If you are reading this then you might have found yourself faced with a parenting nightmare so strange you never even thought to be afraid of it in your pre-parenthood life. Somehow you've found yourself the parent of the child from Hell. Possibly, quite literally.
Chances are good your child wasn't always like this. They were probably a sweet tempered and affectionate baby. Then one day, things started to change. Maybe you woke up in the middle of the night to find them staring at you, eyes glowing. Or maybe you found them levitating in their bed one night. No matter how it started, if you're here you're probably wondering "is my child possessed by the devil or some other demon?"
If this is the case, then check out this step by step guide to determining if your child is possessed by a demon, for a comprehensive list of warning signs of demon possession, as well as advice specific to child possession.
Disclaimer, please do not attempt to perform an exorcism on your (or any!) children you believe to be possessed by demons. If you are genuinely concerned for your child's safety or well being, please seek professional help immediately.
Before you start brandishing rosaries and quoting biblical text, it's important to make sure this is genuine possession you're dealing with, and not just your run of the mill behavioral problems. To be certain, the next time your child acts out in a manner you believe to be 'demonic' try binding that spirit by calling it out. For example, if you're child's name is Jane,
“Jane, I bind that spirit of (anger, fear, impatience, rebellion, etc.) tormenting Jane in the name and blood of Jesus Christ. I now loose peace, love and joy over Jane in Jesus Christ’s name.”
If you see your child snap out of it and look at you confused, as if they weren't sure what had just happened, then there's a good chance there's a demon involved.
Before we go any further, it's also important to rule out mental illness as an explanation for your child's behavior. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, mental illness and possession are very different,
"Exorcism is directed at the expulsion of demons or to the liberation from demonic possession through the spiritual authority which Jesus entrusted to his Church."
"Illness, especially psychological illness, is a very different matter; treating this is the concern of medical science."
Does your kid claim to see things that aren't there? Does she regularly have tea with her 'imaginary friends' Beelzebub and Aamon? We've all seen the movie with the pale little kid that sees dead people, but we're not talking about just your run-of-the-mill ghosts. If your child starts mentioning blood on the walls or speaks in a gruff voice to strangely named imaginary friends, you could be looking at demonic possession.
Does your child wake with fright every time you pass a cemetery in the car at night? Or if you pass during the day, do they scream that the voices are too loud? Maybe you have the opposite problem, and your child suddenly spends all their time skulking around the local mausoleum, obsessed with death and dismay. Either way, your child could be dealing with possession, especially if they seem overly agitated following the encounter.