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Trick Or Treat? 

“When you live in a family where abuse is the only form of communication, you grow up, and it is difficult to understand whether you’re violent, cause you don’t know how else people can express themselves.” - the girl who killed her mother.

The only thing that can predict a crime is child abuse. According to statistics, 42% of serial killer suffered from physical abuse in childhood, 43% experienced sexual abuse, and 74% psychological. 

Robert Ressler, a former FBI agent, was sure that natural born murderers/serial killers/psychopaths can live a normal life if they are treated well in childhood. Even support or a small act of kindness can suppress their urge to commit a crime. Alice Miller, a Swiss psychologist, stated that a small punishment can dramatically influence a child’s personality. 

Teachers, coaches, police officers, and neighbors who are kind to children can change their world forever. One can argue that kids don’t understand such gestures, but a child will surely see that an adult respects and needs him. 

Now he is not just a person who deserves neglect and cruelty, not only a child who can not save his family from pain, addiction, poverty, crime. No, this child can be someone else, and that adult was able to see and appreciate the child’s dignity and uniqueness.

The uniqueness of a child can be expressed in his artistic talents, athletic abilities, humor, courage, patience, curiosity, excellent schoolwork, creativity, ingenuity, responsibility, energy etc. Sometimes a child needs to spend only a few hours with a person whose kindness will restore his former “I” - “I”, which was loved, appreciated and supported.

Unhealthy relationships in families destroy personalities in many aspects, but the most sad is the destruction of the belief that life has a purpose and value. Not having such faith, it is difficult to succeed, it is difficult to take risks.

This dynamics is well demonstrated by the method by which the circus elephants are trained. When they are young, the elephants are chained and punished for every misbehavior. They try to break the chains, try to resists but soon they realize that the ropes are too strong and the chains are made of steel. They just give up. And when the elephants grow up, there is no need to chain them anymore. When a huge and a powerful animal that can destroy the entire circus tent, feels even the weakest resistance, it stops all attempts to escape and therefore surrenders.

“You’re nothing,” “You’re not smart enough,” “You were unwanted, nobody needs you,” “You’re a loser,” “It’s your fault we broke up” - these words are heard in different parts of the world, making the heavy chains stronger, because of which children reach the point where they no longer believe that they can break them. 

In this regard, recall the words of Charlie Manson “These children that come at you with knives – they are your children. You taught them.”

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