Saturday, December 22, 2012

When Your Child Kills: The Parents Of Criminals

In the aftermath of the Newtown school shooting parents are asking what drives kids to murder. In an excerpt from Far From the Tree, author Andrew Solomon explores how parents deal with criminal children—and speaks to Dylan Klebold’s parents about the aftermath of their son’s attack at Columbine.

The National Rampage Association

Criminality is the child’s fault, something he has done deliberately and with choice. It is also the parents’ fault, something they could have prevented with decent moral education and adequate vigilance. These, at least, are the popular conceptions, and so parents of criminals live in a territory of anger and guilt, struggling to forgive both their children and themselves. To be or to produce a schizophrenic or a child with Down syndrome is generally deemed a misfortune; to be or produce a criminal is often deemed a failure. While parents of children with disabilities receive state funding, parents of criminals are frequently prosecuted.

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