Agression in kids..

Tara - posted on 07/07/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )




I watched an excellent documentary last night. It was 3 hours long but absolutely amazing.

One of the things it delved into was aggression as a learned behaviour.

The entire doc. goes back to the beginnings of psychiatric and psychological studies and experiments in the early days of this new frontier. And then relates it all to current society etc.

Anyhow one of the experiments was designed to determine whether or not children learned aggressive behaviors or whether they were born naturally aggressive.

The results indicated that yes children learn aggressive behaviour from others, even strangers. This broke new ground in the field when it came to treating and dealing with children with aggression.

When people say they don't believe that spanking leads to hitting etc. isn't that saying that kids don't learn aggressive behavior from seeing it?

Even though every study done since this breakthrough first way back when says that seeing aggression causes kids to act aggressively.

We don't hit, spank, etc. and our kids have never been aggressive with each other or others at all. It's just never been an example in their lives at all. There is no aggression in our home. They didn't bite past toddler age and only one did that! They don't hit, punch, kick or pull hair or pinch each other.

Maybe my kids are weird. They've always been superior negotiators though. Perfect U.N. material.


edited to add the link to the docu. for those that might want to check it out, it's called the secret brain and is very very cool.

yeah I'm a nerd who watches documentaries at night with my honey.


JuLeah - posted on 07/07/2011




Well Nerd :) I agree with you ... I mean, duh. I am amazed research needed to be done to prove this, but not amazed that people who wish to hit their chidlren dismiss said research .... I read once that the Nerds will one day take over the world... not sure how 'scientific' that is ... it came from a gag gift fortune cookie .... so I guess it is at least FOX news worthy


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Jenni - posted on 07/08/2011




I'm undecided. Maybe I need more info. I don't spank and my son leans towards aggressive behaviours. As a young toddler he was highly aggressive, full on tackling his older sister when he didn't get his way. Through time outs and other tools his behaviour has improved in leaps and bounds but there is still the odd time he acts out physically towards his sisters. Anyways, we're not an aggressive family, my husband comes from a positive discipline home and we are both PD parents.

Does this documentary includes that lack of language (ie: developmental stages) and behavioural disorders are also factors in aggressive behaviours?

I have always been under the strong belief that personality traits (and how we handle strong emotions based on personality) is both nature and nurture.

I have little doubt that a child in a household that uses physical punishments, who is naturally dispositioned to handle strong emotions in a physical nature. Will only be encouraged to become more physically aggressive.

On the other hand a child who is naturally passive in nature will not likely change and become physical.

In my household where physical punishments are not used and my son has a natural disposition to be physical. I have been working on teaching him his language skills to express himself and praising him when he does. Rather than becoming physical. But he is a child that has never seen aggression and this behaviour began at a very early age (around 14 months). So that's why I'm curious if this docu factors in natural dispositions and behavioural development. My son now at 3 years old, for the most part has grown out of these behaviours. Although, there are times he still likes to muscle his sisters around. (He's never hit or been physical with any other children).

Mary - posted on 07/08/2011




Well, I'm sure that in some children, aggression is a learned behavior, but there are more than a few for whom it is inherent.

I'm sure that many of us know families in which only one child is aggressive, while the other(s) are not. There are also a fair number of adults who grew up in homes where spanking was the norm, or "aggressive" behaviors were modeled, and they have grown up to be fairly even-keeled people.

I just think the suggestion that spanking, or other specific behaviors automatically leads to an aggressive child is too simplistic. I also don't think that those who raise their child in a "non-aggressive" environment are guaranteed child who is not.

**ETA** I am not, btw, someone who spanks. It's just not my thing. However, I don't buy the implication that spanking (in moderation, and non-abusive, of course) is, without exception, as detrimental or psychologically harmful as some anti-spankers claim.

Amie - posted on 07/07/2011




I believe it. My kids are rough but not aggressive. They're a lot rougher with each other than other people though, even adults. We horse around with our kids, as do my parents, brothers, sister, etc. Yes it's physical and yes it looks like it could be dangerous sometimes- well there's no could be, our son has broken his leg twice (both times running down the hall chasing his sisters and slipping then landing on it wrong) and just recently his wrist (our oldest was pulling him down the slide and he banged his wrist on the side of the playhouse on the way down, ended up with a fracture). It's no big deal though, it's no different than him breaking something when he's playing a sport. Like my brother did when he was 12 - be broke his collarbone playing rugby, I think might have been football. It was a long time ago. LOL

Could my kids become violent because of it? I don't know. Were there any studies done on that kind of thing? That would be interesting to see. I know we're not violent just to be violent. We will protect our own though, that's also a given among the people we know so it's normal for us. haha.

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