Top ways to screw up your kids… My experience as a child living in a toxic home…

by | Mar 5, 2014

Please support my mission of helping families who suffer from PTSD and moral injury…order my book, Reconciliation: A Son’s Story.  Click and order paperback or download Kindle version.  Buy my book at BarnesandNoble as well… Thank you! Steve Sparks, Author

Steve Sparks, 1956 age 10

“My smile saved me during this time when it was tough going at home.”

Ways to screw up your kids…  Quotes from this website article by

Sherrie Campbell, PhD Become a fan

Veteran, licensed Psychologist

“Our children are the lights of our lives. We all start off as parents envisioning nothing but success, love and happiness for them. However, these dreams often do not manifest because they are not getting the important things they need to become disciplined, mature and motivated adults. The following are eight parenting f*ck-ups that will guarantee your child will suffer from depression, anxiety, anger, tense family relationships, problems with friends, low self-esteem, a sense of entitlement and chronic emotional problems throughout his or her life.”

“1. Ignore or minimize your child’s feelings. If your child is expressing sadness, anger or fear and you mock them, humiliate them, ignore or tease them you minimize what they feel. You essentially tell them what they feel is wrong. When parents do this they withhold love from their child and miss opportunities to have open and vulnerable connections teaching them to bond and to know they are loved unconditionally.”


The big game in my toxic home life back in the “too terrible to remember 1950’s and early 1960’s” was humiliation!  My parents and we siblings spent an enormous amount of energy making all of us feel like idiots and second class citizens.  It was a competition and the behavior acquired a life of its own.  We were so good at mocking each other and tearing each other down that we continued the game well into adult life. This “let’s kick each other around, and knock the other guy down” style of parenting and sibling relationships came right from the US Navy boot-camp regimen.  My Chief Boatswains Mate (BMC) Dad who trained boots following WWII, was an expert at bringing everybody down and stripping us of all identity and pride.  We would go to school feeling stupid and like crap, and believed that’s how everybody looked at us.  As a result it was a lonely and isolated world as a child in my home.  All of this baggage carried into adult life, so we all had to work hard to break free of the pattern and learn how to relate to folks in positive and constructive ways.  It was no picnic at the beach, but we were lucky to have great mentors outside of the home to help us out.

My remarks and example of childhood abuse in our home back in the day, can serve as a reminder to parents everywhere to step back and listen to what is going on in the conversation at home between parents, kids, and siblings.  Are we encouraging each other?  Are we talking about how to be successful?  Are we mentoring our kids to do better or telling them they are failures in life?  Are we parents good role models?  Ask these questions today as you read the article of “8 ways to screw up your kids.”  Try doing a lessons learned exercise to practice how you talk to each other at home.  The most successful kids in school are the ones who feel like they are on top of their game when they leave home for a busy day at school and play…

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story  click to download my e-book or order paperback…

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.
View all posts by stevesparks →

You might also like

Translate »