free as wind
A Newsletter from the Center for Sacred Psychology
Vol III, October 2006
Children's Corner    |    Warrior's Hoop    |    Elder's Circle
Children's Corner

We continue to be confronted by destructive acts of aggression committed by children and against children that shocks us by its frequency and intensity. As a society we are forced to examine ourselves with an honest effort to identify and transform causes of such violence. It is not unique to our culture. A recent study of adolescent elephants in South Africa revealed behavior that appears to be unnatural to the species, attacking and killing hippos at an alarming rate. The elephant behavior has been equated to similar behavior by adolescent Acholi children in Northern Uganda, suffering from a 20-year war that continues to defy public awareness. The Acholi children suffer the pain of their world. The children I met in the IDP Camps still wanted to laugh and play, despite the horror of their living conditions and the threat to their lives. When we hear of African children many shrug their shoulders as it to say, “What do you expect?” When we hear of elephants acting in atypical violent madness, it starts to get our attention. When we encounter the madness in our own children we look for someone to blame.





In their classic child behavior text, Why Children Misbehave and What to Do About It by Adams & Fruge, they write, “Your child will be motivated to learn how to control aggressiveness and to cooperate when he or she feels loved and valued by you and other adults. Your child will also learn to control aggressiveness when important adults in his or her life control their own aggressiveness. Children imitate what they see; when important adults behave aggressively in response to frustration, children tend to follow that example. However, when you show self-control and respect toward your child when he or she is misbehaving, your child learns to value respectful, constructive resolution of conflict. Your child also sees that people who love each other can express strong disagreements but still behave with consideration and respect.” The best gift we can give our children is to awaken to our own truth and to practice living into it.

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