My lovely friend Z, who lives in California, has sent me a link to a New York Times article on parents killing their teenage children. Now everyone knows my own children are perfectly behaved *ahem* *ahem ahem* (I really must get some lozenges for my persistent tickly cough) but there are moments when I’ve been sorely tempted ….. I shouldn’t joke about something which is deadly, forgive me, serious, but who, if they’re honest, would say they have never wanted to end one of those grinding arguments with teenagers, when you’re being told everyone else’s parents let them stay out all night/spend the family fortune in Superdry/get multiple piercings, with a satisfying blast from a sawn-off shotgun? This article really puts things into chilling, horrifying, serious perspective, though. Have a look. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/opinion/12ellison.html
It’s not possible to know what on earth drove this mother of two apparently ideal teenagers to shoot them both in the head and then cover up their corpses with blankets. I’m not sure what lessons there are to be learnt from such horror. But one thing did strike me forcibly – the fact that the mother, even in her final months with the children when she was seeking counselling and admitting there were problems, was still posting stuff on Facebook that made them look like the Waltons. There is such pressure now, to appear perfect. The whole incident reminds me of those awful cases where the father, usually an apparently successful, self-made man, suddenly loses his business and, instead of facing up to his financial problems, kills his entire family and usually himself as well. These men choose death rather than admit to a less than perfect truth. Are women now going the same way? And taking their children with them?