The roller coaster ride that is Teen Mom just took another dip this week with more claims of abusive behavior. No, not Amber Portwood beating on her baby daddy. This time Dr. Drew Pinsky has called out April Baltierra for abusing her daughter, Catelynn Lowell.
Hey America, listen up. He just reminded parents everywhere that child abuse doesn't only mean marks on your child's backside.
Emotional abuse is damaging too, and it affects some 148,500 children every year. Want to put that in perspective?
We're in the midst of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And that number is more than three times more than the number of women who die from breast cancer annually in the United States.
The mom of Catelynn Lowell and stepmother to Tyler Baltierra, the couple who gave up daughter Carly for adoption more than a year ago, regularly calls her daughter a "bi--h," curses at her (beyond the b- word the f-bomb is frequently bleeped out by the folks at MTV), criticizes her choices for her child and more.
When Pinsky called her on it this week, she jumped to the defensive, claiming she regrets her actions. But as she hemmed and hawed over Pinsky's recommendations that she get into a 12-step program to deal with her own addictions (she's portrayed as a problem drinker on the show), just how she has abused her daughter takes another turn.
Emotional abuse is widely considered to be verbal.
If it's not physically leaving a mark on a child, than it must be screaming at them, right?
Not necessarily. Based on the markers of emotional abuse from the American Humane Society, it could just as easily be "exploiting or corrupting" your child -- presenting them with your poor role modeling and walking them down a path that's going to put them in danger in the long run. That includes being an alcoholic.
Also up there on the list? Ignoring your child. No, this doesn't meant refusing to play a 15th time of Monopoly and telling them to go do it "by yourself." You're a parent, not a martyr. But you have to be both physically and psychologically responsive to your kids. Something like "refusing to touch" your child is abuse.
Give them a hug once in awhile (something watchers of Teen Mom will see Amber Portwood almost never does -- least of all when her child is crying), and when you speak to them, call them by their name. Replacing their name with "b---h" doesn't count.
If this all sounds like common sense, then you're OK Mom and Dad. Unfortunately 148,500 children prove there are to many April Baltierras out there.
Do you think emotional abuse is taken seriously enough?
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