Quiet-List 1997

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Re: Agression: nature or nurture



Kathleen Hamilton wrote:
> Bob Smith raises an interesting issue.
> 
> I don't believe that agression is inborn. 

[Tell that to my friend whose kids were out of control by age 1. 
Studies show there are happier babaies who are more interactive and that
ther are other babies who have a predisposition towards agressive
behavior.  Whether its genetics are chemistry, I don't know.  I just
read the studies and watch 20/20.]   

>  A toddler may grab another toddler's toy, but he won't try to gouge his/her eyes out. A child who's taught to use words, not fists, will not become an agressive brat.

In a perfect world I would agree with you.  This world is not perfect
and those who don't learn to hit back perish.

>  Agression is learned, starting at home Children are taught respect for others by seeing and hearing their parents and teachers respect others. Respect is not taught by spanking. Spanking only teaches children that hitting is a solution, and that big pe
> 
Actually, the studies are in agreement on one thing: that authoriTATIVE
parents -- NOT authoriTARIAN parents -- who use spanking as a last
resort are the most effective disciplinarians.  The problem is that too
many parents don't even understand what those two words mean (gee, am I
harping on that standards thing again?) let alone distinguish their
behavior from the definitions provided.

What I DO know is that some kids need to be swatted (it happens at EVERY
level in the animal kingdom; and yes I know they eat their young, too)
provided they're between the ages of 3 - 6.  After that its pretty much
too late to have any impact; before that, it doesn't have any meaning. 
Time-outs are a nice diversion and they might actually work (I'll let
you know when this generation of time-out kids hit their teens), but
what I also KNOW to be true is that the touchy-feely me me me me me
stupidity that spawned this current group of dolts did not work.  

If timeouts are an improvement, that would be great, and I'm willing to
let the psycho-babbleists have their shot.  But if not, dust off the old
paddle and get back to what worked for 90%+ of us in the 60's & 70's.
[Hey, I feel bad for the 5% - 10% who were abused, but I'll make that
sacrifice for ensuring that society's framework remains intact. 
Besides, I'd venture a guess that at least 5% - 10% of today's kids are
getting abused.]   

> Right now there's a pervasive climate of bullying, starting with the "lean and mean" global economic system.  The drivers of boom cars are bullies. 

Agreed.  Bullies from other generations most likely would do the same
thing, but back then there would be an answer from the people that isn't
forthcoming today.  Then, individual rights did not outweigh the rights
and integrity of the community.  And back then, there were far less
bullies in general.  

FWIW, I agree that our corporate culture/economic system drives (no pun
intended) a lot of this.  Which is why the road is not a pretty picture,
these days.  

Bob S.

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