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taught to receive adverse criticism. He lost all his sullenness, became contented, a willing worker, and eager to please. This case shows how an anti-social act like stealing may be resorted to to overcome a sense of inferiority. It also illustrates the possibilities for curative treatment which possibilities are relatively very great in the early years.

Physical handicaps and a resulting sense of inferiority Phantasy may be compensated for by an over-development of the tendency to day-dream, to phantasy as is shown by a boy eleven years of age, born with physical disabilities and having had several severe illnesses during his life. He had no roof to his mouth, had a cleft palate and marked speech defect. To compensate for these drawbacks he turned his energies inward, until he became highly imaginative even to the point of having hallucinations. He imagined himself doing things which he wanted to, but could not. He also developed other traits. He became cunning and crafty, dishonest, and untruthful. Here we see the child dreaming of the things he wants to such an extent that he is beginning to lose touch with reality and is no longer able to tell the difference between the real world and his phantasies (hallucinations). This method of compensating for misfortune is very common and in fact is perpetuated in many of the wellknown fairy tales. Quite frequently the hero of the fairy story is the poor, often simple-minded, son of a woodman or the unhappy, disappointed younger sister (Cinderella).


The following case is self explanatory. It illustrates Incorrigihow, what seems to be incorrigibility may sometimes yield to simple common sense efforts if real attention is paid to the child for the purpose of finding out the meaning of his conduct. This is the case of a boy nearly fifteen years of age, but rating in the intelligence scale four years below that. It was thought, however, that

Early Ex

his emotional difficulties did much to cause his retardation. This boy had a flashily-dressed mother, who worked away from the home all day and took no interest in making a real home for her children, in consequence of which they had to be placed out. This boy was put in one home after another and he became difficult to control. He paid no attention to work or school. He was said to be untruthful and unreliable, dishonest, and an habitual runaway. He also assaulted a little girl. As to his emotional life, he was idealizing his mother, having been separated from her for some time, building phantasies of her. Once the reason for his running away was to seek relatives in the vain search for a home of his own. He had dreams of death. If he shut his eyes he hallucinated easily. When thirteen he joined a church, prayed night and morning and always after stealing-to ask for forgiveness.

Finally, having been placed in an institution, where his conduct remained the same, it was decided to use, as a motive for good behavior, his greatest desire, to live at home with his mother (which could then be arranged). A marked improvement began almost at once. He did better in all his studies, had no more bad dreams or hallucinations, was smiling, and said he felt much happier.

The following case shows well how an experience in periences early life may condition late conduct in a thoroughly incomprehensible way unless the early experience can be disclosed in explanation.

A boy thirteen years of age, measuring eighteen years in the intelligence scale, was said to be giving trouble by stealing right and left, irrespective of any object's value or use to himself. Many things he afterwards gave away. By analysis, an episode was unearthed which occurred when he was four years of age. At that time he knew a

little girl, and the two became mutually curious on sex matters. In order to get excuses to see her he would take anything at hand in the house to show her. In later years, when his adolescent sex feelings were developing, he found he could get a feeling of relief by simply stealing something. He had no interest in girls and in fact had a positive dislike for them. When he was gotten to see the connection between the episode when he was four years old and his present habit of stealing he entirely lost his desire to steal and did so no more. This boy had quite a talent for inventing things and later patented an invention for some automobile appliance from the royalties of which he supported his family. His interest in the opposite sex was awakened through a transference1 to a young woman worker.

The next case shows well how easy it may be to acquire Bad Habits a bad habit that would seriously handicap the whole of the later life, and, too, how easy it may be to prevent this untoward result by the use of common sense.

A little girl four years of age, rather sensitive and impressionable, and of the type who early began to show talent in the artistic line. For some time her mother had noticed that one of her boy playmates had the trick of obtaining what he wanted from his parents by screaming spells. As she had been expecting, her little daughter flew into the house one day screaming in much the same manner as the boy, and demanding some trivial thing. She was told to stop at once, that her mother knew exactly what she was up to. The child stopped instantly and looked at her mother in amazement. She was told that if she tried to do it again her mother would punish her. Two days later she repeated her trick and she received the promised punishment, which put an end to the child's experiment. By wrong treatment this might easily have developed into a bad habit formation.

'An affection based upon an earlier parental ideal which, in this instance, the young woman in some way aroused again to activity.

Child Delinquency often due to


Childhood has Rights

The closing admonition of this chapter, and perhaps the most important thing that can be said to parents, is, that whenever there is a neurotic or delinquent child in a family the most likely place to find the explanation is in the parents. Parents should take to themselves this lesson and when their child shows signs of nervousness not look exclusively for the explanation in the child and try to correct it by changing the diet, the school, etc., etc., but look first to themselves. Examine honestly their attitude and feeling for the child and see if therein may not lie the cause. Quite usually the parents have not the slighest idea of what is really the matter but the psychiatric social worker and the psychiatrist have learned where to look for the trouble and now it is time that parents should realize, at least, that the trouble may be with them.

And finally, that the child should not be considered as such solely as an adult in preparation, that his right to consideration are not based solely upon the fact that he is an adult in the making but that he has rights of his own as a child and the best way to insure that he will become a healthy adult is to respect those rights.


The purpose of this chapter has been to set forth certain fundamentals which must be taken into consideration if the problem of the child in its various ramifications is to be adequately dealt with, and like all such fundamentals the results will be measurable largely in terms of the degree in which they are made conscious and subjected to conscious critical intellectual control and direction. Briefly these fundamentals are as follows:

I. The child is not just a small adult, but in his processes of thinking he is distinctly different from the adult, so that he is as little easy to understand by the adult as is the adult by the child. This necessitates that the child should be interpreted to the adult. Figuratively speaking, the child's language has to be translated into

the language of the adult, before it can be understood. It is this basic fact that constitutes the most potent factor in the ignorance which has hitherto surrounded the subject of childhood. It is the factor to which the term ignorance is ordinarily applied when ignorance of children is referred to and is therefore basic in any intelligent program.

II. The child stands at the parting of the ways between the past and the future. It comes into the world with certain tendencies represented in its hereditary make-up that are unmodifiable. It presents other factors during its early years that are dependent largely upon environmental influences and which are capable of large modification. All children are not alike. Each differs from the other in the nature of these inherited tendencies and the quality of these acquired tendencies. It is therefore obvious that the same rule will not necessarily apply to any two children.

III. The function of education in the broad sense of the influence of the environment, including the home, the school and social institutions, is to deal in the first place with the inherited group of assets and liabilities with which the child comes into the world and to so influence it as to bring about by an unfoldment the maximum development of the assets and to minimize, as far as possible, the handicaps and the liabilities. This means more intelligent parenthood, more intelligent educational systems with greater stress upon the individual problem and as free as possible access to all the possibilities of the social environment as opportunities.

IV. The various forms of nervous and mental illness displayed by children are an expression of a lack of balance in this complicated process of adjustment referred to above. Here, as elsewhere, in the field of medicine, the best treatment is prevention, and prevention can only be exercised on the basis of a reasonable

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