So did my grandpappy, my great grandpa, and even my great great grandpappy, though he also had a thing for killing squirrels as well. I remember growin' up, I'd be sittin' on the porch with my pa, and he'd tell me stories from way back as he sat in his rocking chair and whittled pieces of wood into lethal stabbing devices. Pa used to tell me that kittens were tougher back then, not as domesticated, so it was hard to catch them. Also, their claws were 5 inches long and kittens could leap 10 to 12 feet on average. He said a lot of times they'd see ya comin' and hightail it to the barn where they could hide up in some rafter. Grandpa would hafta knock a kitten down using a slingshot. It was hard for him to aim cuz he was blind in one eye, courtesy of Mittens, his own personal Moby Dick. My dad and grandpa didn't have no microwaves back then. Nah. They had ta use thur own hands or a blunt object, like a piece of lumber. If they were lucky they could run over a kitten with the tractor, but that was rare.
If what I just wrote reminds you of your family, there's a good chance y'all have a psychotic gene in your family tree. According to a recent study from Kings College in London, psychopaths are often born, not made. So if you have an antisocial, disturbed child, it might not be due to your parenting skills. Your kid might just have psychotic genes.
Conversely, if your kid doesn't have a psycho gene and still exhibits antisocial and scary behavior, you or your spouse/ex-spouse/former fling/one night stand might be to blame.
Psychologists are hopeful that by diagnosing children early on, they can help come up with ways to prevent them from, say, killing kittens or murdering two people they get in a fight with on an Internet message board. So I guess we have that to look forward to.
Random question: If you find out your kid is psychotic, do you talk to him or her (but let's be honest, it's probably a boy) about it? And if so, how would that delicate conversation go down?
PARENT: Son, you have a gene that makes it hard for you to have empathy for others. Psychologists call this a psychopathic tendency, but we want you to know that we love you no matter what, and we're going to do everything we can to get you better. Do you understand?
CHILD: F*ck you.