Protect Your Child From Emotionally Abusive Relatives 

Every family usually has that one family member who is emotionally unstable—whether it’s a narcissistic uncle or drama queen sister – most families have their share of dysfunction.

But that doesn’t mean you need to let your child get caught up in the middle of it.

In fact, if you ignore the emotional abuse being spewed upon your child, their young psyche could be seriously damaged.

And as a mother, it is your duty to protect your child from relatives who don’t seem to understand boundaries. 

You don’t need to cause a scene, but you do need to lay down some basic ground rules. 

Refuse To Tolerate Disrespect 

Whether it’s an aunt who is always causing a dramatic scene at family get togethers, or an angry uncle who finds it acceptable to curse at everyone – it’s critical you teach your children at a young age they don’t have to tolerate inappropriate behavior.

Maybe it means not inviting that relative over to your house, or using it as a teaching moment to explain to your child they don’t have to listen to someone cursing at them.

If you allow adults to rage on and act inappropriately, you are teaching your children this behavior is acceptable, when it isn’t. 

Don’t Force Relationships

If you have an emotionally unstable relative – don’t force your child to build a relationship with that family member.

Insisting that your child spend time getting to know their aunt when she is emotionally unstable could seriously damage your child. 

Whether the relative bursts out in fits of anger or despair, a young child won’t be able to comprehend that it is the adult’s issue, and may instead blame themselves and think they are defective.

If someone is yelling at them, most children always think it is their fault and they are in the wrong. 

If you’d like your child to have a relationship with the family member in question, do so in group settings and limit interaction.

Let Your Child Set Boundaries 

If there is a relative who always seems to want to shower on affection (think multiple hugs and kisses) and your child is uncomfortable – don’t force your child to reciprocate.

If you teach your child they must respond every time an adult wants to hug them or show affection, it could set them up for trouble down the road.

Instead, teach your child to say “no thank you”, if Aunt Gina insists on a kiss and they don’t want to. 

And if your relatives have a bone to pick – let them do it with you and not your child – back up your child’s right to set their own boundaries for personal space. 

Be Their Advocate

As adults, you set boundaries in your life with toxic friends.  

So don’t forget to protect your children from emotionally abusive relatives too! 

Don’t force your child to spend time with someone who brings them distress, just because they are related. 

Careless words and anger can seriously damage a child for life, as children are too young to understand that not all adults know how to regulate their emotions appropriately. 

Instead, until a child is old enough to be able to fully advocate for themselves – stand in the gap for them.

Do you agree parents should protect their children from emotionally abusive relatives?

What are some ways you’ve protected your own child from out-of-control relatives? 

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

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