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4 Causes Of Victimhood In Children

causes of victimhood in children

The causes of victimhood in children take a subtle form, yet snowball into a disaster. This disaster can be so overwhelming that adults around often color the children with all kinds of negativity. The child suffers without help, and more harrowing, without understanding why it is so. And unceremoniously, their caregivers or parents determine their lives. Below are some of the causes of victimhood in children.


#1  Unpredictability

This is often characterized by the child’s inability to remain calm. Such that even in a stable environment, they find it difficult to adapt. This aversion to stability is expressed in what is often referred to as strange and difficult behavior. This is because their developing brain has been unable to make the necessary connections, therefore, deadening the parts (neurons) expedient for them to experience safety and calm. Instability sets in when a child is exposed to conglomerate of unpredictable situations. Like abuse or violence. They adapt to the chaos it brings in hope of never having anyone dash their expectations of security, intermittently. It is their way of protecting themselves from the pain that results from the disconnection they suffer.

Even as an adult, when you extend a hand to another for connection, and he or she declines repeatedly. Would you want to keep disappointing yourself over the same issue? As confusing and difficult it is for adults when we experience this. How much more harrowing can it be for a child, whose brain is still under development.  This instability is what is explained as a learned helplessness.


#2  Intimidating A Child Into Silence When You Wrong Them

causes of victimhood in children

Often, parents take the position of a villain in the lives of their children when they intimidate their children into silence. However, this like many others, creates distortion in the mind of the child, hence, they are unable to form clearly, a distinction between what constitutes wrong and what does not. On the part of the parents, this happens, often because of their own unresolved issues of false perception of self-worth and inflated ego. As with many parents too, the infallibility pedestal upon which they place themselves, disallow them from seeing the many ways they wreck their children.

As a parent or caregiver, It is pertinent that you apologize to a child when you wrong them. This does not just help improve their developing mind, it also helps mitigate against confusion. Distortion of thoughts arises because of a child’s inability to see clearly, what is being done to them. And as such, the mind often creates narratives that is needed to keep them safe from the harm they encounter. Unfortunately, these narratives are often false. This is cognitive dissonance. Remember, your expectation is that your child forms a normal relationship outside the home. It is important that you model for them what normal relationship means, and what tool it requires.


#3  Blaming A Child When They Report A Wrong Done Against Them

When a child reports a wrong done against them, it is important that you listen to their feelings . Rather than blame a child for a crime committed against them, help them address the ensuing feeling, this way, you teach them of the importance of feelings and sense of self. Muddling up a child for an act done against them, tells them that they are as guilty as their offender is. Consequently, they erroneously learn to hold back and often take responsibility for other people’s action against them. This certainly does not create an environment where the child feels safe, instead, they take the position of a victim.

This victimhood follows them long into adulthood, where their lives are set on the path of self-destruction; given their later choices. Every child needs an adult who would not rob them of their innocence because he or she does not know better. Remember, a child is not responsible for what they feel. When you blame and punish a child for speaking up, how do they learn to speak up for themselves in future?

causes of victimhood in children

#4  Apologizing On Behalf Of A Child For Owning Their Feeling

This is another cause of victimhood in children when a parent or a caregiver, apologizes to people at every turn when a child asserts their voice. This assertion is often manifest in their clear expression for their likes or dislikes, often at the dismay of surrounding adult. It might be less distressing to know that it is not the responsibility of your child to keep you from embarrassment. When you apologize on behalf of a child for owning their voice, you clearly communicate to them that they are extra-terrestial. Or that they need to condense a part of them to fit into the set social standards.

A child’s voice or feeling is as important as that of the adult. Just as being a child does not interpret to being less human.  Let them own their voice without being shamed for being a human being.



These causes of victimhood in children are often the result of everyday life experiences. No child deserves to be at the receiving end of an adult’s unpreparedness or ignorance. We need to consciously begin to create a safe and livable society by the choices we make as parents. A parent’s own lived experiences can muddle up the child’s experience. You need to put in the necessary work, as it is required in your own self, to foster a beautiful experience for your child.

Let it be said, that the child of today, is the adult who will be laden with responsibility tomorrow. Will they be able to make the right choices?

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