At the same time, that there should be at least half a dozen systems in the field, no one of them entirely satisfactory even to the persons who adopt it, shows that we, who practise education, should at any rate attempt to know what are the requirements of a sound system of psychology. He may be influenced by this and that; but he, himself, the indefinable person, of whom we are sensible while he is yet in arms, and of whom we never finally lose sight, however he be marred by vice and misery, must play for himself the game of life, and shape for himself those influences of environment, education, and what not, that do their part to make him what he is. And the path indicated by the law is continuous and progressive, with no transition stage from the cradle to the grave, except that maturity takes up the regular self direction to which immaturity has been trained. These were the open rebels who would, sooner or late; come to a bad end; so we were told and so we secretly believed. It indicates the power to act, the desire to act, and the insight and self-restraint which forbid action. On 28th May 1828, the attention of a cobbler in Nuremberg was excited by a strange figure leaning, as if unable to support itself, against a wall and uttering a moaning sound. It is to them we owe our deliverance from the autocrat, whether on the throne or in the family.
He should be able to make with his hands and should take delight in making. They are curiously vitalised; not bored, not all alive in the playing-field and dull and inert in the schoolroom——even when it is that place, proverbial for dulness, a home school-room taught by a governess. After this process, he was so changed that his family couldn't help noticing it. To those of us who believe we are all at school and have our lessons set as we are fit to take them in, this general sense of responsibility for others is an encouraging sign that we are being taught from above, and are, on the whole, getting on. The less parents and teachers interpret for the child and lecture from their own personal supply of information and opinions, the better for the child. We all know how important this, of changing children's thoughts, diverting, is in the formation of habit.
The Person, an Effect and not a Cause. Therefore the mother who is not up to children is at their mercy, and need expect no quarter. This is the action of autocracy, which is self-sustained as it is self-derived, and is impatient and resentful, on the watch for transgressions, and swift to take offence. For children are always playing a game——half of chance, half of skill; they are trying how far they can go, how much of the management of their own lives they can get for the taking, and how much they must leave in the hands of the stronger powers. The art of standing aside to let a child develop the relations proper to him is the fine art of education, when the educator perceives the two things he must do and how to do these two things.
The Elder Generation of Parents, Autocratic. He must stand and walk and run and jump with ease and grace. Children brought up on this theory of education, wherever we come across them, have certain qualities in common. The teacher sets the atmosphere by providing excellent resources and materials. Chapter 4 - Some of the Rights of Children as Persons Children Should Be Free in Their Play We've just finished discussing how right and wise it is to include 'wise passiveness' or 'masterly inactivity' in our plan of bringing up our children. Faith goes where all is fortuitous; when other people and ourselves are, so to speak, the circumstances of the moment. But the fussy parent, the anxious parent, the parent who explains overmuch, who commands overmuch, who excuses overmuch, who restrains overmuch, who interferes overmuch, even the parent who is with the children overmuch, does away with dignity and simplicity of that relationship which, like all the best and most delicate things in life, suffer by being asserted or defended.
Education should be in the flow, as it were, and not shut up in a watertight compartment. We prod them constantly and don't let them stand or fall as a result of their own efforts. . Benjamin Kidd, in his Social Evolution, has done much for the recognition of these two fundamental principles. The first makes the holiday doubly a delight; the second produces a restless desire to gain some other easy victory. His sense of smell was very keen, painfully so, in fact, for he was made quite ill by the smell of the dye in his clothes, the smell of paper, etc. It is a force in comparison with which every sovereign's command appears powerless.
It effaces that personality which the age tends to exalt and magnify, and to regard with tender interest, under even sordid conditions. It's so easy to make strong partisan followers of our children, at least children who appear to be loyal. What she cannot away with is our misdirected efforts, which hinder and impede her beneficent work. We have the qualities, and all that is wanted is adjustment; to this we must give our time and attention. But yesterday I once again made the conscious decision to engage in masterly inactivity, and the result was that I had to pretend I was not laughing.
We hear people who use that fine old nursery plan expressed 'change your thoughts' with method and success the case of cross, or even delirious, or morbid patients. He is free to do as he ought, but knows quite well in his secret heart that he is not free to do that which he ought not. This element of strength is the backbone on which our position as parents rests. He took it back to the library and came back with Southey's Curse of Keharna. As a matter of fact, few of us know definitely what we propose to ourselves in the education of our children. We, like Herbart, discard the 'Faculties.
This is, to some extent, parenting by doing nothing. The children seem to take advantage of this stress to act up. It has, too, many commandments. This is an elemental relationship for the lack of which nothing compensates. No wonder the poor little girl is worn out. People, and even children, were highly responsible in the fifties and sixties, but then it was for their own character, conduct, and demeanour. This loose morality with regard to our physical debts, without touching actual vice, which is probably on the decline, is the reason why the world does not get all that it should out of such splendid material.
Is the environment too perfectly tempered? I am not proposing a one-sided arrangement, all authority on the one part and all the docility on the other; for never was there a child who did not wield authority, if only over dolls or tin soldiers. The tendency to assume self-derived power is common to us all, even the meekest of us, and calls for special watchfulness; the more so, because it shows itself fully as often in remitting duties and in granting indulgences as in inflicting punishments. We know the child who is fully willing to do the right thing so far as mind is concerned, but with whom bodily vis inertiae is strong enough to resist a very torrent of good intentions and good resolutions; and if we wish children to be able, when they grow up, to keep under their bodies and bring them into subjection we must do this for them in their earlier years. Men have become weary of themselves. Why a football team should obey its captain, an army its commanding officer; why a street crowd should stand in awe of two or three policemen; why property should be respected, when it is the many who want and the few who have; why, in a word, there should be rule and not anarchy in the world——these are the sorts of questions Mr.