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Playful Cruelty

AntoniaAC's picture

Children are cruel. That might be too much of a declarative statement, but when considered it holds quite a lot of truth. The untrained mind of a child is naive to the effects of words and action; children exclude, bully, and often cause lasting harm to one another future self image. Play is often the space where this cruelty is born becuase of the human contact that is associated. Children create heirarchies among themselves with leader and followers in an almost cultish way. Though intellectual, humorous, or dynamic superiority, specific children are singled out as top and other are the last picked for a kickball team. Play is useful to help development but it also allows young people with a freedom to hurt eachother. Especially from learned negativities, children spread their parents prejudices and forster amnimosity for non-comforming individuals. It is very common (or at least in my opinion) for children to label one another as "nerd", "stupid/retarded","fat","ugly", "annoying", etc. These words hold such bearings on development of image, esteem, and self love. This is where play crosses the thin line of helpful and hurtful. Play brings joy and happiness but when humanity is involved not always are things as lovely as they were intended to be.