Child abuse is the physical, psychological or emotional mistreatment of a child or persons below 18 years by their parents, foster parents, and groups of people or anybody else whether consciously or unconsciously, (Briere, 1992). Indicators of child abuse include sexual abuse, torture and both remunerated and unremunerated child labor. Neglecting a child and his/her needs also amounts to child abuse that leads to malnutrition, inadequate child safety and desertion. In the United States, an over 56% increase has been reported in child abuse from 1993 to 2007 with over 3.2 million cases being reported annually. Considering that legal efforts to punish abusers have always enjoyed limited success and the United State's children protection agencies are already overwhelmed, it is sincere to admit that this vice is here to stay.
While I do not know any kid who is abused by their parents in our neighborhood, it is true that emotional child abuse occurs in many ways. When a child is not given attention by their parents, he/she begins to feel deserted. The matter becomes very complicated if parents or guardians show regard for other children around the house. Demanding too much success from children by parents amounts to emotional abuse, (Briere, 1992). Some parents accuse their children of shaming them because they are not able to succeed in certain areas like academics, sports or on moral issues. According to Briere, (1992), the feeling of neglect and unworthiness slowly takes up the child's young mind further deterring the exploration of the child's full potential. A child further develops inferiority complex, not showing any signs of happiness even in company of other children and may develop emotions of quick anger.
Many parents do not know that they are emotionally abusing their children. Most parents who emotionally abuse their children are prompted not by a child's misconduct by their own psychological inadequacies. While some people argue that emotional abuse among children occur in low income families, the truth is, whether poor or affluent, parents who are emotional abusers are themselves people who receive limited love and care from their fellow spouses or parents.
There is a solution to emotional child abuse. To approach the vice at a broader sense, primary prevention strategies should include raising economic family sufficiency, doing away with child corporal punishment and any other forms of violence, (Briere, 1992). Parents must learn to take their children compassionately and appreciate that, like everybody else, children have their own limitations. Parents should not push their children to succeed where they themselves failed. When a child cries for attention parents should take it as genuine expression for concern and not as a cunning way to get him/her fixed.