Thursday, February 15, 2018

Disconnected Children

As a social worker, I have been working with teenagers for 12 years, and over that time, I’ve seen a disturbing increase in rageful teenagers. Ones whose anger has caused them to completely disconnect from those around them. These are not simply frustrated or angry kids who don’t know how to express themselves. These are children with a chilling combination: they are furious at the adults around them and they are completely disconnected emotionally from their families....
However, I’m starting to see an increase in kids who no longer view adults that way. Ones who are so incredibly angry at the world, that their fury overrides their ability to see others are human beings. I’ve worked with 9, 10 and 11-year-old boys (and sometimes girls) who have assaulted teachers, headbutted school counselors, beat up school nurses, and attacked their parents. I’ve had young children who have bitten, kicked and left bruises and scratches all over their siblings and parents and have no remorse about it. Their anger at the world consumes them.
I don’t believe these are sociopathic children who can’t feel remorse. These are normal children who in better circumstances, those who had a more involved, stable set of caregivers would probably do well. Many are intelligent and have the capacity to love, but their disappointment and resentment has suppressed their remorse to the point that they no longer care about others.
I’ve started calling these the “disconnected children.” The ones who are caught in the middle of highly contentious divorces, with parents who call child protection and the cops on each other constantly. The nine-year-old children who make statements like, “My stupid mother owes my dad $841 a month in child support, and she doesn’t pay him so she doesn’t love me” or “My mom says my dad doesn’t even want me, because if he did, he’d show up for things.”  The children, who starting at a young age, have learned to lie about the opposite parent to teachers, police and social workers to assist their parents in custody cases.
I encourage you to read the whole article so you can help prevent more tragedies.

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