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Children Are Not Naturally Aggressive

by Townsend Letters for Doctors


Children are not “naturally aggressive.” Bullying, at any age, should never be considered “normal” behavior. Only children who have been abused act in this manner.

Violence breeds violence. The problem is that most of the abuse suffered by young children is not recognized as such. The crying of a baby is not taken seriously. Do we think that babies have no feelings? Do we think that they cannot feel pain? Do we think that they cry frantically for no reason at all?

The defiance and rage we see in so many North American children comes from the way they’re treated during the first minutes, days, and months of life. For example, newborns need and rightfully expect close and unbroken contact with their mothers; yet nearly all are taken away and stabbed with extremely painful needles only moments after being born, then stashed away in little plastic boxes where their crying won’t bother anyone.

Is it so difficult to understand how a baby treated this way might grow up with anger and resentment? And is it so difficult to understand how this anger and resentment could be responsible for the rage and violence that can range from “tantrums” to murder?

Reprinted from: Townsend Letters for Doctors and Patients, June 2000, as reprinted in Extended Health Newsletter