Why Kids Kill

Published 31 May 2017

Table of content


Time and time again, just when we think that the world is finally becoming a better place, we are shocked with news of brutality committed by children. We do wonder, what’s become of the kids who are supposed to be spending their days watching cartoons and playing with the kids around the neighborhood. Who has robbed them of that childhood innocence? Are we, youth and adults who make up the rest of the world partly to be blamed? This essay will discuss the factors which influence kids to move down the path of violence, and its effects to the society.

What Makes Them Tick?

As painfully shocking their acts can be, sometimes the reasons for it can be really simple. The most common causes of children turning into cold-blooded killers are a history of abuse in their household, lack of attention from the parents, an act of desperation to achieve a motive, jealously for example. But we do have psychologists such as Shawn Johnston who has conducted more that 5000 interviews with both youth and adult offenders convinced that these little killers are individuals who are very self-centered and self-absorbed.

School is still seen as one of the few concrete vehicles for change or social mobility for a large part of the population. The idea that school is a place for protection and also a place that needs to be protected by society no longer corresponds to the reality of most school establishments. This is why schools are often transformed into dangerous places that harbor robberies, homicides, sexual abuse, threats and property damage as well as other more brutal forms of violence.

Let’s also not forget another important influence in a kid’s life- the mass media. Children have been exposed to the violence in the name of entertainment from as early as we can remember, for example, the thieves in Ali Baba who were murdered with the boiling oil, Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother being eaten by the wolf and what the witch might have had in mind for Hansel and Gretel.

Currently the greater focus on violence stems from both the volume and graphic details possible in modern electronic media which allows violence to be presented with considerably more explicit detail and realism than ever before. The statistics are even more startling. Twenty percent of students in our high schools have been known to be carrying weapons into the school compounds. And if this is not bad enough, on an average day, approximately thirteen children are said to be committing homicide.

How Does this Impact the Society?

We can never forget the spate of killings of children by children within schools in the US and numerous reported instances of aggressive acts among children in many countries. One of the most publicized events being the 1999 killing of 13 people by two students at Columbine High Scholl. Social commentators appear to assume that there is a direct causal link between exposure to violence in media such as television and a rise of violence among children within the society in general.


Instead of just being guardians, every mum and dad should master their parenting skills and support their children in every area possible which they need attention. Parents need to be continuously educated via classes or PTAs in school to help them cope with the stress of raising children. Research shows that increasing the awareness of parents about home and child management, and enhancing the development of excellent communication skills, healthy emotional ties, and parent-child bonding helps with kids being normal and well balanced.

Parents need to ensure that they’ve done the most important job of all- to give their children values, and this is what translates into ideas, dreams and a sense of purpose in life. Parent and even teachers should educate children on the beauty of loving one another and kindness, being honest and the necessity of freedom. Parents need to give kids consent to sacrifice for goodness. Children own a natural sense of mission. They intuitively feel that their lives have a higher purpose. Once parents fail to cultivate and refine this sensitivity, it can wither, and that’s when sometimes the wonderful children can turn into human-killing monsters.


  • Grossman, D. (1999). We are training our kids to kill. The Saturday Evening Post, September/October, 54-5.
  • Heide, K. (2004, August 30). Why Kids Kill Parents.
  • Prasad, V.K, Smith L.J. (1994). Television commercials in violent programming: an experimental evaluation of their effects on children. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science,22(4), 340-51.
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