The Difficult Child
The difficult child is the child who is unhappy. He is at war with himself, and in consequence, he is at war with the world. A difficult child is nearly always made difficult by wrong treatment at home.
The moulded,1 conditioned, disciplined, repressed child — the unfree child, whose name is a Legion, lives in every corner of the world. He lives in our town just across the street, he sits at a dull desk in a dull school, and later he sits at a duller desk in an office or on a factory bench. He is docile, prone to obey authority, fearful of criticism, and almost fanatical in his desire.to be conventional and correct. He accepts what he has been taught almost without question.; and he hands down all his complexes and fears and frustrations to his children.
Adults take it for granted that a child should be taught to behave in such a way that the adults will have as quiet a life as possible.-Hence the importance attached to obedience, to manner, to docility.
The usual argument against freedom for children is this: life is hard, and we must train the children so that they will fit into life later on. We must therefore discipline them. If we allow them to do what they like, how will they ever be able to serve under a boss? How will they ever be able to exercise self-discipline?
To impose anything by authority is wrong. Obedience must come from within — not be imposed from without.
The problem child is the child who is pressured into obedience and persuaded through fear.
Fear can be a terrible thing in a child’s life. Fear must be entirely eliminated — fear of adults, fear of punishment, fear of disapproval-Only hate can flourish in the atmosphere of fear.
The happiest homes are those in which the parents are frankly honest with their children without moralizing. Fear does not enter these homes. Father and son are pals. Loye can thrive. In other home
People who use this argument do not realize that they start with an unfounded, proved assumption — the assumption that a child will not grow or develop unless unforced to do so i have is crushed by fear. Pretentious dignity and demanded respect hold love aloof. Compelled respect afways implies fear.The happiness and well-being of children depend on a degree of 1 ve and approval we give them. We must be on the child’s side. Being on the side of the child is giving love to the child — not possessive love — not sentimental love — just behaving to the child in such a way the child feels you love him and approve of him. - flonie plays many parts in the life of the growing child, it is the natural source of affection, the place where he can live with the sense of security; it educates him in all sorts of ways, provides him with his opportunities of recreation, it affects his status in society. . Children need affection. Of all the functions of the family that of providing an affectionate background for childhood and adolescence has never been more important than it is today.
Child study has enabled us to see how necessary affection is in ensuring proper emotional development; and the stresses and strains of growing up in modern urban society have the effect of intensifying-the yearning for parental regard.
The childhood spent with heartless, indifferent or quarrelsome parents or in a broken home makes a child permanently embittered. Nothing can compensate for lack of parental affection. When the home is a loveless one, the children are impersonal and even hostile.Approaching adolescence children become more independent of thfeir parents. They are now more concerned with what other kids say or do. They go on loving their parents deeply underneath, but they don’t show it on the surface. They no longer want to be loved as a possession or as an appealing child. They are gaining a sense of digni-U as individuals, and they like to be treated as such. They develop a Wronger sense of responsibility about matters that they think are important.From their need to be less dependent on their parents, they turn “lore to trusted adults outside the family for ideas and knowledge.In adolescence aggressive feelings become much stronger. In this period, children will play an earnest game of war. There may be arguments, roughhousing and even real fights. Is gun-play good or bad for children? For many years educators emphasized its harmlessness, even when thoughtful parents expressed doubt about letting their children have pistols and other warlike toys. It was assumed that in the course of up children have a natural tendency to bring their aggres-eness more and more under control. But nowadays educators and physicians would give parents more encouragement in their inclination to guide children away from violence of any kind, from violence of gun-play and from violence on screen.The world famous Dr. Benjamin Spock has this to say in the new! edition of his book for parents about child care:”Many evidences made me think that Americans have often been tolerant of harshness, lawlessness and violence, as well as of brutality on screen. Some children can only partly distinguish between dramas and reality. I believe that parents should flatly forbid programs that go in for violence. I also believe that parents should firmly stop children’s war-play or any other kind of play that degenerates into deliberate cruelty or meanness. One can’t be permissive about such things. To me it seems very clear that we should bring up the next generation with a greater respect for law and for other people’s rights.”
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