My Adopted Child Is Violent–I Am Afraid for My Life, Dr. Keck!

Dear Dr. Keck,
I am posting this question because I’ve heard stories from many adoptive parents who have violent children. Also, they probably aren’t going to violate confidentiality and post their name here.
So, I am writing in their place….asking your wisdom.
What are the beginning signs of violence and at what age do they really start?
What are the classic signs that violent behavior is getting serious?
Can you give them some specific signs of when a teen needs hospitalization or residential care?
If any of you readers want to chime in, please do so.
Dr. Keck and colleague, Regina Kupecky, LSW, have written a wonderful book called Parenting The Hurt Child. I read it and I could have sworn I was a fly on the wall of a trauma expert’s office, overhearing incredible wisdom. It is a must read.


"This is as good as being in counseling with Dr. Keck and Regina Kupecky, LSW."
“This is as good as being in counseling with Dr. Keck and Regina Kupecky, LSW.”

Published by Sherrie Eldridge, Adoption Author

Have you ever heard these words from an adoptee or foster kid—“You just don’t get it.” Many adoptive and foster parents haven’t been told that they see life and adoption differently than their kids. As a result, they must learn how to enter their child’s world. As an adopted person, my passion is to help you see adoption through the eyes of your children. Be sure and follow me (top right) for new blog posts!

4 thoughts on “My Adopted Child Is Violent–I Am Afraid for My Life, Dr. Keck!

  1. I agree that your followers (myself included) are just not brave enough to ask a question for your guest blogger and have their name out there in cyberland.

  2. The signs of lasting violence often begin very early in life. The most serious symptoms of violence which may last for a long period of time are: fire setting, cruelty to animals, and bed wetting. When all three of these are seen in one child, they have been called the psychopathic triad. Many children wet the bed so, I do want to alarm anyone. Bedwetting alone typically means nothing, in terms of aggression/violence.

    If children exhibit aggressive behavior at home or daycare periodically, that is probably less serious than when there is a persistent pattern of violence. Early aggression may lead to the pattern that I mention. I have seen children who have exhibited early violence, who have ultimately, been helped through appropriate treatment; I have also seen children with these issues who have engaged in aggression in adolescents. I have only seen about six children who have killed a parent, however, when parents feel fearful of their child, they should attempt to get intensive treatment as early as possible. Residential treatment is not very helpful for addressing attachment problems as attachment needs to be treated within the context of the family; however, when there are serious safety concerns parents may need to seek out of home care.

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