Guide to Protecting Your Child from Violent Kids: Part VI
Imminent Warning Signs of Kids Who Kill
- Recent stressful event: "Breakup" with presumed or real girlfriend, victimization (persecution) by peer group, conflict with parent, school personnel or authority figure.
- Excessive feelings of isolation and being alone: if associated with behavior that is aggressive or violent, take note.
- Dramatic drop in grades: or attendance.
- Considered "weird" or dangerous by peers.
- Detailed threats of lethal violence, verbal, in writings and/or drawings.
- Preoccupied with weapons, explosives or other incendiary devices.
- Severe Rage, "out of control," for seemingly minor reasons.
- Overt self-injurious behaviors or threats of suicide.
- Cruelty to animals and smaller children.
- Fascination with fire and fire-setting.
Characteristics Common to Violent Kids
- Loners/social outcasts
- Physically healthy: not likely to be physically handicapped or disabled.
- Attend public school, no participation in pro-social groups or "normal" pastimes, socially immature.
- Members of alienated groups or gangs.
- Peer/relationships conflicts, including girl problems.
- Poor parent and sibling relationships, child abuse.
- Family history of mental illness, personality disorders or substance abuse, but only about 10% of violent kids have severe mental illness. Depression, suicidal tendencies.
- As infants - colicky, temperamental, delayed milestones, history of bed-wetting. Problems with attachment and bonding.
- Display chronic anger, anger and power struggles within the family.
- Distrustful and secretive with adults in authority.
- Negative self-image and/or unstable self-esteem.
- Inappropriate access to, possession of, and use of firearms.
- Violent fantasies, strong attraction to real and fictional violence in media, movies, video games and music.
- Premeditation/planning/surveillance of targets.
- Victims of bullying since preschool.
- Multiple psychological stresses imagined or real, including rejection, discipline, humiliation.
- Inability to accept responsibility and blame.
- Cruelty to animals; fascination with fire/fire-setting.
Read our review of the book, Raising Safe Kids in an Unsafe World.
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