But they did repeat their parent’s abusive behavior and more than likely, increased the level of abuse and the types of abuses. Granted, this was in the 50s and 60s and at a time before Dr. Benjamin Spock’s theories on baby and child care was well known or practiced. Now, his books are in their eighth and ninth editions and have led many parents towards much more enlightened parenting habits.

However, I grow up with many idiosyncracies. I stuttered from the time I was seven until my teacher, Mrs. Lemos kept me after school every day and had me read from Shakespeare while holding my tongue when I was 15. By the end of my sophomore year, I no longer stuttered unless I was tired.

It was an amazing to learn it was possible to change absolutely anything I focused on at that age. I realized how difficult it was to continue to walk pigeon toed, so I spent the next year walking like a duck with my toes pointed outward. Before the end of my junior year, I was able to walk straight without having to consciously think about walking straight.

From that point on, I choose a different trait or behavior I wanted to change. Every single year I focus on something new that I want to change. The year I choose to learn to say no was the most difficult.

I was technically born a middle child, the one who is always obligated to keep the peace in the family. Even though my parents adopted my brother Tony when I was 13, I already had developed the habits of someone who had to overcompensate for being less than the oldest or the youngest. I was the “pleaser”. I was the child who would look for additional ways to make my parents, teachers, and friends happier or more comfortable. I was constantly trying to fix everyone.



Absolutely any negative outburst is a form of abuse. Whether you are yelling or physically assaulting someone. Children have not developed the ability to understand the difference between discipline and abuse.

Children are extremely sensitive to the infliction of tone, abruptness and any perceived threat. Occasional exposure to these threats can be overcome by a more persistent form of nurturing because children are extremely forgiving. More than anything, they love unconditionally, until they can no longer trust their environment.

All children are born perfect; it’s their environment that robs them of their perfection.

The challenge of reversing these imperfections will always present itself when children compensate by displaying the reactive behavior. They will exhibit more drastic examples of acting out once they no longer trust their environment because of the abuse which they have been exposed.

It becomes more difficult to remove the negativity the longer children are exposed to abuse.

I grew up in a household where my parents were raised by parents who were extremely abusive. I’m sure my grandparents were subjected to similar abuses as well. There’s no doubt the abuse stems back as far as my family history can be traced.

I remember my father mentioning how his father drank on Friday and Saturday nights. From the time he was 15, he would have to go to the local bar and pour his father into the car to safely drive him home. The majority of the abuse stemmed from his father’s drinking habits.

My parents didn’t drink unless it was a special occasion. Often children exhibit the opposite behavior of their parents.