Friday, June 10, 2011

How Did She Know?

What to say about the five year old who found her 18 month old relative too noisy and allegedly held the 18 month old under water in a bath tube until he was "quiet"? Here's the full story as related by the Kansas City Star. There is much not to like here, including the fact that small children were up so late, they were not being minded by a fully competent adult and other issues of circumstance.

The discussion has come up: Is a five year old capable of "murder" in the legal sense?

The answer is no. A five year old does not have the cognitive capacity to understand the permanence of death. That is a true fact.

Although I just now had a thought that completely creeps me out: How did this young girl know that if you hold someone under water it will make them quiet? Did she see someone in her circle of influence do this to another human being, or to a dog/puppy/kitten/cat/hamster/etc? I am not sure that at five I would have known that if you hold someone underwater they would be quiet. Wow, I just made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

Another thought: The an alternative story: Something else really happened, the girl saw it and her five year old mind has put her five year old spin on it. In fact I have wondered: can the average five year old girl get the average 18 month old boy into the average bathtub of a non-modern house? Hmmm, makes you wonder.

Either way, I hope someone evaluates this family. There's something desperately wrong here.


Bob G. said...

Technically, she cannot be charged with murder, but the act can be construed as a "misadventure".

It's the "age of accountability" thing.

Then again, why was the 5 year old the ONLY one around at the time?
(they call it PARENTAL supervision for a REASON)

Dysfunctional doesn't begin to address the issues under THAT roof.

Good post.
Stay safe out there.

The Observer said...

Oh, Bob you do not even know the half of it. This is a tragedy that may go on for a while.

I don't think there will be charges for this girl, but what is her future and the future of her kin? Can they overcome this?

Thanks for stopping by.
The Observer

The Observer said...

This post was linked (thank you Tony!)at TKC and while I am not sure many came over to read, a spirited discussion ensued in the comments section. Please to go over and check it out.

The Observer