Dear Dr. G.,
I recently read about a teenager who killed his parents. I believe that it was in New Mexico. I am the mother of two teens-a boy and a girl. While my teens get mad at me at times I can't possibly understand why a teen or any child for that matter would hurt the person who loves them the most.
I was hoping you could shed some light on this topic. I forgot to tell you that I'm a high school math teacher so I'm wondering if there are any signs that I should be looking for in my students. I'm not a therapist or anything but I'm a caring mother, teacher and member of society.
I thank you in advance for any light that you can shed on this issue.
A Baffled Mother & Teacher
Dear Mother & Teacher,
You are in good and plentiful company. The word parents, children and murder do not belong in the same sentence. Nonetheless, there have been many cases of teens who have murdered their parents. This is a horrifying thought for both you and other parents everywhere.
It is very difficult to predict violence. In fact, violence is one of the hardest behaviors to predict. Nonetheless, I have scoured the research and have found some common characteristics that teens who kill their parents have in common. I do want to reassure you and the millions of other parents out there that parricide or teens killing their parents is a rare event. I guess that is not reassuring because even one such event is one too many