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Sims M. Towards Less Violence. 2007.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://e-publications.une.edu.au/1959.11/8646
Towards Less Violence
There is increasing concern about both escalating levels of violence in our society and the increasingly younger ages of children engaging in it. Tremblay's research (Tremblay, 2004; Tremblay, Hartup & Archer, 2005) suggests that we are becoming less effective in teaching our young children how to manage their violent impulses. He argues that the age of greatest concern is not the teen years - a time when we all express concern about aggression and violence - but the toddler years, when children demonstrate violent behaviours at the rate of several every hour. It is the role of adults to teach children to modify their aggressive acts and to support the development of self-control so that the extremely high levels of aggression found in young children do not continue into the teen years and later adult life. Behaviour management strategies such as physical punishment have long been debated and it is clear that, while punishment can be effective in the short term in curbing behaviour, in the longer term it teaches children that violence is acceptable in some circumstances (such as when you arc bigger than some one else or in a position of power over them). Unfortunately, many families do not have alternative behaviour management strategies and arc vocal in their rejection of calls for a ban on the use of violence in the home. In any debate on this issue, there are always those who stand up proudly and claim: 'I was smacked as a child and it hasn't hurt me'. Perhaps a significant contributor to the scale of violence we sec in our world today is this very acceptance of violence as normal, an acceptance of the right of someone with power to use that power on others in order to force compliance.