Do your children pay the price for passive aggression?


Passive aggression is a form of emotional abuse - we’ve covered that in this blog before.

However, in a family setting where passive aggression is the norm, how much do you know about how it affects your children? When children are treated with passive-aggressive behavior, it is in fact a way of being treated with emotional abuse. And an abused child’s brain, according to a new article at Wired, is similar to that of a soldier’s when exposed to combat.

In “How Abuse Changes a Child’s Brain” Brandon Keim writes:

“The brains of children raised in violent families resemble the brains of soldiers exposed to combat, psychologists say.

They’re primed to perceive threat and anticipate pain, adaptations that may be helpful in abusive environments but produce long-term problems with stress and anxiety.

Previous studies have shown that abuse affects kids’ brains; as they grow up, abused children become adults with high levels of aggression, anxiety, depression and other behavioral problems.

Another recent study found that depression in people who were abused as children is especially difficult to treat.”

In your own family, passive-aggression may not turn into violence. However, constantly being on the defensive from a father who induces emotional or mental pain can be stressful, especially for children going through the early stages of mental development. In this case, although you suffer from your husband’s passive aggression as well, it may affect your child’s long term development even more than your own.
Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora

Dr. Nora is a well-known coach, conflict solver and trainer, and CEO of Creative Conflict Resolutions, Inc. Sign up for free, here on her blog, to be connected to her innovative conflict solutions, positive suggestions, and life-changing coaching sessions, along with blog updates, news, and more! We can begin by having a complimentary consultation with Dr. Nora. See Dr. Nora at her coaching site today to talk with her and receive a plan for action to change your life. She's ready to help!
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  1. anonplease says

    Passive Aggressive is a newly introduced term for me, which perfectly describes my husband.  I decided years ago to divorce him, but have not yet filed for divorce because we have 2 small children. 

    One of my husband’s persistant PA behaviors is to NEVER be responsible for the children. 

    I have consulted (several) divorce lawyers, and all have told me that joint custody will be awarded in our state.  I fear for my children’s safety if they were to spend an evening or weekend in his care. 

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