It is the balance of power which determines whether an action crosses the line from hurtful to abusive. When the power dynamic is out of balance and the person with the power inflicts harm on the person with less–even when it is unconscious–it reinforces their position of power and becomes abusive.
I believe that consistent and repeatable actions during childhood, no matter how small, will build up mental models that we continue to follow as adults. The flaps of butterfly wings do indeed sometimes cause hurricanes. Calling out and correcting unhealthy parenting techniques in myself and others, even I seem pedantic in doing so, means that we can stop hurricanes before they start. Giving children agency and responsibility too early before they are ready to assume them, will result in a catastrophe. Too late, and we risk disempowering them.
Yet emotional abuse is incredibly damaging, perhaps in part because it cannot be recognised and dealt with in the same way. Emotional abuse gets swept under the carpet because it is supported and perpetuated by society as a whole.
It is always a matter of self-protection, or indeed what we believe to be self-protection… which is why stopping playing it seems counter intuitive.