Matt Downie, from the charity Action for Children, says it's important to dispel fears that parents or guardians could be criminalised for occasional less-than-perfect parenting.
"Scapegoating, humiliation, consistent rejection, children being forced to witness domestic violence... these things are not just bad parenting. They're cruelty," he told ITV News.
It comes as calls are made for the emotional neglect of children to be made a criminal offence.
More top news
Winter sunshine with cloud creeping in during the afternoon and a frosty night ahead.
The Revd Canon Joanna Penberthy has been consecrated as Bishop of St Davids in "an historic" day for the Church in Wales.
Temperatures will tumble under clear skies tonight with a widespread frost developing.