Traumatizing Your Children

by | Jul 1, 2021 | With Your Family in Mind

I am proud to announce that my older daughter just graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCSD. My younger one is a few credits short of being a Junior at UCSB. I am fortunate enough to be not only friends, but good friends with my ex wife. We in fact went to San Diego and shared a hotel room with our younger daughter. Over the weekend, we drove up to Julian. Julian is a little town, known for its Pies. It has a number of eclectic Mom and Pop shops.
In one of the shops, I found a pocket book by Knock Knock entitled “How To Traumatize Your Children- 7 proven methods to help you screw up your kids Deliberately and With Skill.” 144 pages of pure delight. Since I had reached this milestone with my kids, I felt obliged to take a peek and wound up leaving with the book.
In the practice of family law, we unfortunately see many heart breaking family situations. As a young parent, I had a very good run. My worst parenting mistake through six years of parenting was forcing my younger child to watch E.T. It was a great movie. I enjoyed it. And by the time that we got to the bathroom scene, my younger child freaked out. I missed the fact that a mostly naked ET could be traumatizing to a young child.
So, in order to help “fix” things, I searched very well on the internet. I was able to score an ET T shirt, an oversized ET Plush doll, and best of all, perhaps the worst video game of all time, recognized as such by its creator. If you don’t believe me, please check this out:
If that entails too much typing, there is a documentary on Netflix entitled “High Score”. The game was actually blamed for the collapse of Atari. But I digress. Anyways, I found the game (used of course) and my house became a tribute to the little green/brownish guy. That still did not stop my child from freaking out every time she saw any form of him. Trust me when I say I was well intentioned.
And now, back to our book. One of the proven methods mentioned in the book on how to well traumatize your child is to be a “controller”, identified at page 36 of the book as “…a special type of parent, best suited for individuals with leadership skills and a strong perfectionist drive, generally undergirded [what a word] by a stimulating combination of failed dreams and entrenched self-loathing.” Our author certainly nailed that one.
So what’s the message here? First, you can screw up your kids pretty good, but with their resiliency, and despite your idiocy, they are likely to turn out fine. Second, while the book offers lots of creative ways to intentionally traumatize your children, most of us will do pretty well doing it, as the “Gen Zeer’s say, “on accident”.
For all of your family law and business needs, please contact the Law Offices of Richard A. Marcus, Esq.

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