In my opinion, the answer is “it depends”. Let me elaborate.
I watch my children, who are now 4 years and 30 months old very closely after they come home from pre-school. Most of the time my daughters are mimicking and repeating the events which happened during their day. Therefore, depending on the environment, children will behave differently. They could have easily come home and said “all Jews or all Arabs are evil”. This realization that children are essentially a blank canvas, and the painter can paint anything on this canvas is really eye-opening and, frankly, scary.
If children are our future, what chance does the Middle East have when children are brainwashed from an early age to hate Arabs or Jews, or the United States? Imagine being told from age three or four if you sacrifice yourself in the name of Islam, you will go to heaven. The child has no point of reference to know what is true or false, what is ethical or not.
The children most of us see are innocent, because the environment we have provided for them is innocent. This is a good thing!
So please be careful what you paint on your child’s canvas and let us pray all children will have access to a healthy and innocent environment, so they can be kids as nature intended.
Michael Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 15 years of experience. His office is located in Orange County, California. To schedule a complimentary consultation please call 714-834-0101.