There are two different forms of verbal abuse – what is said, and how it is said. Telling a child that she or he is stupid or worthless is certainly damaging in a very deep way. But a child can also be damaged by innocuous words that are said in an abusive manner.
Words spoken in an aggressive or belittling manner, even if otherwise innocent, aren’t kind. Tone is essential. Nothing good is conveyed when you speak to a person, especially a child, in a short, clipped, frustrated manner, or loudly or sharply. If you say “What do you want?” to your child using a tone that says “Why are you bothering me, again!” then you have verbally abused him. You are the main teacher for your children. If you teach them through your actions that they don’t matter to you, then you have taught them that they are worthless.
A child doesn’t have a sense of perspective. Their parent is their “normal”. When a parent speaks in an abusive manner to her child, he does not know that he should speak up. That would be unthinkable. It is cruel and thoughtless, as well as an abuse of power, for a parent to verbally abuse her child. It is not the child’s fault that they were born and that your days of partying are over. Nor is not the child’s fault if you were raised in a similar manner.