Welcome to another week.

Question and answer site Quora, has made it into the media this morning over a question which was asked by a poster. The poster was interested to know what people felt was the most damaging thing you could say to a child, and the answers are as important as they are fascinating.

We all know the rhyme, ‘Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.’ We also know that for years children have been using that rhyme, not to state fact, but to place a protective verbal shield around them when they’ve been subjected to hurtful commentary. Words do hurt – we even have laws which protect adults from verbal abuse.

The extent of the hurt will depend on the child’s own understanding and personality, the frequency of the comments themselves and of course, the context in which they’re spoken. Harvard University’s report on verbal abuse in childhood went as far as to suggest that such abuse could lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in children, and well into adulthood. (We found this article after posting the rhyme above, though as you can see they have included it in their article too). The report also suggests that severe verbal abuse can be as detrimental to a child and their development as sexual abuse.

Our question to you then, is the very same question the Quora poster asked: what do you think is the most psychologically damaging thing you can say to a child?

Many thanks to Dana for sharing this news item with us.

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