I think I may be putting my head on the block here, but while I agree with much of what NOTfnordian has said, I cannot agree with it all.

From my own personal observations children are not hateless; they are not greedless and while some are fearless this is not a universal fact.

Yes, humans are special but we are a part of the animal kingdom. Our instincts for survival are strong and are still deeply rooted in our genes. Young children have not yet learnt that things to play with are not necessary for survival in this day and age. Children play because it is the way in which they learn to become adults and learn to survive. They play with sticks or toys so that they learn dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination, the tools of the trade in the world of the hunter-gatherer. In evolutionary terms, if they did not have these things to play with, it was in their own best interests to get them from someone else. The same argument applies to food and I think we have all seen children fighting over sweets and candy bars - food was scarce, so take what you need or die. Many children are greedy and self-centred, and they are also curious, which is why, when they can't have something they want it even more in their desire to find out why the other person wants it so much. This is their nature, they don't know any better.

Children naturally dislike, or may be afraid of, people who 'look different' - be they of a different racial group or maybe just have big ears or a limp. Life was tough for evolving hominids. The instinct to protect their own tribe or pack was strong, and this included repelling, or making war on other packs - I think this is why children's innate dislike of certain people or of ones from different cultures evolved. A soclialized adult is one who has overcome these tribal instincts. As socialized adults it is our job to teach our children tolerance, acceptance and understanding, not to sit back and learn from them.