Children can be Cruel

I have heard this phrase many times. Most of the time its a condemnation of the behaviour of a few kids but sometimes it seems like an excuse. Yes children can be cruel to each other but does that mean we should accept it? Children are learning a lot of things for the first time. They are flooded with new sights, sounds and experiences. It can be scary. Some of them react to this out of fear of the unknown. I think most people experienced bullying as a child. Perhaps something about you was different. Maybe you weren’t wearing the proper attire. Whatever it was you may have heard it dismissed as ‘part of growing up’. I bet it didn’t comfort you much then though.

In my humble opinion the problem lies with focus being placed on a child’s academic pursuits. More focus is put into grading and lessons and these are important but maybe we should be looking to developing a child’s manners and social skills. There have always been bullies. There always will be bullies but taking the time on a child’s personal development could go some way to breaking this cycle. As a child I had my moments of cruelty towards others too. It’s not something I am proud of and as I grew older I realised that just how wrong it was. I make a point of treating everyone I meet with respect but I can’t help but think that this was a lesson that I should have learned sooner. My parents taught me manners, my teachers taught me respect but even with that bullies taught me to lash out. What are your thoughts?

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