Some parents who take their children for counselling are afraid of their offspring.
The eye-opening revelation was made by Salomie Evering, head of Clinical Services at The Mico CARE Centre's St Ann's Bay branch.
"Parents will come to us and tell us they are afraid of their children," she said matter-of-factly.
Evering was one of the guests during a Gleaner Editors' Forum held at the newspaper's North Street, central Kingston, offices on Wednesday focusing on children at risk. Evering and colleague Dr Claudine Hyatt gave sometimes chilling accounts of child-abuse cases and stories of children acting out their frustrations.
Evering gave one particularly stirring example.
"There was a case we had recently where the child was only nine and when he came to us, that was the second time the child had attempted to burn down the house. He did so successfully the first time," she said.
Evering noted that the Child Development Agency was involved in the case and tried to take him from the home but the mother, despite expressing her fear, was reluctant to send him away.
The CARE Centre's talks with the child eventually revealed that his father was absent from the home, quite possibly due to disagreements with the mother. In addition to that, the mother didn't want the boy to have any contact with the father.
"As a result, he (the boy) was rebelling. So we had to let her know that the behaviour is really attention seeking," she said.
Evering noted that academically he wasn't doing much at school either, something that was common among children in need of help.
"Once we meet them, we want to speak to the principal of the school and the teacher. (In this case) when we spoke to them, they said the boy wouldn't remain in school, he would (always) go outside."
But with the CARE Centre's help, when he was doing the tests, he did well.
"We talked with him, he sat down and did the test and he did well," she said. The Mico University CARE Centre has two other branches in Kingston and Mandeville, the only counselling centre being in Kingston.