Moshe Ben-Chaim


Question: My child has a very aggressive tendency. It flairs up in school and at home. What is the correct attitude prescribed by the Torah regarding how my response should be?

Mesora: The gemara talks about such a case where Rava's child had such a tendency. The solution which Rava administered was to give his child plates to break. Meaning, thwarting a natural tendency in children is harmful. What is suggested is to allow the child to outlet his aggressive tendencies in a non-destructive manner, as the plates were of no value to Rava. Similarly, if your child has such tendencies, the proper response would be to allow him to outlet his energies, either by taking him to a park to run freely, or engaging in an activity which allows him to vent. Frustrating such tendencies will only bring the child to outlet them at the wrong time, as the the lesson is that they must be outletted with guidance, or they will be outletted without, and might prove destructive. One should not look askance at such a behavior, as it is natural in many children, and even King David had such a tendency, and the gemara suggests that one who partakes of qualities as King David should become a butcher. Meaning the same, outletting the energies is suggested, in a constructive manner.