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The key to ending violence: parent-child bonding [Letter]

The article "On the march again against city's violence" (July 12) included some clues about why violence develops and how it might be countered.

Philip Leaf referred to "neighborhoods where social cohesion and support have been devastated." Thus, people wind up feeling detached from the very place they are living and lack incentive to feel any pride in keeping things up.

Then there was the picture of a father engaging with his sons, sons who bore the father's last name. This appears to connote parental responsibility and possibly parent-child bonding.

It is this bonding that is essential, with the parent, with the neighborhood, with wider society. People who feel like rolling stones, like they don't belong, like no one cares, would find it much harder to deny their impulses in the name of creating a just, peaceful society (yes, even given "reasons" for crime like lack of employment and poverty).

To foster healthy attachment at an early age is the No. 1 task of parents. People can have as many children as they will, but if they do not take the time and attention to devote to each one, then they are only spawning more rolling stones which may one day turn into loose canons from whom we will all need to run.

Joyce Wolpert, Baltimore

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