Do you know you could give birth to the next serial killer, rapist or murderer? According to a study, the total crime rate in India has gone up by 26.7 per cent between 2005 and 2016, and it mostly starts at home. Don’t believe us? Netflix may be of some help here. T.V. series like ’13 Reasons Why’, ‘Ozark’, ‘The Sinner’, ‘Mindhunter’ and even ‘Riverdale’ shed light on how up bringing has a significant part to play in the shaping of a youngling’s character, especially in the case if deviant behaviour.
Let’s start with ‘Mindhunter’. Every single convict interviewed for the purpose of understanding criminal psychology, some how trails back to the criminal’s relationship with his mother. Jerry Brudos’s mother derides him for his fetish of women’s footwear translating to cross-dressing, Edmund Kemper’s mum thinks he is a freak because of his size and would tell him that he would never have the affection of women because he was like his father (the parents were separated) and Monte Rissell’s ma not only allowed him to grow without boundaries but his step dad would beat him to pulp, much like in the case of Richard Speck. Did the parents know they were raising serial killers? Of course not!
While one can be born with psychological disorders because of chemical imbalances, it can’t be denied that the criminal condition worsens with impact from an environment that is not conducive to personality development. The fact that two out of the five subjects interviewed confess that they probably would’ve grown up to be better human beings if they had grown with their fathers, also needs to be accounted for. A balance of affection and boundaries is imperative to minimising possibility of deviancy in children.
The approach to bringing up children need also be realistic. In ‘The Sinner’, for instance, Cora Tinneti’s mother is religiously superstitious in an obsessive way. She holds Cora’s actions responsible for the health of terminally ill sister’s health. That is why Cora murdering Frankie Beaumont doesn’t come as a shocker if she at a very young age displays “deviancy” by eating a whole chocolate bar thinking that her hedonistic act would kill her sister. She does that to punish her mother for constantly nagging and depriving her. When the psychiatrist asks her what she would tell her 13-year-old self, she says “Run”– away from the environment that would push her to make terrible life choices, starting at home.
Cora even indulges in late night sexual escapades with JD because feeding her sexuality is a sin according to her mother– she has not been educated about it from a realistic point of view, making her run to the first guy who appears to free her from her mother’s binds. Catching her father intimately involved with the neighbour also triggers her first sexual experience, spurring her repressed impulses to come out in an unhealthy way.
Another classic example is Betty Cooper’s over-controlling mother in ‘Riverdale’ , and is most likely the reason behind her “Dark Betty” split personality manifestations. Perhaps Betty is just a regular teen with a proportioned black and white personality but her domineering mother causes the black to be repressed, which when surfaces is not only an appalling sight but may even turn fatal for her or people around her in the future.
But why have we taken ’13 Reasons Why’ into consideration here? Aren’t Hannah Baker’s parents loving and supportive, model parents, if you will? Hate to disappoint you, but they aren’t. Any parent assuming that their child is strong enough to get through dark times in their formative years is an ignorant parent. Children are sensitive to their parents’ turmoil and don’t want to add to it. When Hannah’s parents lose their business and move, they get so caught up in trying to restart their lives that they forget to dive deep into the life of their seemingly strong daughter. Eventually she succumbs.
‘Ozark’ is, some how, the best example for ideal parenting but also the worst. Charlotte and Jonah are told the reality about their parents’ money laundering business and they are even initiated into it. Their parents make sure that they are aware and protected. But that’s what leads Jonah to gut animals and pick up a gun. He does it for survival. He even asks his father how laundering is done. Full marks for communication and bonding but what happens when both children go out into the real world and propagate the illegal work their parents started? Does that make them good human beings? Does that make their parents, good parents?
That’s one question looming over the heads of all modern day parents. That’s why it’s the right time to ask yourself, are you fit to be a parent? Are you fit to raise a child in this world? Do you think you could give birth to the next serial killer, rapist, murderer?