When one views the image of a violent adult, it is very hard to dream of the innocent infant they once were. Is there such thing of being born violent? Are there really "bad Seeds" when it comes to human beings? Like many qualities, violence involves an interaction between genetics and the environment. We may not be in a position to alter the DNA that we are born with, however, we can definitely influence how these genes are expressed. With all the factors proven to contribute to violence, we certainly can no longer say that violent persons are just "born that way."

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You might say that violence is the direct result of a combination of biological, social, and psychological circumstances, particularly those that increase exposure to vulnerability, shame, and humiliation. Preventing violence must involve the opposite; making sure people feel safe, cared for, and connected, while ensuring they also have a healthy and realistic sense of self-esteem and self-worth. Help people of all ages to discover things they can do well and offer authentic praise for those achievements. False praise inflates a person's vanity but does absolutely nothing to enhance their real sense of self-worth or self-esteem. Recognizing persons for their honest accomplishments and true abilities helps them to realize their value. Vanity has been found to contribute to violence.

A mother I knew raised twin boys who lost their father at a young age. Working two jobs to scrape by to support her family, she had little choice but to frequently leave her sons on their own. One of the twins buried his head in books and found education as his escape. The other boy turned to a gang for companionship and violence as an outlet for his inner turmoil.This combination of trauma and neglect, though unintentional, became a breeding area for violent behavior.

Notorious Brazilian Prison Strives For Reform
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So how can we prevent children from becoming violent? And how can we treat people who have already demonstrated violent tendencies?

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