How can re-education help kids growing up in a toxic home?

by | Aug 25, 2011

Following is my response to a question that came up in a forum this week. 

“I believe your “conditioning” question is excellent. There must be a cultural component as well as the reaction to violence causing trauma and the appearance of PTSD symptoms along the way. I know my Dad thought he was doing the right thing by teaching us how to be tough sailors on a ship at war in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. Dad was on the USS Belle Grove LSD2 in seven campaigns, including Iwo Jima during WWII.  His boys at home were seaman to him, so he kicked us around violently at times. But we were not mature enough to understand. I believe you are on to something important that includes “conditioning” and learning behaviors from mentors, kind of like “brain washing” if you will. If you are exposed to this type toxic culture as a little kid and throughout your young life you acquire your parents beliefs until there is an opportunity to learn from others i.e., re-education as you say. My research conclusions include a “lessons learned” and a model for self discovery to aid in the re-conditioning or healing process. Thanks very much for the question. Hope we can continue the conversation. I learned something new.”

The after-school program offered at is an example of a great place for all children to see a more typical and positive mentoring culture and receive the kind of re-education or re-conditioning referred to in the above answer.

About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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