Angry kids are a big problem these days. It is hard to tell if the anger is just inherent in them or what the problem might be when it comes to controlling their emotions.
All human infants are violent, but they start learning to control their destructive urges around 18 months of age according to Canadian child psychologist Richard Tremblay.
Tremblay delivered his findings today to the U.K.'s Royal Society and suggested that a child's environment, both in-uteri and as a tyke â€” determines whether they chill out. Among his suggestions for producing fewer violent adults is improving social services for young unwed mothers.'
What is interesting is that I always thought my kids were violent because of television. Apparently it is my entire fault. It is not the cartoons that make your kids hit their playmates or grab their toys but instead a complete lack of social skills.
This Canadian researcher claims that children were violent before television appeared and that it is why it was necessary to take a look at its real causes. Richard Tremblay is a professor of pediatrics, psychiatry and psychology at the University of Montreal, who has spent more than two decades tracking 35,000 Canadian children (from age five months through their 20s) in search of the roots of physical aggression.
Is your kid biting, screaming, kicking, slapping and hitting? Tremblay’s previous results have suggested that children on average reach a peak of violent behavior around 18 months of age. The aggression begins to calm down between the ages of two and five as they begin to learn other, more sophisticated ways of communicating their needs and wants.
Tremblay has also guessed that chronically aggressive individuals may have violence in their genes.
When children first begin to poke, prod and even slap, parents, teachers and siblings often react by indicating that those behaviors are wrong.
He plans to extend his genetic studies to include examinations of the children and lifestyles of expectant mothers to determine if their behavior during pregnancy is linked to the down tuning of genes that may be associated with chronic aggression.
Tremblay speculates that genes play a significant role: for instance damaged genes may make it hard for children to acquire language, frustrating them and making them prone to violence.
What is interesting is that it almost always seems as if the most violent children come from young unwed single moms.