The ‘blame Satan’ alibi
Kids being caught out often blame the enemy their parents taught them about.
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Who’s to blame for “evil”? According to a few current news stories, teens appear to be using an ancient foe as a scapegoat for their own actions. Teens committing murder are claiming that they did it because they are Satanists, and the Satanists aren’t happy about it.

Horrific murders

Just this week two schoolgirls were found brutally murdered, according to ENCA.com. Their classmates alleged that it was because they had refused to ‘like’ a Facebook page which had Satanic overtones. The presence of black candles near their bodies prompted the investigation of the crime by the SAPS Occult Unit. Since this crime is still under investigation, there’s no clarity on the motive for the murders.

Then in the US, a teen mom has claimed that in addition to the murder for which she is currently being detained, she was also part of a Satanic cult, and that she has murdered at least 22 other people. She claims to have started at the age of thirteen. Even the Satanic Church has denied any links to the young killer, according to the Daily Item.

Another murder attributed to satanic activity was that of Kirsty Theologo, a teen set on fire by her “friends” who afterwards claimed that she’d offered herself as a sacrifice. Those involved were all handed lengthy prison sentences by a judge who was unwilling to accept the Devil as an alibi, said News24.

So is Satan really taking over the planet?

It’s common for children to fob off the blame rather than accept it when they’re caught. Most parents are familiar with the guilty look and claims of “it wasn’t me!” but that’s light years away from claiming that the Devil made them do something.

Parents may actually be influencing kids to blame Satan. In some Christian environments, sinful actions or wrongdoing are often incorrectly blamed on the Devil. That the actions were carried out by an individual is overlooked and the cause/temptation is given priority. Sure, kids can act out of character or do something at odds with their upbringing, but they make decisions to act in those ways.

There are kids who claim to be Satanists. Few are familiar with the actual Church of Satan but simply enjoy the rebelliousness inherent in doing something many people find shocking.

The warped sense of fun teens may get when holding faux rituals such as candle-burning and cutting themselves in a group is troubling, and, as seen in the cases above, could even lead to escalation of behaviour done under the guise of “Satanism”.

Mostly, these activities are just done by kids experimenting with each other and trying to push the boundaries. Some may dare each other to commit crimes or deface property, so it’s important to watch out for any evidence that this may be taking place.

If you see that your child is committing self-harm, such as cutting, it’s time to intervene and get help.

If your child is hanging out with other kids who claim to be Satanists, you may need to sit down with your child and discuss the concept and also the dangers involved in peer pressure.

There’s no evidence that there’s a widespread satanic plot afoot to commit mass murders, but kids may get themselves into trouble when their dares escalate.

You don’t have to destroy their heavy metal CDs and tear up their black clothing; these are not indications of anything unusual. If you are part of a Christian family, threats of Hell are not particularly useful if your child misbehaves.

So who's to blame?

These horrific cases all have one appalling thing in common: They were crimes committed by children and older teens, not Satan.

If your kid tends to steer blame elsewhere when caught out, you’ll need to have a discussion about taking responsibility (and also model that in your own life). Sometimes is does feel horrible to admit wrongdoing, but kids need to know that it’s the right thing to do.

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Why do you think kids blame Satan when they get caught out?

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