What is there to add to a nationwide conversation about a horrific and senseless tragedy, the murder of innocents by a killer who was apparently mentally unwell? Reading descriptions of Adam Lanza’s seemingly normal upper-middle class life in a safe quiet town and yet his unexplainable extreme social awkwardness noticed by many, it appears to me that what went on in his home during his early years, a mystery to the public world, is behind the shocking elementary school attack that took place this week.
While we have no current evidence that his successful tax executive father engaged in bad parenting, some strange facts have certainly been revealed about his mother in the last several days. She was a gun enthusiast, kept a number of them in the house, took her children target shooting with her, and used and kept in the house the very guns her son used in the shooting.
Based on the principles of attachment theory, the social issues so many people observed Adam Lanza exhibit, such as extreme discomfort in social situations, are symptoms of attachment disorder. Healthy attachment, which has been shown by numerous studies to be needed for healthy human social, emotional, and moral development, stems from a human being’s interaction with his or her mother or primary caregiver during infancy and the earliest years of life. To develop healthy social, emotional, and moral functioning, an individual needs to engage in a healthy mutual interaction of exchange, communication, and sensitive response with his primary caregiver during the earliest years. It appears this was likely missing for Adam Lanza.
With regard to the moral implications of disordered attachment, Professor Darcia Navarez and colleagues at Notre Dame University have shown through academic studies that mature moral functioning involves the integration of emotion, intuition and reasoning, all of which develop appropriately through attuned parenting particularly in the early years of life when the developing brain is most sensitive.
Of course, we can only speculate based on limited information, and none of us will ever truly know what really went on in the killer’s home during his early years, but it certainly appears, based on his mother’s unusual fascination with firearms and his extreme social issues, that some severely disordered parenting took place by Adam’s mother during his first years of life, which had an impact on the horrible tragedy that killed so many innocents.
Take a look at this article: Nancy, Mother of Gunman Adam Lanza, ‘Would Often Go Target Shooting With Her Kids’