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glass and pottery chips, scraps of textiles. In nature study material boys' tastes run to animals' teeth, claws, legs and other parts, not to mention live frogs, insects, lizards and the like. Girls' tastes run to leaves, mosses, seaweed, butterflies and other colorful things. Both boys and girls value small samples of food products, though it is scarcely likely that they remain for long on exhibition; but it is the girls who appreciate samples of soap, perfume, and other toilet articles. Both sexes enjoy finding or active hunting for treasures, but boys show more initiative in buying and in driving hard bargains with each other in a brisk trade.

Seldom is any but a crude attempt at classification evident. At eight or nine some arrangement by size or color may obtain; while after eleven some basis such as price, shape, or, in the case of girls, artistic effect, may be chosen; but before thirteen it is rare to find any kind of genuine organization of permanent worth. Obviously, here is the great opportunity to direct this instinct, substituting emulation for quality rather than for mere quantity at the nine-year level, and leading on to the idea of the "best" being the most complete and representative collection. We can suggest better values, either aesthetic or scientific, for the type of thing collected, and coöperate for arrangement of the material on a worthwhile basis.

Me and


The instinctive desire to acquire and own things Ownership: arises in close connection with the interest in food. The first object a little child claims as his own are those which help to satisfy hunger. Soon the sense of possession includes articles which minister to other bodily needs. Thus it is my bottle, my spoon, my little chair, my crib, my place by mother. Toys and clothing are recognized and treated as special belongings, too, and thus the child is well on the way to developing what proves to be one of the strongest motives in our life

The First
Basis of

endeavors. To gain or retain possession of anything— lands, education, friends, health, goods-we will dare and do almost anything. Wisely directed, then, this is a tremendous force towards achievement; undirected, it may go to waste; misdirected, it may work untold misery.

The sense of ownership is bound up with a child's sense of self and with the extent of his group consciousness, and is therefore both an index of and a factor in his moral growth as he changes from a self-centered little individualist to a more socialized citizen. Let us list the various reasons a child feels as valid to prove ownership.

One reason is the amount of effort expended in acValid quisition. A young child counts effort to attain as the Ownership equivalent of the right to possess. With the baby this is physical effort to reach and grasp something attractive -notice how strenuously he objects if the coveted object is removed. The older child hunts, or risks himself physically. The child of ten or eleven feels the truth of "first come, first served," "findings is keepings." J. Johnson in his studies among the boys on the McDonough Farm noted that they acknowledged as owner any child who would mark his find, much as we respect the staking claim of a miner, or the right of the first comer who has marked his seat in the car.

Other Bases of Valid Ownership

Another reason for the feeling of ownership is that of labor expended. Thus, in the orphans' home the door handles are Annie's because she cleaned them. At home they are Fred's chickens because he looks after them, though the parents pay for the food and shelter required. Constructive work gives a specially clear sense of ownership. Though it be father's tools and materials yet the bird-house Harold made is unquestionably his. The effort may be less direct, as in choice and purchase; if the money for the purchase has been

difficult to amass then the sense of possession is the more keen. Lastly, an object bestowed upon a child is regarded as his own, somewhat in proportion as the child likes the donor, and partly as he previously desired the object.

In all these cases children not only lay claim themselves to things but recognize the claims of others as just. If they know that another child has worked for, made, bought or been given something, they look upon it as his, and would sympathize with him in its loss, or in any accident to it.

A child does not distinguish individual ownership when goods are bestowed in bulk, or are held in common by a group, or are acquired in routine fashion. The groceries on the pantry shelf belong to whom? To the family? To mother who bought them? To father whose money paid for them? Or to any child who is hungry? But food once served on individual plates at a meal is unhesitatingly claimed as one's own. Not a few squabbles arise from the necessity of determining whether articles are held in common indiscriminatingly for any would-be owner, or belong to one member of the group. More arise from the need to prove priority rights in treasure trove, or in the claim renewed first after an interval. Marshall races after supper to the coveted corner of the couch with his book; it is his for the next half hour because he got there first. He is called away on an errand and Elsie slips into it meanwhile-thereby inevitably setting the stage for a quarrel.


Problems of


Until the adolescent's group sense is widened beyond Mine and the limits of the gang, or his class in school, or his school, he is unlikely to feel ownership for fixtures in the streets, for trees and bushes in the parks. But once the group spends labor, or constructive effort, or its own cash on public grounds the attitude is completely changed.

The two to three year old's experience that older

That Train

the Feeling

of Owner


Conditions children object violently, tends to check his first impulse to grab indiscriminately what he wants. The fact that the others explain their objections by such reasons as "It is mine, I found it first," "Mama gave it to me," help him differentiate between mine and thine. His own first all-sufficient reason for claim, "I want it," has to be replaced by reasons which others will respect. When called upon to give up something he is using, or to prove that it is his, a further appreciation of socially acceptable criteria for ownership is developed.


Responsibility in ownership comes partly through sympathy, but may be trained by utilizing the suggestions given above. Working with mother to clean and polish the bath-room fixtures, or the furniture, will beget a feeling which will oppose wanton treatment thereof. The job of sweeping the porch will help prevent the careless tracking in of dirt. The club's interest in decorating the room where they meet will lead to better understanding of property rights. Lastly, in the abstract sense, we not only work for the cause because it is ours, but feel it is ours because we have spent effort and labor upon it.

What children feel impelled to do may or may not be desirable from the social standpoint. Some tendencies may be perpetuated by seeing that they bring satisfaction, or by stimulating children to act in the required way. Undesirable tendencies may be eliminated by seeing that dissatisfaction results, or by preventing any opportunities for their exercise. Most tendencies need redirection, by substituting different modes of action, or changing the thoughts and emotions in connection with the tendency.

Three types of emotional response are shown in early infancy. Anger is aroused by thwarting. Wise guidance is necessary if self-control is to be gained over rage, temper, sullenness. Love impulses have two

aspects, each meriting study of its characteristic phases in each of three periods of childhood. Normal development in the third period is helped by careful training in the first two. The adolescents' love emotions may be intense and lead to erratic behavior; they need a sympathetic understanding. Most fears are induced, not original. They require intelligent coöperation for their cure. All these emotions need control and sublimation, rather than suppression and repression, if children are to develop into normal adults.

Collecting is a dominant interest for many years, with characteristic age changes. Unguided, the tendency may be useless and wasteful; guided, it has great educative value. The feeling of ownership is an index to a child's sense of self and of his social relationships. Conditions are pointed out which do, and do not promote the growth of this feeling. As a motive, it may be perverted to criminal uses; trained, it develops responsibility.

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