when words hurt children

Sticks and Stones: How Verbal Abuse Hurts Children

“What are you, an idiot?”



“You #%&^$!”

It wasn’t the first time his parents had resorted to a litany of name calling. It seemed to be their routine form of communication: an insult here, a slight there, a sprinkling of profanities, a rude retort or a less than flattering moniker. Honestly, I’d been disgusted from the start, but on this day I could no longer silently stomach the verbal assault his parents were launching rapid-fire in his direction.

Standing there in their cramped apartment kitchen, listening to two people shred their only child’s self image again, my heart began to race, my face flushed and my throat throbbed until I finally let the words slide off my tongue. “Stop it!” I yelled (much to the shock of everyone in the room).
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