Q My 10 year old son mentioned to me that his friend at school likes to trap and hurt animals. I felt sick to the core at what he described seeing at his friend’s house when he went there for a sleepover. I have no doubt that it’s true and my dilemma is whether to speak to the boy’s parents or the school. I don’t think it’s a natural developmental stage and I’m baffled and worried about it. My son thought it was ‘sick’ which is why he told me about it. He now wants to avoid this other boy and I have to say I’m very pleased about that. I’m left wondering why is he so cruel to animals?
A That’s a tricky one to answer. On the one hand we know from research studies that there is a much greater likelihood of adult violence from someone who was cruel to animals as a child.
The other side of the coin is about how you can share your feelings and concerns without being ‘punished’ by the parents who may think their son’s behaviour is acceptable. Or they may not even know about it and then feel ashamed and defensive. [Read more…]