re the ones not doing enough.
Victims of abuse should to get the help they need. Secrecy does not shield anyone from abuse; it only increases the likelihood that the abuse will proceed and potentially cause more damage.
If you need immediate help, please call 911 and indicate what’s happening.
If you trust someone close to you, perhaps a friend or another family member, or maybe a teacher or adult figure, please talk to them about what’s happening. You’re not alone in this, and speaking up can potentially save your life.
If you need counseling, but you’re too scared to tell anyone, you can try Online Therapy and get started with your recovery journey, they will provide ways to cope with your current situation. If you’re underage, please talk to someone you trust.
Can abusive parents change? What are your thoughts on this issue?