Monday, March 03, 2008

Going to church and being homeschooled doesn't mean a kid is on the right track

Yesterday, in the small town of Alba, Texas a 16-year-old girl killed her mother and two brothers, and tried to kill her father, because her family ordered her to break up with her boyfriend. The boyfriend and two other boys assisted in the murders.

Could this crime have been prevented?

Almost certainly.

The family clearly believed that evil comes from outside, and they were half-right in this case. Outsiders were definitely involved.

But there was also something destructive inside this girl that most likely came from her family, which provided both her environment and her heredity.

I suspect that the girl wasn't given the help she needed to deal with her anger, which may have been justified to some extent. It's quite possible she was abused by her family in some way.

People with rigid beliefs about right and wrong, who believe that they are very different from lesser mortals, often also believe in punishment as opposed to positive reinforcement to shape their children's behavior. They often think it is appropriate to use verbal abuse on a child, shaming her and frequently pointing out her spiritual unworthiness.

It probably would have been better to coach the girl on how to deal with the evil in the world, rather than merely trying to isolate her from the world.

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