A second-grader in Indiana pulls off his shoe and wields it as a weapon, striking his teacher. A kindergartner in Philadelphia punches a pregnant teacher in the stomach.
An 8-year-old in Maryland threatens to burn down his suburban elementary school, plotting where he'll pour the gasoline.
Elementary school principals and safety experts say they're seeing more violence and aggression than ever among their youngest students, pointing to what they see as an alarming rise in assaults and threats to classmates and teachers.
"Some of my most violent kids have been in kindergarten, first and second grade," an elementary school principal in rural Wisconsin says. "They simply lose control, and it comes out in extremely violent manners." The principal did not want her name used.
I am a proponent of raising childrens' self-esteem and keeping their view of violence to a minimum, especially from adults they know and trust. But, since when did CHILDREN start running the show? One name comes to mind.....ah yes...the great Dr. Benjamin Spock.
To paraphrase what Dr. Spock taught us, it would go something like this.
1)Do not spank your children, you are teaching them to hit and then they won't like you anymore.
2)Do not yell at your children because you are teaching them anger and then they won't like you anymore.
3)Do not ever discipline your children because you are teaching them close-mindedness, and then they won't like you anymore.
We should not be surprised to see children acting out the primal, inate tendencies that are in all of us. These "survival instincts" have their place and time, even in a civilized society. Yet, the mark of a "civilized society" is the self-control and discipline of the people that make up that civilization. When ANYONE is allowed to have zero boundries to acceptable social behavior, then certainly instinctive behavior will result. For those psychologists who disagree with the previous statement, let's assume learned behavior will result What learned behavior do our children have? It seems to me that we are forcing, no begging, our children (through the TV, movies, etc. we spoonfeed them) to act in ways that supposedly shock us. And all the while, I still hear each mother saying, "That's not my child." Hmm...
When will we return to the God-given reality that PARENTS should control the child. I am appalled when I hear a child tell an adult what the ADULT is going to do. Don't shake your heads, you've heard it too! At dinner time, the parents ask the children what they(the child) wants for dinner. I am not discussing elementary students, I'm speaking of preschool children(ages 1-4). How many times have you heard a child say, "I don't want that" or "I'm not going to eat that", only for the parents to give in and give their child whatever is requested. I'm not saying that you should deprive your child of love and rewards through food(that's a seperate health issue), I'm stating a principle. "The child gets what the child wants." If you don't believe this, observe closely any family in any grocery.
One last comment for the anti-spanking crowd(anti-force discipline, as some like to call it)...
When you attempt to discipline your child by saying things such as, "Go sit in time out" or "Go to your room" and the child says, "No." What do you do then? Do you yell louder? Do you get angry and walk away? A time comes when force is necessary to get a child's attention in love, and to let the child know who is in control of their lives. Even Jesus had earthly parents, and this was at a time when's God's word required stoning of children for behaviors we simply dismiss or even defend for our children today.
Moral to the story: In love and gentleness, put the fear of God back into your children and your homes.