I am worried about my children becoming victim to the pandemic wave of violence that has followed
them into the places we once thought safe-schools, kindergartens, restaurants. What can we as parents
do to ensure our children's safety?
Provide a warm and open home environment, and encourage your children to be selective about the
company they keep.
Everyday, across the country, frightful shootings and murders involving children are reported, even
among innocent elementary school children. I am terrified. As a mother raising children, I am
determined to protect my kids from harm and, novel and absurd as it sounds, from becoming killers
themselves. I fear for the safety, even at the local hamburger joint. What can we do as parents
to safeguard them from harm's way?
Many scientific studies have been devoted to finding out what causes some children, including
those from good homes, to turn into mass murderers, homicidal maniacs, and serial killers. Why
do some from the same socio-economic environments become law abiding citizens, while others cross
the line into a life of crime?
There are no simple answers. We know more than we did before, but still more questions remain than
answers. This is what the experts do agree upon.
1.Physical and emotional abuse leads to and perpetuates violence. Let this be a warning to those
who still hold with tradition and the out-dated adage of "spare the rod and spoil the child." Use
the rod and risk passing on the habit of corporeal punishment and doing physical harm. The streets
of cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and New York are filled with runaways beaten and abused by
parental and authority figures.
2.The brains of violent offenders have in many cases presented evidence of brain disorders and
altered brain chemistry. Recent studies using magnetic resonant imaging of the brains of career
criminals indicate a high incidence of abnormalities from birth. Reduced blood flow to the
prefrontal lobe, the region thought to control impulses and emotions, is a common abnormality.
The data has been convincing enough for at least one penal institution, the California Prison
Medical Facility in Vacaville, to attempt to rehabilitate prisoners there using biofeedback
Your fears about your own children becoming violent offenders are likely exaggerated, but for the
record, and in case you are concerned about their friends, the following is a list of indications
and signals for potential violence.
(1)Does the subject get enraged on a daily basis?
(2)Does her or she get into physical fights repeatedly or often?
(3)Does the subject willfully damage or destroy the property and possessions of others?
(4)Does he/she consume increasing amounts of drugs or alcohol
(5)Are the subject's violent actions escalating?
(6)Does he/she have detailed plans for an assault?
(7)Does he/she enjoy abusing pets?
(8)Is he/she a gang member or talk about joining one?
(9)Is the subject poor at controlling anger?
(10)Has the subject's grades dropped? Is he/she failing in school?
(11)Does he/she appear alienated from others?
(12)Does he/she not respect the rights and feelings of others?
(13)Does he/she keep fighting or arguing with teachers or other adults, often receiving punishment
for behavioral problems?
Talk to your children-it's never too late to establish or re-establish connection. Enlist the support
and assistance of teachers, ministers, counselors. Don't give up on your child-they need you even when
they push you away. No child, no matter how wayward, is beyond redemption.