Babies see themselves as the center of the universe. They expect to be indulged. For the most part, they are. Left to their own devices children can be selfish and demanding. Taken to the extreme they can try to dominate others physically and psychologically. As they grow out of their babyhood they are expected to learn consideration for others. Unless that behavior is interrupted in the formative years antisocial behavior will become more pronounced as they grow to adolescence and adulthood. It’s up to the parents to show the child that, while a certain degree of assertiveness is acceptable as a way of making their way in the world, the instinct must be moderated in the very young before it can turn into unacceptable behavior beyond adolescence; spousal abuse, criminal assault, sexual assault, workplace aggression, etc.
We hear a lot about young people whose lives have been dramatically affected by bullying. Some have even ended their lives because the pressure was too much to bear. Those who survive to adulthood often carry with them wounds that have never healed. Being made to feel worthless or unacceptable as a child can impact the adult years, as well. Damaged self-esteem can affect future personal relationships, professional success, lifetime earnings. There are bullies in the adult world, as well; the domineering boss, the back-stabbing fellow employee, the abusive spouse. Those who were abused when they were young may not have the confidence to resist the adult bully. The psychological effects of bullying can be even more damaging than physical abuse in the long term.
My new novel, All That Timeis about Ted McBride, a man whose life has been damaged by the bullies of his childhood, up through adolescence . . . and how it took a trip back in time to combat his demons. All About Timeis now available in paperback at bookstores and on-line booksellers and as a digital download through all the major Internet eBook distributors.