THE CRIMINAL MIND
by Sally Burgess, Forefront Families LLC
We cannot be too careful when it comes to protecting our children against the criminal or emotionally unstable mind. The only way we can do this is to be vigilant at all times, but being mindful not to cloister our children. We should know where they are, get to know well those they are mixing with and what they may be feeding their minds with on the Internet.
It is extremely sad that our society has become what it is today. Only last week we talked about how great it was in the past to be able to run around unsupervised and the fact that we never seemed to be in very much danger. Not so today! Schools teach the kids about stranger danger and what to do if someone tries to grab them and put them in a car. Parents are encouraged to ensure their kids know not to open the door unless they know who is knocking or go somewhere without your permission.
These days, kids are influenced by all kinds of fads like bearing their souls on Facebook and Twitter. Our smart phones allow people to know where we are and where we live. You Tube allows us to naively post all sorts of images for the whole world to see.
It is not only a matter of protecting our children against crazy adults, but now our kids have to be protected from other children. It ranges from teasing to bullying and serious physical violence. What a tragedy it was to hear on the news this week of two 12 year-old schoolgirls who attempted to kill their friend because they wanted to be protégés of ‘Slenderman’, a fictitious character on the Internet! My own friend’s brilliant daughter got so caught up in a fictitious war game on the Internet that she didn’t even get to graduate with her class. She now has a menial job and told us the other day that the video game followers have transferred the game from being just on the Internet, to acting out the characters in real life. When she told us that, my mind went straight to a police program I saw on TV the other night. Two girls, who were easily influenced by what they were watching, turned their Internet fantasy game into real life by killing a girl most other people considered to be the perpetrators’ best friend.
We absolutely have to take responsibility to protect our children against the predatory whiles of others. It’s not only strangers to look out for, but adults they know, or kids who might have a bad influence on them by turning their minds towards unhealthy behaviors.
What steps can we, as parents, take to ensure the physical and emotional safety of our kids?
- Keep the communication lines open. Give your kids one-on-one attention
regularly so they can tell you their thoughts and concerns, and you can guide
their decisions. If you are concerned about their mental health, get professional
- Monitor your kids’ friendships. Observe any negative change in their behavior related to whom they spend their time with.
- Inspect their rooms regularly. Nothing is sacred. Discuss with them any item you might be concerned about.
- Monitor what they watch on TV, movies, video games and the Internet. Tell them clearly why they should not participate in particular games or what these violent, dark or sexually explicit games could do to their minds.
Despite the above cautionary measures, the most important thing is to be actively involved in your kids’ lives. Teach them strong values and how to maintain those values no matter what the situation is. You will not always be around when they make decisions, so give them the tools to positively manage their own lives and keep the door open for them to always know they can depend on you for help.
If you have any questions on this subject, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out our website at www.forefrontfamilies.org and our blogsite at www.forefrontfamilies.blogspot.com