I read recently that the observed behaviour of a 4-year old can predicate the personality of the adult that the child will grow into. Even if this conclusion was drawn from a properly conducted survey covering a particular population at a point of time, could it apply to another population at the same point of time? Or, at a different point of time?
Are there not cultural differences, including parental behaviour, school policies, community values, and eroding societal standards for behaviour to be taken into account?
As well, what if (repeat, what if) the child’s behaviour seemed to reflect some past-life trauma, perhaps in the manner and circumstances of death? Having brought up children successfully, through firm rules and loving guidance, supplemented by on-going dialogues, and backed up by my studies on child development, with some reading on past-life memories displayed by children; and having contributed substantially to the development of a number of grandchildren, could I not offer some insight onto the behaviour of young children?
I once observed, over a period of a few days, a 6-month old baby who had no reason to be unhappy, and who did not always display the normal discomfort of indigestion, continually shout at the parent holding, and attempting to comfort, him. At 3 years, he remained un-cooperative and truculent and, in one instance, he whinged for about 45 minutes for no reason that I could perceive. I felt that this poor child could not help himself. By age 7, he was a normal child. Had he been driven by a subconscious painful past-life memory, considering that he had the most loving parents one could ask for?
Normally, tribal cultural values, applied through rigid family control, will ensure that not only behaviour, but also attitudes, conform to family and community standards. In the ethos of Asian communalism, this is important. Against this is the ethos of individualism of Western nations, manifest in less-controlled and guided children. However, individual rights can also be conferred by some primary school teachers, sometimes countering family values. I write from personal experience.
Is it significant that, when Australia-born offspring of tightly-knit immigrant Middle Eastern families break away (through peer-group and other influences) from parental values, some of these chose to be jihadists or become anti-social?
I’ll bet that they did not display such tendencies in childhood, especially at about age 4!