Contributed by a reader of The Verbally Abusive Relationship
You can not allow anyone abusive to care for your children! I don’t care who they are, how they are related and what they will say about it. Abusive people hurt children and there is NO excuse that will ever make it okay. At this terrible point in your family life, I would investigate all my options with every bit of energy I could muster. I’d get the women’s shelter to tell me about each and every program that is available for woman in your circumstance and I wouldn’t stop looking until I found someone who could help me!!!
You are alone in your recognition of the damage being done to your kids. You are the healthiest person in the group and it falls on your shoulders to find a way to get help. I know this is scary and very hard, but the welfare of your children depends on the actions you take now.
A relative of mine was abusive. During her last visit here she was abusive to our kids a couple times. She has a way of blaming the child and having no tolerance for emotional upsets. As you well know, there are times when kids are weepy or short tempered and it’s frustrating but you get through it.
This relative encouraged my son to join her in ridiculing my 5 year old for still having an occasional bottle. They were calling her a “baby” and she was crying. I quickly comforted her and my relative scoffed at me and told me I was encouraging her to remain a baby by coddling her. She told me, “She’s ridiculous!” Well I told her in a calm matter of fact way that a rule in our house is that we don’t call names NO MATTER WHAT. She argued against this, of course, so I simply repeated myself. I won’t have her teaching my kids to feel ashamed and afraid of who they are because she thinks they should be different from how they are.
I didn’t even try to explain that name calling is hurtful and teaches kids nothing constructive. I did explain to my child that when this woman was little people called her names and she never learned that it isn’t okay. I wanted to explain it somehow. I guess my point here is that folks who abuse aren’t going to change overnight. And, the pain they cause us and our kids is real. Your husband is helping to perpetuate abuse and is abusing both you and the kids by not opening his eyes to what is going on in his home and what he himself says and does. It would be good to start to get resources, information, support.
In this mess someone has to have the welfare of the kids in mind and that someone is YOU!!! There are resources. There must be a way.
To find out what the American Association of Pediatrics has to say about verbal abuse of children click here.