angry mom shouting

Emotionally Abusive Mother: Which Signs to Spot One?

There is no substitute for maternal love given by every mother to her sons and daughters. It is the most natural, unconditional bond that guides one through the mission of nurturing, protecting, sacrificing for her children. For our entire life, a mother’s love is also the greatest gift we cherish to the utmost. But sometimes, the truth is uglier than we thought – it’s called ” an emotionally abusive mother.

Plenty of evidence has shown that some kids are recognized with common traits of an abusive relationship influenced by parents. Those poor children are usually too young to realize that they are stumbling upon a dilemma: Being mistreated and abused emotionally by their own mother.

emotionally abused girl crying
To spot emotionally abusive signs in time is to provide the best support for children.

What can we do to help them flee from a toxic relationship and mend their broken heart? In other words, how can we spot emotionally abusive mother signs to provide support for their children in time?

What Makes An Emotionally Abusive Mother?

Before reviewing how to deal with an emotionally abusive mother, we need to grasp some relevant terms.  

Hearing the word “abuse”, most of us would probably think of the impact made by excessive physical force. However, the signs of emotional abuse can stay under the radar with no visible proofs. In fact, we often mistake them as a temporary condition of feeling. Consequently, it can cause long-lasting, significant sufferings to the child’s mental health which is even more than you can imagine.

For the most part, emotional abuse includes some certain behaviors – such as verbal criticism, negligence, belittling – that show dominance and make the victim feel bad about themselves. The abuser often makes excuses and wash their hands of their actions, trying to avoid taking responsibility. They tend to act as if they did nothing wrong or were really sorry for their attitude. After that, everything will return to the normal state, except for the victim’s emotional scars.

emotionally abusive mom shouting
Emotional abusive behaviors include verbal criticism, negligence, belittling…

Why It’s Hard To Recognize An Emotionally Abusive Mother

From my perspective, everyone should learn how to recognize an emotionally abusive relationship, especially mentally abusive parents. You can not only protect and educate yourself but help other people with increasing awareness of their situation. 

Nevertheless, people usually regard abusive behaviors as an unorthodox, yet acceptable, parenting method. It makes everyone overlook the issues, causing the vicious circle of emotional abuse to happen times after times. Regardlessly, many parents don’t take it as abusement, or realize that what they have done is completely wrong. To their knowledge, which they simply don’t use physical force doesn’t mean abuse at all. Some may even assume that they are doing the right thing to help their children grow up.

Of course, none of those can become an excuse for tolerating an emotionally abusive mother-daughter relationship. In other words, torturing your children verbally will never be indicative of parent love. 

The vicious circle of behaviors is the main reason why it’s hard to recognize a verbally abusive mother. One day, your mother demonstrates goodwill gestures, the next day she may act completely different from what we can imagine. She then apologizes for what happened, making the child confused. Eventually, her kids will forgive her without knowing how to seek help or take further action to address the issue.

These toxic patterns of behavior remain unchanged and will be put on a replay without coming to a stop! In some circumstances, the child’s effort to go up against emotional abuse from mothers can be useless. The parents will find a way to justify themselves. Some can even do it so perfectly that their child may be instilled with fake beliefs and feel sorry for confronting them in the first place.

sad girl lying on the bed
Many parents think that if they simply don’t use physical force, it doesn’t mean abuse at all.

4 Common Signs To Spot An Emotionally Abusive Mother

If you want to help spread awareness of emotional abuse from mothers, the first step is to be able to spot it in your daily life and seek more help. The following list includes the top 5 most common signs and behaviors of an emotionally abusive mother:

1. Aggressive Or Critical Ways of Speaking

Don’t you ever forget that “verbal abuse” is one of the synonyms for emotional abuse, which can be categorized into adverse judgments, disapproving comments, or even verbal threats!

Without acknowledging the downsides, many parents believe that bringing a sense of fear and submission causes no harm. As a matter of fact, they think that shouting, criticizing, and insulting will help educate their children more efficiently.

Parents should know that only with constructive and practical feedback can they make their children understand the problem more thoroughly. Overuse of criticism can backfire if they want to raise their child out of love but don’t know how to provide positive support.

2. Blaming You for Their Bad Results

Commonly, an abusive mother avoids taking responsibility for the course of action and result. She would try to redirect negative emotions to her children who have nothing to do with the problem. Yet, the children are forced to feel guilty as though it was their job to keep parents happy all the time. Suffering from this regularly can cause serious mental health issues even when one enters the stages of adulthood.

daughter of an emotionally abusive mother with smiling paper board
The signs of an emotionally abused child are hardly presented with obvious proofs.

3. No Privacy Allowed

An emotionally abusive mother can be identified as the person who wants to know all of her child’s business no matter how personal it is. Of course, it goes against the standards of a healthy relationship, making the child obligated to expose private, individual aspects. A lot of household rules signify signs of emotional abuse. Typical examples include reading their kid’s diary, browsing through their phone messages, or keeping close control of extracurricular and leisure activities…

4. Passively Negative Manipulation

An emotionally abusive relationship is not only indicated by explicitly belittling and toxic comments, but also passively expression of manipulating language. As a result, it is harder for everyone to recognize this type of abusive behavior at first sight.

Mentally abusive parents use many ways of passive manipulation to treat their children. However, the most common is to draw a comparison between the kid and another. By doing this, the parents make the child feel guilty and unworthy unless he/she satisfies their wish. Comments like “My friend’s son would do this to help me…” are the ones that hurt the most. These comments appear to be sort of harmless and inoffensive, don’t they? 

To sum up…

Some adults think that it is acceptable for a mother to treat their child that way. If that’s the case, neither have they seen the whole story behind nor noticed the unhealable wounds kept open for the child’s entire life.

Therefore, learning how to spot an emotionally abusive mother is of the utmost importance for all children to avoid adverse mental conditions. Also, it helps you to protect your own family and friends as well as spread awareness among society. 

Before you go, why not check out our Child Care category? We’re sure that you’ll find something interesting and beneficial for your parenting journey.

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