Shaming kids isn’t okay and is a highly toxic thing to do. Abuse comes in many forms and this form is one we all need to be aware of.

Kids are fragile and while they do mess up shaming them and making them feel embarrassed overall is a bad thing to do. This only further tears them down and leaves them feeling as if they will never be good enough. As their caretakers, we should be helping to build them up, not push them down to the ground and treat them as if everything they do is not good enough.

In case you haven’t noticed, kids tend to take everything to heart, they are sensitive, and when you say or do something that upsets them they take it personally. This meaning shaming them or humiliating them affects them a lot more deeply than it does the average adult. They don’t yet know how to let go of these kinds of things or have the self-esteem to overlook them. 

Psychology Today wrote as follows on the children who are shamed once they grow into adulthood:

Underlying children’s anguish from the painful experiences imposed by their parents is the belief that they must be defective for their parents to hurt and neglect them. 

These unexpressed feelings of hurt, rage, and shame fester over time. As adults, emotions become so intensely painful that they create a false self. They take on so many layers of defense and pretense that they lose all conscious awareness of their authentic self. They have no grounding in reality and are unable to generate good feelings about themselves from the inside. 

People who were shamed as children spend their lives searching to fill the profound sense of emptiness they feel where there should have been a healthy sense of self. They may obsessively strive for financial success, status, or fame. They may perpetuate the tragedy of early suffering with risky and compulsive behaviors such as substance @buse, $exual perversions, or identification with extreme ideologies or cultural groups. They may develop an anxiety disorder or descend into depression.

Because they feel vulnerable and powerless, they expect others to hurt them. This victimhood state justifies any means of protection, regardless of how it affects others. Hiding from their own feelings prevents them from being able to acknowledge the feelings of others. They can’t be open and honest with themselves or anyone else. 

Shaming kids can lead to a lot of issues. It leaves them struggling with their self-esteem, makes them less likely to express themselves, and damages your connection with them. As a parent or guardian, you need to build your kids up instead of tearing them down, period. They rely on us to help them move through this world and if we’re doing nothing but holding them back, we’re really messing up. 

I guess the point of this is that we should keep in mind that children are children. They don’t see or deal with things in the same was we do as adults. Treat your kids how you want to be treated and don’t make them feel like crap for trying to show their true selves or working on doing something they’re unsure of. At the end of the day, they’re just trying to figure out where to go from where they are.

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