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12 year old boy kills his dog, wanted to see it die.

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  • #172701

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    Better keep an eye on this kid. Nice family and parenting.

    http://www.kcra.com/news/Boy-says-he-was-mad-at-his-dog-so-he-killed-it/-/11797728/17175230/-/30bsiez/-/index.html?absolute=true&utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=kcranews

    A 12-year-old California boy says he killed his dog because he wanted to see the terrier mix die.

    The Salinas Californian reports police officers found the 12-pound dog hanging by its collar on a bedroom door handle.

    Investigators say the boy told officers he was mad at the dog and he wanted to see it die.

    Dispatchers got a 911 emergency call Friday afternoon from a female caller saying the boy was hurting the dog. People in the boy’s apartment refused to open the door when Salinas police arrived, so officers obtained a pass key.

    The boy was arrested and taken to Monterey County Juvenile Hall for investigation of felony animal cruelty.

    Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/Boy-says-he-was-mad-at-his-dog-so-he-killed-it/-/11797728/17175230/-/30bsiez/-/index.html#ixzz2AhierpPZ

  • #242014

    omgnate
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    Isn’t this one of the signs of a serial killer? Like Jeffrey Damer? At least I think this is what psychiatrist look at in their past…This child needs intervention now…
    As far as parenting, who knows what kind of parents they are. It could just be a sick mind, and this is the first clue of a problem. I had a client whose son did not show danger signs until he was in college..He was a genius, and just flipped in school. They had to go get him and comitt him. Unfortunately, when he was released on an out patient basis, he murdered his parents. His parents were an attorney and school counselor…the older siblings were fine, just this youngest who was mentally ill.

  • #242009

    pepsilvr
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    Hurting animals is a huge red flag. This kid needs help ASAP and not juvenile hall if this is in fact one of the first serious acts he has committed. Juvenile hall will make him worse especially in CA. Depending on what else is going on with this kid I would say he needs an inpatient tretment facility ASAP. Hard to say about his parents they may be afraid of him already. I have come across a few kids tht I would indeed be very cautious around especially if I pissed them of some how. Something about them just isn’t right.

  • #241981

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    Unless this kid is huge and even then that’s no excuse, his parents lost control years ago. Some kids are maybe just that sick but in most cases I have seen the parents are just clueless. Sometimes good ol’ fashioned discipline helps.

  • #241994

    adiffer
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    beatings?

    Sure…

  • #241982

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    That’s the thing Al, you don’t have to beat or hit. Just have to be consistent and follow through. I’ve seen parents who are really strict and sometimes spank but they are inconsistent and send mixed messages letting some things slide. I know a family that encourages their kids to rough house and wrestle but then when another kid gets hurt or cries they get mad and punish their child. The kids don’t know wrong from right.

    I do believe that spanking is or using some type of physical control such as squeezing their arm or physically making them do something is ok within reason and up to a certain age. My dad never spanked me one time. But he had that voice and that presence and you did what you were told. My wife will tell our boys to so something and sometimes they won’t do it right away. Ll just raise my voice a little and say get up and do it now and they do it because I follow through. Take things away, earlier bedtime. They have been spanked and know that is always an option if they disobey.

  • #241995

    adiffer
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    I’m not picking on you or the approach used by anyone here. I’m pointing out that there is no general agreement on what old fashioned discipline is. Some interpret that as a whoopin’ while others like you take a more liberated view of it. I’m also pointing out that while we do have a type of consensus view on how to do it, we also leave most parents to their own choices until something like this happens and even then we try to limit actions to just those families that take things too far.

    I hope the kid gets lots of the right kind of attention. I hope the parents do too. Something is obviously wrong, but past discipline issues might or might not have anything to do with it. Time will tell.

  • #241983

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    I agree they might or might not. From the story the people in the apartment wouldn’t let the police in. That sounds like a great family.

    If my son did that to our dog, I think a whopping would be in order. He might wish the police came instead. I know though that would never happen because we’re not raising any psychopaths.

  • #241996

    adiffer
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    I can’t blame them for not letting the police in. I suspect they knew what would happen next and preferred to keep things in the family so to speak.

    I’m not sure I would let the police in either. When they suspect something is wrong, they aren’t exactly our friends.

  • #241984

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    In the discussion about turning in family members for committing a crime weren’t you one of the ones advocating doing that?

    The story says a female called the police to report someone was hurting the dog. Could have been someone in the house. Of course they knew what the police would do when they came knocking on the door. When you’re a low life loser you don’t want to see the police. You can make a pretty good educated guess as to what kind of family this is. I know your next comment is “how do you know?” Like I said educated guess. Good families don’t have 12 year olds strangling the family dog.

  • #241985

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    A lot of parents are clueless to their kids behavior. I’ve been coaching youth sports the last 4 years and you can see it. I watch them closely when they don’t think they are being watched. When they are standing in line they hit the kids next to them etc. I had one kid in baseball and he was playing catch with a teammate and I watched them and the one kid kept overthrowing the ball on purpose and pushing his teammate closer and closer to a busy parking lot. Finally the ball went into the parking lot and he wanted the kid to get it. I was watching and I stopped him and had them move away from that area. 5 minutes later the kid was repeating it over again and pushing the other kid closer to the parking lot. So I asked him why he was overthrowing his teammate and he said he wasn’t. But he had that look on his face that you knew he was lying. Since then I always watch him. He would also try to throw the ball hard at teammates who couldn’t catch well to try and hurt them. Parents are just oblivious.

  • #242012

    illbnice
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    “Parents are oblivious.”

    Parents are certainly something. I don’t know if it’s oblivious, exhausted, clueless, classless, rude… The more I am in a public place with misbehaving children and “oblivious” parents, the more I adore my children.

  • #242005

    joy
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    There is a difference between poorly parented children and mentally ill children. Killing pets for fun is a huge red flag and if it is because the child is actually a sociopath or psychopath I’m pretty sure no amount of skiiled parental follow through is going to be enough. I think patting ourselves on the back because our kids are in “good families” and don’t kill animals is a little silly.

  • #241986

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    I disagree. Better parenting may have prevented something like this because the boy would know better. I know that concept is hard for libs to comprehend.

  • #242006

    newmom
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    A 12 year old knows it’s not okay to kill an animal. There are many “good” parents who have mentally ill children kill things. I remember reading about a case where a mother and father knew their teen son was mentally ill and a danger to others and put him in treatment. The son walked away from treatment, the parents went to court to have him committed. The judge told the parents the son was just acting out and they needed to be more strict. A couple of weeks later the teen boy kidnapped, sodomized, tortured, and killed a young boy selling items door to door as a fundraiser. The parents did everything they could, the raised the kid right, but he was mentally ill. No one would listen to them.

  • #241997

    adiffer
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    @docs44 68948 wrote:

    In the discussion about turning in family members for committing a crime weren’t you one of the ones advocating doing that?

    Not that I recall. I’d have to look at the thread again to see, though. What I remember focusing on with that thread is the cultural rules we propagate when we do and don’t turn family members in for crimes we know they committed. I’m more inclined to act as judge and jury when it comes to my family and potential legal issues. I’d rather not involve authority if I can help it.

    Quote:
    The story says a female called the police to report someone was hurting the dog. Could have been someone in the house. Of course they knew what the police would do when they came knocking on the door. When you’re a low life loser you don’t want to see the police. You can make a pretty good educated guess as to what kind of family this is. I know your next comment is “how do you know?” Like I said educated guess. Good families don’t have 12 year olds strangling the family dog.

    Your intuition might be right, but I’m not sure how you could make an estimate of your odds of being right. As long as you are ready to flex when conflicting evidence shows up I have no qualms with your position. I think you are a bit too ready to conclude that your intuition is correct, but that’s just a difference of personal tastes.

  • #242013

    illbnice
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    @joy 68965 wrote:

    There is a difference between poorly parented children and mentally ill children. Killing pets for fun is a huge red flag and if it is because the child is actually a sociopath or psychopath I’m pretty sure no amount of skiiled parental follow through is going to be enough. I think patting ourselves on the back because our kids are in “good families” and don’t kill animals is a little silly.

    For the record, I was just commenting on Doc’s thread just prior to mine. I agree with your statement on the rest.

  • #242007

    tomwaltman
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    I love the “good family/bad family” thing. I came out of a pretty much upper middle class area where everything was “perfect.” All the kids were perfect, and all the parents were perfect. Everyone did exactly what they were supposed to do. It was, of course, all surface BS. We had our troublemakers and flat out sociopaths. The cops took care of the families so that there wasn’t any public problems. Perfect…

  • #241987

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    You can’t just assume mental illness. Pretty sure a 20 year knows its not okay to rob and kill someone yet that happens all the time. If a child has little or know boundaries and aren’t taught right from wrong it’s easy to see how things can escalate and get worse. Some kids are just mean, doesn’t make them mentally ill. Unfortunately no one knows what the parents did. Even “good parents” can be oblivious and naive. I know a lot of those. You can provide a good home and provide for kids, but if you aren’t paying attention things can slip by. I like to watch kids when they don’t think or know they are being watched. That’s when you see things in a different light. I’ve seen it with my own kids.

    I do agree that at this point the kid has to be watched closely. He has crossed way over the line now.

    I went to school with a guy that hated cats and he was known for killing and torturing them. He didn’t turn into a mass murderer. Last I heard he was a trapper for the state and hunted coyotes and mountain lions that coming in contact with people. Growing up on a farm like I did you become desensitized to animals and death. Between calves and cows we had 2-3 a week sometimes. Sometimes we had to shoot cows that unable to walk or stand. We were going to pay the vet $100+ a visit.

  • #242010

    pepsilvr
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    You can’t just assume that it isn’t mental illness either. I think everyone is in agreement that killing a dog just becuase requires further evaluation. At this point it doesn’t really matter what the cause of the problem the problem just needs to be looked at worked on hopefully it ends here for this kid and that behavior. Un checked at this point is only going to be bad news.

  • #241988

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    If being mean is a mental illness then more people than not are mentally ill. A disregard for life is not really a mental illness. People always want to find medical reasons for issues where there might not be any. Sometimes it’s a simple answer. Is being a gang member or punk a mental illness? It’s a way of life or a lifestyle for some. Kids pick up on a lot.

    I know there are kids with a mental issues, but I don’t think you can discount the early years with many kids and how that impacts them. Take the kid whose parents never say no and let the kid have his way and then he starts school and now he has “behavior” issues and they want to prescribe meds. I see this stuff at school and elsewhere. There is a direct correlation between lack of consistent discipline and bad behavior. I see it coaching soccer. Two years ago a boy was acting up and being disruptive. It had been a constant thing for 5 years. So now I have to discipline him because he is being disruptive and kicking other kids soccer balls and hitting. No back up from the parents who are just sitting there. I tell him to stop or he has to run a lap or sit out. He keeps doing it and then I tell him to run and then he said he wished he had a knife so he could stab me. He was 9 at the time. I told him go sit by his parents and told them what he said. Their reaction was minimal. Oh that’s not very nice. Just one time I’d like to see them do something forceful. If that was my kid I’d have yanked his arm out of his socket pulling him aside so fast. This crap starts out at a young age. I have yet to see a kid who misbehaves consistently that has parents who hold them accountable. My boys are far from perfect but we are consistent with them. My youngest was acting up one day at practice this year and I pulled him aside and told him he needs to set an example. If he is not listening or respecting me then why would his friends. I am not afraid to discipline someone else’s kids when I am coaching. Those kids learn quickly.

  • #241998

    adiffer
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    Heh. Mr Expert on matters psychological has spoken. 8)

    The line between an illness and an attitude is murky. Both the observer and observee are quite human thus there is no way around the subjectivity of the data. For those of us without training we go by our gut feelings, but we are wrong occasionally.

    I suspect the kid will get examined, categorized, and diagnosed soon enough. Until then, I am moderately sympathetic with respect to the parents.

  • #241989

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    @adiffer 68985 wrote:

    I suspect the kid will get examined, categorized, and diagnosed soon enough. Until then, I am moderately sympathetic with respect to the parents.

    I assume the parents are idiots first because in my experience that is the number one reason. Just because he gets examined now and they decide he has issues doesn’t mean their crappy parenting isn’t a primary reason. Now society has to deal with it.

  • #241999

    adiffer
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    Then after a brief exposure to my son, you might have to conclude I was an idiot too.

    There is no doubt I lean toward sympathy because of my situation. My son has struck animals, ripped plants apart, and caused property damage (public and private) for no apparent reason. We’ve had to get creative to figure out what drives him a few times. Sometimes we figure it out, sometimes we don’t.

    I prefer to be sympathetically wrong about many people than be right most of the time and hurtfully wrong when I screw up.

  • #242015

    Karen
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    Other than being able to say “I’m right and you’re wrong” does it really matter whether it is mental illness or bad parenting at this point? The kid needs intervention either way. I’m not a psychologist but I’m not sure if the therapy methods would be different either way, other than medication.

  • #241990

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    Al, no not at all. There is a difference between a child that has an illness and a child that misbehaves.

    Karen, of course it matters. Are you going to give a kid the same meds in both cases? I would doubt it. If someone has a bonafide mental illness that’s different than someone just being a punk or an mean person. Some kids are just bad apples. Maybe it’s mental illness, maybe it’s environment he was raised. Crappy parenting is a huge reason why we have so much crime.

  • #242008

    tomwaltman
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    When I was just a baby my mama told me, Sheesh,
    Always be a good boy, and be careful with that leash.
    But I hung a dog in Salinas, just to watch him die.
    When I hear that whistle blowing, I hang my head and cry…

    Now I’m stuck in Folsom Prison…

    My apologies to Johnny Cash.

  • #242016

    Karen
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    @docs44 69012 wrote:

    Karen, of course it matters. Are you going to give a kid the same meds in both cases? I would doubt it. If someone has a bonafide mental illness that’s different than someone just being a punk or an mean person. Some kids are just bad apples. Maybe it’s mental illness, maybe it’s environment he was raised. Crappy parenting is a huge reason why we have so much crime.

    Did you miss the part where I said other than medication? The kid still needs help whether it’s crappy parenting or not. He needs to see a therapist either way. They’ll determine whether he has a mental illness that needs medication or just some serious behavioral modification treatment. We shouldn’t just give up on a kid even if it is because he had crappy parents. Which, may or may not be the case.

  • #242000

    adiffer
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    @docs44 69012 wrote:

    Al, no not at all. There is a difference between a child that has an illness and a child that misbehaves.

    Of course there is. 8)

    The problem is that it is difficult to tell the difference until after people make snap judgements. People DO need to be able to quickly decide what is probably true in order to determine what they do next, but some of us do it when we don’t really need to do it.

    I’m not griping, though. If you look at an optical illusion and fall for it, it’s not the end of the world. There are emotional equivalents. There is no way to look at such an illusion without snapping to a particular view. Does she spin clockwise or counter-clockwise? Hmm?
    Spinning_Dancer.gif

  • #241991

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    @karen 69039 wrote:

    Did you miss the part where I said other than medication? The kid still needs help whether it’s crappy parenting or not. He needs to see a therapist either way. They’ll determine whether he has a mental illness that needs medication or just some serious behavioral modification treatment. We shouldn’t just give up on a kid even if it is because he had crappy parents. Which, may or may not be the case.

    I didn’t say we give up on him. I’m curious how successful therapy is in that situation. Obviously the kid knows it is wrong.

    Not to make it too political, but One of the problems as I see it is the philosophies of liberals and conservatives. Liberals want to know what causes something like this, and want to blame it on outside influences, throw money at the problem, start programs that are largely superficial and then breathe a sigh of relief because they did something even though it accomplished nothing. What they don’t want to hear about or do anything about is holding people accountable. No holding parents accountable, make excuses blame it on something else. That philosophy can filter down to how parents treat their kids. If more “good” parents held their kids accountable a lot of stuff like this would never happen.

  • #242001

    adiffer
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    Some want to know the ’cause’ like you said. Some conservatives assume they already know the cause. The truth is probably closer to the notion that there is no cause. There might be unintended consequences of human choices, but its hard to call those causes.

  • #241992

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    Therein lies part of the problem. Some refuse to believe there is cause for some things. They are quick to blame some bad behavior on a bad childhood like sexual abuse. It’s also possible that clueless parents are a part of SOME of the problems as well. We’ve all seen the parents who tell their kids do something, then say I’ll count to 3, 1……..2……… 2 1/2…….2 3/4………..kids figure out soon enough there will not be a follow through and they figure out if they cry and throw a tantrum that nothing will happen either. Some parents just give up. I know how that feels. We do it too. It’s easier to pick your battles.

  • #242002

    adiffer
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    It is an important parenting skill to be able to pick your battles. My mother once described to me how she matured as she raised each of us. The woman who raised my brother and myself wasn’t quite the same as the one who raised my sisters. There were certain things she did different that she described as ‘part of growing up as a parent.’

    In the end I argue that the cause doesn’t matter much unless there is something you think you can do to change it. Very often we guess at the causes without solid evidence and then try to improve things. There isn’t much distinction between knowing them and guessing at them that has a meaningful difference in the real world. It’s mostly a matter of our internal confidence levels. I guess at what goes through my son’s mind all the time. Sometimes I’m so sure I have it right that I would say I’m certain, but if I’m pressed on the matter I would admit that I’m not.

    Still… causes don’t matter much. I’m more interested in altering behaviors and those can be changed even when we don’t know the causes. The ABA folks know this.

  • #242017

    Karen
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    @docs44 69043 wrote:

    I didn’t say we give up on him. I’m curious how successful therapy is in that situation. Obviously the kid knows it is wrong.

    Not to make it too political, but One of the problems as I see it is the philosophies of liberals and conservatives. Liberals want to know what causes something like this, and want to blame it on outside influences, throw money at the problem, start programs that are largely superficial and then breathe a sigh of relief because they did something even though it accomplished nothing. What they don’t want to hear about or do anything about is holding people accountable. No holding parents accountable, make excuses blame it on something else. That philosophy can filter down to how parents treat their kids. If more “good” parents held their kids accountable a lot of stuff like this would never happen.

    Not to make this political, but….no offense, but….don’t take this the wrong way, but….eye rolling

    You seem to be the only one saying you know what the cause is. My point is that whether it’s mental issues or bad parenting, if he doesn’t get intervention soon, he could be an even bigger danger to society later. Hold the parents accountable. No one’s making excuses for the parents. I’d support giving parents jail time for their kid’s crimes but I don’t think that’s going to happen. Doesn’t change the fact that the kid needs help.

    I don’t think it’s a liberal thing to want to help troubled kids, but if you want to spin it that way then go ahead.

  • #242011

    pepsilvr
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    Behavior modification can work to a certain degree. Depends again on whether it is mental illness or bad behavior caused by bad parenting. In either case the parents will need to be gretly involved in the rocess and that may or may not be an option. The parents have to be invested in working on the problem and quite possibly working on themselves. As much as we may not want to believe it, we parent as a response to the way we were parented. Sometimes we perpetuate the same ideas sometimes we do a complete 180 in the opposite direction of the way we were parented. Sometimes we take things we perceived as problems and try to tweak them to make the experience better. In any cas if these parents are bad they may need to have some of their own individual to understand why they parent the way they do in order make the change.

    Aggression in kids is often a symptom of depression much like it is in men. It is quite difficult to get some kids to open up about their problems and allow someone in to help them process them and teach them new ways to cope. maybe he has something more severe that may need more work. He is 12 it is a worth a try.

  • #242003

    adiffer
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    @pepsilvr 69067 wrote:

    Behavior modification can work to a certain degree. Depends again on whether it is mental illness or bad behavior caused by bad parenting. In either case the parents will need to be gretly involved in the rocess and that may or may not be an option. The parents have to be invested in working on the problem and quite possibly working on themselves.

    My wife and I had to sit through the state mandated ABA training awhile back. There message was similar to what you said. Ultimately it is an empirical test. You don’t know if modification efforts will work until you try. Failures don’t imply they can’t work, though. They might also mean the person doing the training might not have hit on a successful approach. One thing they consistently stressed, though, was that punishment approaches have a relatively low success rate because they teach a kid to avoid being noticed instead of teaching them a replacement behavior. The kid described in the thread starter sounds like they’ve already learned the avoidance behavior but the underlying stress remains.

    Quote:
    As much as we may not want to believe it, we parent as a response to the way we were parented. Sometimes we perpetuate the same ideas sometimes we do a complete 180 in the opposite direction of the way we were parented. Sometimes we take things we perceived as problems and try to tweak them to make the experience better. In any cas if these parents are bad they may need to have some of their own individual to understand why they parent the way they do in order make the change.

    Sometimes?! Heh. Most times we replicate behaviors our parents and others teach us without even being aware of it. Very rarely do we become aware of something we don’t like and when we do only then do we try to flip. My mother did me the service of naming some of the things her parents did that she tried to flip. I was able to see after that discussion that she succeeded with only a few of them. I’ve tried to flip on a few more, but I doubt my success ratio is much better. Fortunately for all of us the behaviors we DO replicate without thought are often imperfect copies. There is hope for each new generation that we won’t teach them ALL of the insanities of our parents simply because we will fail to learn them well enough. 8)

    Quote:
    Aggression in kids is often a symptom of depression much like it is in men. It is quite difficult to get some kids to open up about their problems and allow someone in to help them process them and teach them new ways to cope.

    That is how it appears with my son. I’ve seen it often enough now to treat the symptom as an effect that implies the existance of a stressor cause. We’ve learned to go hunting for causes when he gets agressive. We’ve also learned to warn teachers to pay attention. Only one of them has failed in that regard, so I’m pretty upbeat about the help kids can get if people want it to happen.

  • #241993

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    Cause does matter if the idea is to prevent something rather than just treat the symptoms later. You can blame some of it on the societal evolution of letting kids dictate their own environment, self expression and parents who don’t believe in punishment. I’m not talking physical punishment. I’m talking about having consistent rules, backing it up with things that will deter kids. No TV, video games, etc. that works great with our kids. You have to pick your battles but win the war. If my wife and I tell our kids to do something, even if they say they don’t want to they always do it because we make them. I’ve heard parents say I can’t make my son/daughter do this or wear that. It’s not optional. Once kids know you won’t make them, by what ever means, you are going to have a much harder time. I am much more lenient when it comes to clothing but my wife is all about them dressing nice and looking nice and we constantly get compliments from parents and teachers. A lot of times they don’t want to wear what she picks out but she wins the war every time. They may win a battle or two. And she is all over them about manners. Thank you, please, sit up straight, elbows off the table etc. just little things that a lot of parents don’t care about.

  • #242004

    adiffer
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    @docs44 69080 wrote:

    Cause does matter if the idea is to prevent something rather than just treat the symptoms later.[/quote]

    Your belief in your ability to determine correct causes is probably stronger than mine. I’m inclined to think I can, but I tend to be skeptical. You might call that over-thinking the problem and I would call that a healthy dose of skepticism. Other than that I mostly agree with you. If causes can be determined one can take preventative measures instead of treating symptoms. If causes are less than obvious, though, we have to treat the symptoms and hope we trip across the correct causes. At worst, we mask over the effects of the causes we miss when we try to replace bad behavior with other options.

    My skepticism regarding our ability to know causes stems from the complexity of the human mind. We don’t have a good model for how they work. At best we have patchwork models that are very difficult to test empirically and tend to produce imprecise statistical statements when we do find reasonable tests. My skepticism on these models is probably the kind of skepticism some think I should display with respect to climate models. 8)

    Quote:
    You can blame some of it on the societal evolution of letting kids dictate their own environment, self expression and parents who don’t believe in punishment. I’m not talking physical punishment. I’m talking about having consistent rules, backing it up with things that will deter kids. No TV, video games, etc. that works great with our kids. You have to pick your battles but win the war. If my wife and I tell our kids to do something, even if they say they don’t want to they always do it because we make them. I’ve heard parents say I can’t make my son/daughter do this or wear that. It’s not optional. Once kids know you won’t make them, by what ever means, you are going to have a much harder time. I am much more lenient when it comes to clothing but my wife is all about them dressing nice and looking nice and we constantly get compliments from parents and teachers. A lot of times they don’t want to wear what she picks out but she wins the war every time. They may win a battle or two. And she is all over them about manners. Thank you, please, sit up straight, elbows off the table etc. just little things that a lot of parents don’t care about.

    Heh. These are details that matter, but they are also details on which many of us don’t agree. My mother used to say things like “Don’t let me catch you doing X” and she meant it literally. Don’t let me catch you. Learn to be sneaky enough to evade my notice. She really meant it and the lesson has served me well. I had to spend time figuring out how she thought about things and saw the world. I used to suck at it, but by age 15 I was winning occassionally.

    Kibitz about other parenting approaches if you like. Without that kind of feedback, other parents don’t know how far they have drifted from the customs of the community. Of course, they might want to punch you in the nose for your effort, so learn how to duck or deflect too. 8)

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