It's important to remember that mental abuse is a scale with an infinite number of degrees. Every parent (even though they might honestly try their best) has done or said something to their child that caused more harm than good. No parent is perfect and every parent can be placed somewhere on that scale (but never exactly at either furthest extreme).
Whether the parent believes they are telling the truth or acting in the child's best interest is largely irrelevant. The schizophrenic parent might really believe demons are coming for their child, so they instruct the child to perform bizarre rituals to ward them off. Is that then mental abuse? Depends on the impact on the child, really.
The question then becomes not a matter of what is and is not child abuse, but rather the establishment of criteria where we as a soceity say, "Ok, if these types of things are happening then we are going to step in". Where do we draw that line? That is the real debate.
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Last edited by Geko45; 02-07-2013 at 09:28..