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present-day life, with the development of large numbers of clubs and societies and other less formal types of social relations, all having as their chief purpose the provision of relaxation and recreation and contact with people, although many of course have some definite economic aspect as well. To a large extent these groups seem to me to represent attempts at providing various needed contacts, groupings and relaxation which, in the earlier and somewhat simpler civilization, were met probably fairly by the large kinship group which seems to have characterized the family life of that day. Here, it seems to me, no direct education is possible, but an indirect approach by building up in the child satisfactory standards of behavior and acceptable ideals of companionship will suffice to insure the proper types of group life in the adult. These groups, however, possess one point of danger with respect to the exercise of parental functions, in that there are so many of these extra-home activities developed and developing that in the classes where the economic situation will permit there is at all times a grave danger that these activities will, and often do, seriously interfere with proper parental functioning. I should be the last to speak for a home life which involved none of these extra-home activities, because then we should face equally serious dangers of another sort, namely, isolation, failure to socialize the children, and the fatigue factor in the person whose life is cast in the same narrow channel day after day. All of these represent dangers as real as does the overemphasis on outside activities. Here, as in so many other situations affecting the behavior of individuals or of groups, the necessary thing is to strike a balance which permits the greatest success with the greatest health and happiness in the more important phases of life.

Finally, parenthood has the general task of child training, which, by and large, seems to mean the training of the child as a social unit who must live in social groups and react in those social groups with certain standards of behavior and of etiquette. This, I take it, both by the process of exclusion and by the general developed work in child training, is the meat of our problem today in training for parenthood.

The approach of parents to the problems of training their children on the whole seems to be a relatively simple one. The individual parent has certain standards of behavior, often determined by prejudice, which it is desired that the child shall achieve, and as a rule methods for accomplishing the desired result are apt to be rather simple and very direct. Such attempts all too frequently do not take into consideration the problem of the child's makeup or interests, nor the psychology of the child at the stage of development when the corrections in behavior are made, nor the psychology of the parent-child relationship. To a considerable extent methods of securing or enforcing behavior are based upon the acceptance or rejection of the methods that were used by the parents when our present parents were children. Methods that were terrifically disconcerting to the parent when, as a child, he came in conflict with his elders are as a rule not used. Methods that seemed effective even though painful, but which pro

duced a reaction quite personal to the individual, are apt to be used. Many parents attempt to establish in their own homes, under greatly changed conditions, the same sort of attitudes and discipline established by their parents in earlier times. For the most part it seems to me that these are emotionally determined methods, that is to say, they are based upon likes and dislikes and upon emotional drives set up in the earlier family circle which have perhaps not been gratified in wider contacts and now are to be gratified in the home circle. Particularly important here, apparently, is the degree of feeling of inferiority to which the parent is reacting, and the compensations which have been set up and their relationship to the attitudes of the individual in the family circle. Even in intelligent and normal families, where a great deal of thought has been given to determining what it is they want the children to represent and the methods of securing this, one may find enormous difficulties between parent and child, representing really a conflict in personalities centering around the carry-over to the family circle of earlier developed feelings of inferiority in the parent, and attempts in the home to compensate for them.

Family pride and family shame: these two emotions are powerful influences in determining what it is the parent wants the child to be. There is always, of course, the desire for perfection in the children; perhaps an unconscious compensation for the individual's own realization of imperfection; perhaps also there is in this an element of the feeling of perfection in creation. Whatever the precise mechanisms may be, there is always the desire for that perfection in the child which reflects credit upon the parent. Although one might suppose that such homely emotional trends as these have been to a considerable degree met by all the educational work directed toward fitting parents to train children, there seem to me to be two reasons why it has not occurred. First of all, that with all the effort there has been, only a small proportion of the parent group has been reached; and frequently, as parents well say, they have been reached too late to apply practically the things that they learn in such courses on parent training; secondly, because so much of our educational work has proceeded as a presentation of facts to the intellect, and has failed to reach into the personal blockings and personal emotional attitudes of the parents, with the result that the finest system of child training in the world might be laid down, but fail to reach the individual because it did not get at the emotional reactions which really determine their particular attitudes toward child training. For the most part work with parents in child training seems to have gone along the lines of behavior, that is to say, dealing with particular pieces of behavior which are objectionable. Much of this has proceeded as though we had unchanging machines in parent and child, instead of constantly changing dynamic organisms. Much work has been done in pointing out to parents the influence of their own behavior on the behavior of children, and evolving rational methods for dealing with behavior situations such as disobedience, which, incidentally, is the largest problem that parents see with their children. Not much has been done in getting at

the underlying emotional attitudes and personality defects of parent and child, which are, as clinical experience amply proves, the things that really must be reached. It is not enough just to deal with the behavior situation; it is not enough just to show parents how their own behavior influences the behavior of the children. It is necessary to have exploratory work with the parent to find out why the parent reacts as he does, and, having found this out in terms of conflicts and emotional trends, the carry-over and projection of infantile drives for adequacy, etc., to help the parent to a rational reconstructon of attitudes. This, in turn, will help in the reconstruction of the relations between parent and child, and so assist in a reconstruction of attitudes within the child and thus secure a more satisfactory level of behavior from the child. All this is by way of saying that the primary problem in education for parenthood is the problem of personal adjustment within the individual and personal stabilization of that individual to meet the series of adjustments involved in becoming a parent as a free-moving, self-supporting social unit with duties and responsibilities and pleasures to be had from this complex task. Our problem, then, is to find ways and means of educating in terms of emotional attitudes, rather than just to make an intellectual presentation. Not only must we meet these issues of personal adjustment and personal stabilization, but we must impart some sound information respecting the psychology of childhood to provide opportunity for full development of the child by making expectations rational and so preventing the development by the parent of the overprotective or the underprotective attitude, expecting too much or too little, from repressing the child, or submitting completely to all the notions or whims the child may get, etc. In other words, it is imperative to secure a properly balanced attitude toward the child as an individual unit who will eventually have his own life to lead, only his own feet to stand on, and who himself will become in turn a parent, faced with all the problems and adjustments which a parent must make.

How then could this be done? I fear it is too early in the evolution of methods for securing a better mental hygiene for people in groups, and for meeting by group methods the personality issues that people present in their relations with their children, to give any very final answer. The following represent my own suggestions for meeting the situation with which we are confronted. First of all, it becomes necessary, it seems to me, to develop for high school and college students a method whereby they may get a sound acquaintance with the principles of mental hygiene, just as today so much time and effort is spent in acquainting them with the sound principles of physical hygiene. In order to do this we have to drop some of the veil of mysticism and penetrate some of the fog of half-baked ideas that surround the problem of the study of psychology, both normal and abnormal. We have to recognize that there are some principles of mental hygiene. We shall probably disagree a great deal as to what they are. Some of us will think that psychology holds the answer to all these causes, and some will think psychiatry. Actually, it seems to me that both of

these technical divisions contribute, and that contributions are to be had also from many sources, to the evolution of a sound mental hygiene which may be reduced to principles that can be worked out with the students. Courses of this sort have already been given, but what their relationship is to the production of more adequate parents is unknown. This much is clear: that from 10 per cent to 25 per cent of the people who go through such courses present personal problems, seriously in need of adjustment, which come to light during such work. I do not hold that a careful presentation of the principles of mental hygiene involving, as I think it should, an analysis of the dynamic personal interrelationships of family life will necessarily and of itself produce adequate parents. On the contrary, I think this is merely the basic foundation. I am dubious of any attempt to educate people concerning child care unless they have a laboratory in which to work, and probably the most satisfactory laboratory is one's own home. Lacking this the training becomes academic and does not have the personal application. It is not read into the problems which one meets day by day, because the problems with which it deals are not problems that daily confront the individual. A proper course in the principles of mental hygiene should deal definitely with the problems in adjustment that day by day confront us all. I believe that in this pre-parental period the physiological functions of parenthood (in other words, sex education) should in some way be worked in along with the courses in mental hygiene and physical hygiene. With this basic groundwork it becomes not only possible but extremely desirable to work with parents of young children on the problems in child training and child behavior with which they are, or will be, confronted. As I said before, this work should not be based solely on behavior, but rather upon the factors which underlie and produce desirable and undesirable behavior.

In the home, in our experience, parents are most concerned about the following problems: First of all come obedience and methods for procuring it. Almost half of the children presented to the child guidance clinic present problems in obedience to their parents. Next to obedience comes lying; then stealing, running away from home, laziness and failure to take responsibility, difficulties in playing with other children, sex misconduct, temper tantrums, and a generally overactive, restless sort of behavior. It seems to me that these topics, and the analysis, with groups of parents, of the factors involved in their causation, represent the primary approach to the whole field, because they involve all the topics that people commonly stress so much (including "reward and punishment"), and at the same time carry us into the problems of underlying causation on a very broad foundation which permits us to give the parent insight into methods of studying the meaning of the behavior of children instead of merely reacting directly to that behavior.

I have often wondered if we know what we are trying to train children to be, and if we have any idea why we are trying to train them to be those things. For your consideration I offer the following composite list of things which people like

and dislike in other people-by no means a complete list, but one which is marvelously helpful in thinking about these issues. People like the following things, and the order given is the rank order of the likes of forty-four people who were involved in making out this list: cheerfulness, honesty, kindness, intelligence, sincerity, tolerance, sympathy, thoughtfulness, understanding and insight, and reliability. These particular people do not like: selfishness, egotism, stubbornness, jealousy, timidity, self-consciousness, intolerance, snobbishness, irritability, and boastfulness. They state that the following traits may be either desirable or undesirable, depending apparently upon the degree to which they are present: pride, aggressiveness, suggestibility, sensitiveness, self-confidence, frankness, emotional liability, ambition, boldness, and inhibition. This is not the total list, but it presents some extraordinary points well worth analysis, but that analysis must be reserved to a later time. These lists of problems and of things that people like and dislike are given to you merely as suggestions for thinking about ways and means of developing adequately in people attitudes toward what they are trying to do in child training.

Let me then summarize my suggestions as follows: first, definite courses on the sound principles of mental hygiene for high school and college students, which are designed to help them to make the adjustments that they must make when they reach the adult level and may become parents; second, the evolution of additional efforts with parents, which shall take into consideration their own emotional defects, their complexes and conflicts and pathological attitudes, and shall help them to see the meaning of behavior exhibited, but in terms of underlying factors in their personality and in the personality of their children which have produced both satisfactory and unsatisfactory behavior. This will permit them to deal day by day with themselves and their children in such a way that the major behavior difficulties shall be averted and the child given the greatest chance to become a free and successful and happy member of the social order.


Walter W. Whitson, Superintendent, Provident Association, Kansas City

Before we can talk about measures we must attempt to arrive at a common understanding of personality. To quote Dr. John B. Watson:" If a hundred individuals were asked to give a definition of personality, each of the one hundred would return an answer and his answer would differ in many particulars from every other answer." In connection with this paper we do not mean by personality those personal characteristics which make an individual pleasing to meet, or what is usually meant in a letter of reference. Personality is a complete crosssection of an individual, the sum total of what he is at a given time; or again, in

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