Mumbai Mirror, page 14, Thursday, 28 Jan 10 – ‘Boy, 14, kills parents over chores row’

A 14-year old, teenager kills his parents in a pre-planned, cold-blooded manner; stays overnight with the bodies playing video games and expresses no apparent remorse the next day.

Setting aside, just for a moment, the reasons why such a young child would commit such a heinous crime, I ask myself whether there are any early warning signs that could help us identify and help someone with such extreme aggression or should I just assume that the child had psychopathic tendencies and hence would have eventually done something like this?

Aggression amongst children is on a rise; blame it on over-exposure to media or lack of quality time with parents and loved ones; the truth is that children today are showing strong aggressive tendencies.

One of the key causes is that kids’ today get everything far too easily; material things and comforts are literally served on a platter by indulgent parents and over-indulgent grand-parents.
While the elders see this as an expression of their love, what they fail to realise is that this over-indulgence leads to low-frustration tolerance in kids even as young as 2-3 years.
The result: they can’t stand it when you say No! And can we blame them?
All their demands must be met else what follows is a tantrum and we worsen the cycle by giving in, time and again.

This inability to accept ‘no’ for an answer becomes part of the child’s persona and shows up in the form of an ill-temper, a passive-aggressive attitude, substance abuse and addiction and even violence.

As parents, we all want to give our child the best; give yours a healthy mix of material comforts and love and strong values.

Do not hesitate to seek professional help if you see signs of aggression in your child.
Also, if there has been a sudden death of a loved-one, a separation or divorce, any other loss or grief which could have impacted your child, make sure to seek counselling as children are often unable to rationally deal with such incidents and form distorted views of the same.

– Priyanka

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