Local Child Counselor Speaks About Wisconsin Stabbing - WSET.com - ABC13

Local Child Counselor Speaks About Wisconsin Stabbing

Lynchburg, VA - Following a gruesome attack in Wisconsin, it's the question racing through many parents minds; how could children, as young as 12, do something so violent and horrific?

Two 12 year old girls stabbed their friend 19 times, according to police.  But what are the warning signs, and ways to avoid this horrifying behavior?

There are ways according to experts, to stop any signs of this violent behavior well before thoughts turn to terror.  Two 12 year old girls police say plotted to kill their classmate, allegedly stabbing this other middle school student 19 times and leaving her for dead.

The motive, according to police was a bizarre online obsession.

"Both suspects had a fascination with a fictitious character that often posted to a website that is a collection of small stories about death and horror” said a police officer involved with the investigation.

How though at the ripe age of 12 did a fascination with fiction turn to such vicious violence?

"Some of the most important things are to keep the lines of communication open with your children, to speak to them about the internet” said Patricia Miller.

Miller is the Director of Intensive Community Services at Horizon Behavioral Health and is a child therapist. Miller said every parent has got to play a part in making sure kids are where they should be when wandering the World Wide Web.  The signs of a child spending time on inappropriate sites she says, are clear.

"Amount of time spent on the internet, behavior around the internet, are they uncomfortable talking to you about it, are they wanting to use it mostly when you're not around? Again, it's my recommendation that internet access be used in a family area” she said.

As was the case in Wisconsin, friends can often be the influence that drives a child to erratic behavior.

"You want to talk to them about their peers and how much they're affected by their peers. In this particular case, there were two girls and they were clearly discussing this and planned this together” said Miller.

Miller said try steering your kids to other interests, sports or music might peak their interest and drive them away from spending hours online.

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