In my line of work I deal with exactly the scenario described in this article. It is so hard to watch situations like this line up in such a predictable pattern.
I have been guilty of telling parents to turn their children in to the police, to call 911 when the child gets violent, to press charges. Because sometimes that is the only way to keep the family safe, and to keep the child safe from himself and innocent people.
I do believe that many of these children's lives are disrupted by the chemical imbalances of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc. But I also believe that many children are affected by the breakdown of the family.
I see so many young males who have no memory of a father, or their father is in jail. Their mother works to provide while the child roams the streets and finds ways to keep busy, many times getting into trouble. Then there is abuse and trauma, neglect, bullying, that all lend to the possiblity of a person becoming violent, especially if experienced at a young age.
I agree with Kym - it does take a village to raise a child. I think that more funding needs to be available for community groups like boys and girls clubs, for community mental health support, for parenting classes, support groups and public education of mental illness and personality disorders.
Public Service Announcements would be a good place to start...to get the community talking about what they can do to get such things started in their neighborhoods. Tightened security on our campuses, with no exception to visitor status. Double check, triple check security systems. I would be willing to pay higher taxes in my community for school safety improvements.
Parents have to stay in tune with their children. To notice when things aren't right. To not be afraid to ask direct questions. Parents have every right to know what is going on in their kids lives. I believe in privacy, but if your child gives you reason to believe he can't be trusted, parents should do whatever they need to do to find out..
I tell parents that if their child is using drugs, then that child has lost the right to complete privacy. Room checks, closet checks, under bed checks, coat checks, shoe checks, areas up under side tables. Parents would be surprised what they would find.
Sometimes drugs are what changes the childs personality, sometimes children use drugs to try and even out their personality...either way, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Kids should feel they can talk to their parents as well. That the privelege of conversation can go both ways. If kids can't talk to their parents they will turn to their peers. Sometimes that is not good news.
Oh me and my rambling. lol....I shared the article on my facebook page as well. I think it could get people talking.
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