NUMBER 663ē 18 JANUARY ē CHILDREN WHO HATE
We were able to construct a kind of crude task chart of everyday challenges to the ego in which these children were seriously deficient. Ironically enough, however, as though to add to their enormous problem in coping with their hate-corroded inner selves, in the breakdown of their ability to meet these varied tasks there was one major catch-all and end-all reaction: Hate. Thus we saw hate expressed as a primary, basic striving far beyond what can be even remotely construed as average or normal, and hate, too, as a secondary reaction to failure in task challenges which have, by their nature, not so much to do with it. Consequently, \he surface of their behavioral picture is full of hate coming from either or both of these sources.
For example, such children are not able to face up to fear, anxiety, or insecurity of any kind without breakdown into disorganized aggression. They cannot cope with guilt feelings produced by what they do without again becoming full of aggression (because they feel guilty) and repeating the same acts which initiate this guilt in the first place. Faced with the prospect of a pleasure-filled activity (from the point of view of most children), they cannot see the inherent implications of fun and escape into impulsive destructive behavior rather than investigate such new chances to learn other ways of recreational gratification. Should the adult have succeeded, by dint of great effort and detailed planning, in pulling them through a pleasurable activity, they just canít seem to store up enough of a memory image of it to remember how much fun it was. So in moments of boredom, instead of having saved up something to fall back upon and use, they again break out into wild, disruptive, and impulsive behavior. Then, too, they canít wait for anything: whatever they want has to be granted RIGHT NOW, and, if it isnít, they again break down into seething hostility. As for realizing what their own behavior contributes to a situation, how they provoke someone else or how they play into circumstances which are often to their own detriment ó in this they are notoriously deficient, Whatever momentary awareness they may have evaporates so quickly that, if one asks them thirty minutes later what happened, it is always some other person or some trick of destiny, as they see it, that is to blame for their plight. And if one is nice to them, if one surrounds them with affection and toys and goad food and adults who want to help them ó they seem to feel that whatever shred of reasonableness they may have maintained can now be thrown to the four winds: now they can ask for anything and everything beyond what any reasonable adult can or should ever grant. If the adult does not come through ó the inevitable explosion of hate. Another fascinating and peculiar problem of the children who hate is this: they donít know when to ask for help from the adult, or the outside world in general. Lost our reader think, "Oh, well, tough kids, what do they expect, they would never make themselves dependent on the adult," let us assure him that it is not a matter of pride. Our children were not too proud to make the most infantile bids for close attention in dressing them, such as in helping them put on their boots. But the number of situations in which they had a real clear-cut realization, "Here I need help," was pitifully low. And, of course, it can easily be imagined how from this weakness sprang the release of massive amounts of hostility because of the confusion and frustration produced in the many situations they could not handle by themselves. Even a cursory list of their troubles would be incomplete if we did not mention their extreme problems in the face of failure and mistakes, and yes, even of success. Any failure produced in them torrents of aggression against their surroundings or sullen withdrawal; mistakes too were experienced as the machinations of a hostile world against them to which they had to reply with counterhatred or severe, hostility-soaked sulk. As for occasional success, it produced irritating (to other children, especially) "crowing," and bragging, and fed delusions of greatness.
FRITZ REDL AND DAVID WINEMAN
Redl, F. & Wineman, D. (1952) Controls from Within, Techniques for the Treatment of The Aggressive Child. New York: Free Press. pp 16-18.