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Friday, April 18, 2014

Dear Jeannie: Parenting Styles and Psychotic Killers

Dear Jeannie,  

Dela was a pampered city girl, until the day she saw her parents killed in the first battle of a long war. She was rescued twice--first from the fight, and then years later from her rescuer. The first rescuer was a young teen herself (only a few years older than Dela), a country-bred girl with a good heart and no patience for Dela's spoiled games. Dela was thrilled to be saved from her when missionaries found them. These missionaries took Dela in, educated and trained her in the courtly city life she had missed so much, and then used her as bait to leverage themselves into a position of power. What would Dela's parenting skills/styles be? How would Dela handle her children? I am expecting a certain amount of passive-aggressive rebellion on Dela's part towards her husband, but I don't know why or how that is going to play into raising their children.

Reprogrammed in Raleigh

Dear Reprogrammed,

Dela was exposed to several parenting styles, from the sounds of it. If she was pampered, then her parents likely employed the Over-Indulger parenting style. The country-bred teen would more likely embody the Power Patrol style because you mentioned her lack of patience. My educated guess would be that the missionary parents, due to their more religious background and manipulative tactics, would be more Micromanagers. Ideally, she'd equal out somewhere in between these styles, incorporating aspects from all of them into a more Balanced style, but you'd know better than I which style she's more likely draw from. However, the formative years play quite a role in our development, and folks often end up more like their parents than they wish. Hope the posts I referenced help you figure Dela out a bit more. Thanks for writing in!

Dear Jeannie,

What would cause a sane character to kill for pleasure or satisfaction? I am guessing some childhood wounds could cause that but my knowledge concerning that is limited.
Suburban Writer 

Dear Surburban Writer,

Is this a trick question? By definition, someone who kills for pleasure or satisfaction would not be sane. Most killers with psychosis grow up with certain traits that seem to set them apart. I wrote about them (called the Macdonald Triad) in this post here. Hopefully that helps out. If not, feel free to respond below with more detailed questions I might could help with.


Maybe I've got some answers. Leave your question below anonymously, using monikers like Sleepless in Seattle, and I'll post my answers in future Dear Jeannie columns.

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