TULSA, Okla. - Children with violent tendencies can be helped before they hurt or possibly kill someone.
That's the word from Dr. Dale Doty with Christian Family Institute.
KRMG spoke with Dr. Doty after accused teen killer Hank Laird' s arrest for beating his mother to death with the butt of a shotgun.
Laird's mother was murdered Tuesday morning. Laird was charged Wednesday and was arrested following an hour-long standoff with Tulsa Police.
Laird's juvenile records obtained by KRMG show pattern of violence that began in 2007 months after Laird's father died of cancer.
Court documents also show a pair of convictions where Laird punched and choked his mother in 2011 and 2012.
Dr. Doty believes most children can be helped before violence occurs but parents must take action.
Doty says, "Parents have to recognize from these recent incidents that mental health problems in children is serious business."
Failing to do so could have tragic results.
Doty says, "It often escalates into more and more serious violence, crime and even possibly murder."
The best way to prevent increasing violence is to seek help early.
Doty says, "Parents who get their kids into therapy at those early stages, there's a fairly high likelihood of success in solving the problem at home."
Some of the warning signs Doty wants parents to watch out for include negative attitudes and behaviors, being argumentative with adults, showing defiance of rules and failing to comply.
Children might also show a pattern of disregard for rules of society and will disregard the rights of others.
They may also have a difficulty fitting in.
These behaviors may progress into increased aggressiveness, a delight in violating the rights of others or a pattern of intentinal harm to others.