Although some people object to vaccination, the concensus of medical opinion is that it is a precautionary measure against smallpox. It is better to have it done before baby begins to cut his teeth. When he is from two to three months old is the best time, unless he happens to be in ill health, recovering from an illness, or suffering from some kind of eruption, such as eczema.
People differ as to whether the vaccination should be done on the arm or the leg, but for a girl it should certainly be dono on the latter. If baby is vaccinated on the leg it is much easier to care for and less painful, for the arm has to be handled a good deal when the clothes are being put on.
As a rule, the vaccination will show signs of taking in two or three days. If the limb is much inflamed, a little cold cream, olive oil, or vaseline can be put on the place and renewed frequently during the day. The best kind of shield resembles a cornplaster. It is made of felt, with a large hole in the centre to prevent the vesicles from being rubbed.
Walking. A child should not be allowed to walk too early. When he does begin, only let him do so for a little each day. He is usually able to stand alone at from ten to fifteen months, but should not be hurried. When his muscles are strong enough he will teach himself. Crawling is Natures own contrivanco to develop all a babys muscles and enlarge the chest. If babys legs have bocome bowed through being allowed to walk too soon, keep the little one off his feet as much as possible. Bathe the legs in tepid water, to which a little salt has been added, night and morning, rubbing them gently afterwards. If the legs are badly bowed, supports may do good, and it is wiso to consult a doctor.
Water. Accustom baby to small drinks of water right from the start. During the first year the water should be given tepid or not quite cold.
A child, well or ill, and whatever the illneus, should be allowed to have as much water as he desires. The only exception to this rule is that it is undesirable to drink a large amount of cold water rapidly, especially if the body is overheated.
Weaning. This should take place normally between the ninth and the twelfth month. Up to this time the younger the child the graver the possibility of trouble.
Make the process as gradual and easy for baby as possible. A short time before, begin to practise him with a bottle, giving boiled water. Give one bottle feed only first, then two, and so on, gauging progress by the response of the child. If weaning is delayed to the tenth or eleventh month, a bottle need not be required; baby can learn straightway to feed from a spoon and then from a cup. Daily crusts or toasts should be given, about ten minutes before the milk, so that hunger induces steady chewing and masticating.
Weight. The average woightrof a baby at birth is about seven pounds for a Loy, or rather less for a girl. At five montlis these figures should be doubled, and the weight at the end of a year should be three times the original weight. For the first three days there is often loss of weight, which is usually regained by the second week. If the loss has not been recovered by the third week the diet will probably require alteration.
CHILDREN IN HEALTH AND ILLNESS
From the Age of Three to Later
THE following sections deal with growth and development between the ages of 3 and 18 years, giving notes on physical, intellectual, and emotional characteristics and changes at various ages, on food, clothing, education, illnesses, interests, and beneficial and harmful influences. On account of the great range and complexity of the subject, it is divided into the following groups according to age: (I) Early childhood (3 to 7 years). (ii) Later childhood (7 to 12 years). (hi) Early youth (12 to 16 years). (iv) Later youth (16 to 18 years).
It is essential, however, to state that there are no clearly marked divisions in a childs life, and that the age limits of the divisions must be regarded as approximate only. The divisions are based on a number of considerations, which must be briefly explained.
At 3 years of age a child may be said to have passed from bab3hood; he can walk and talk with case, and in England will be accepted in an elementary school if there is room, though the age of compulsory etry is not until 5. Second Period of Rapid Growth ny about 7 the child completes a – second period of very rapid growth – the first is from birth to about 12 months – which usually begins about 5, and during which there is a great increase in height, and in the size of hands an 1 feet; the first or milk teeth are replaced by the permanent teeth, and the chubby baby face merges into a variation of the family countenance. Seven to eight is the recognized &ze of transfer in the elemen- tary school from the infants to the junior, or primary, department.
Between 7 and 11 or 12 the child grows slowly but steadily and strongly, acquiring remarkable energy and endurance. This period has been called the opportunity for retrieving past errors of development. Until recently little was accurately known about the physical and mental development of children during this period, but the importance of studying it carefully is now fully recognized, and we give it here careful attention.
In the reorganized elomentary schools all children are now transferred between 11 and 12 from the junior school to some form of post-primary education – secondary school, central or senior elementary school. A few promising children are transferred before the 11th birthday, and a few of tha more backward after the 12th. The age of transfer to junior technical and similar schools is usually later (12-13), but the numbers here are small. Third Period of Rapid Growth DETWEEN 11 or 12 and 14 or 15 comes the third and last period of very rapid growth, accompanied by this profound physical, mental and emotional changes occasioned by the onset of puberty. The beginning, the duration and the intensity of this period of growtk and these changes vary remarkably in, individual cases. They are followed by a third period of steady growth, which starts about 15 or 16 and continues until physical maturity is reached, about 21 in the girl and 25 in the boy.
Our divisions, 12-16 and 16-1S, are thus somewhat arbitrary; the first made because by 16 the disturbances of puberty are usually over, and also because 16 marks the ond of secondary school life for all but a very small proportion of boys and girls. The section on 16-18 is included on account of those who do remain at school, and who, though few in numbers, by reason of their age and experience, exert a profound influence upon their younger schoolfellows. They also present special problems at home. Development is Continuous XVTBUSE we talk of slow growth and quick growth, periods of quiet or disturbed development in a childs life, it must always be remembered that growth and development are continuous and, on the whole, remarkably steady.
One stage of growth merges into another imperceptibly, and it is only when wo pause to consider the differences between a child of 5 and one of 9, or a child of 11 and one of 14, that we realize how profound has been the change.
Just as growth and development are continuous, so they are inevitable. These sections will give parents some idea ot what to expect at the various ages, and some advice as to how to deal rightly with situations they cannot prevent or alter, except for the worse. Most of the troubles of childl ooi are caused by misunderstanding of perfectly natural symptoms of growth, of interpretation as naughtiness or perversity of what are really perfectly normal features of child life.
EARLY CHILDHOOD (3-7 years) AGE, HEIGHT AND WEIGHT TABLES These must be taken as rough guides ialy; individual children will vary greatly. At 3 years : From 2ft. LOin. To 3ft. 3in. In height. From 2st. To 2st. 101b. In weight. At 4 years : From 3ft. To 3ft. 6in. In height. From 2st. 41b. To 3st. In weight. At 5 years : From 3ft. 2in. To 3ft. 8in. In height. From 2st. 71b. To 3st. 21b. In weight. At 6 years: From 3ft. 4in. To 3ft. LOin. In height. From 2st. 101b. To 3st. 71b. In weight. At 7 years : From 3ft. 6in. To 4ft. In height. From 3st. 21b. To 3st. 121b. In weight. Girls throughout this period weigh slightly less (about 2 lb.) than boys, and are not quite so high.
Characteristics of this Period
THE first three years of life are years in which the child is entirely or very largely dependent upon his mother. Between three and four (earlier, of course, in some cases) he begins to realize himself as a separate person, distinct from everyone else – and much more important than anyone else. He begins to say I instead of referring to himself as Baby or Jack or Mary. This is probably the most important mental development in childhood.
This realization makes self the centre of interest, modifies conduct, develops will-power, makes him think not only of what is but also of what ought to be, and so marks the beginning of moral life. The child, in short, sets out consciously on the lifelong attempt to adjust himself to the world. Upon his success in these early years depends largely his future happiness; this is why the influence of parents and teachers is so tremendously important.
Imagination and Fear
TWO developments arising out of this realization of self have very special importance. These are the growth of imagination and of fear. So large a part does imagination play between about 449 3 and 6 that this has been often called The Age of Make-believe or The Age of Phantasy. Later sections deal on both imagination and fear.
The child normally grows steadily during the fourth and fifth years of life, and then comes a springing-up period between 5 and 7, when there is often much increase in height, in length of limbs, hands and feet. Children become for a time lanky and leggy, lose their chubbiness and often become quite alarmingly thin, and are often very susceptible to coughs, colds, chills and infections. During this period the milk teeth begin to be replaced by the permanent ones; the face sharpens and hardens into something approaching the family countenance, and the rare charm of the infant bloom and chubbiness passes away, though many children remain in face singularly beautiful.
Asking too Much of a Child The brain is practically full-grown by 7 or 8, but this is physical growth and does not imply that the child can now think like an adult. He cannot. Nor can he yet control the movements of his limbs with any skill or precision; he deals as yet only in large, sweeping, vague movements, and delicate, precise operations such as parents unthinkingly demand sometimes, e.g. fine sewing, dusting, or handling small breakables, rapidly picking up small objects, are to him a physical impossibility. He needs constant practice in development of his senses and in controlling his muscles, etc.; hence his desire to touch and handle everything he sees. You may look, but you mustnt touch defeats nature.
At the Age of 6
ABOUT the age of 6 there comes a very decided change over the personality as there comes in growth. The child becomes distinctively a boy or a girl; he becomes more self-assertive in manner, it may be rougher and ruder, less gentle of speech, 16 apt to forget his earlier courtesy. There is increased activity, energy and restlessness; he becomes more independent, and wants a wider range of interests. This change we shall see developed in later childhood.
Habits. The chief bad habit which may arise during these years, and which both causes great anxiety to parents and is most difficult to handle wisely, is lying. Many investigations have been made into the causes and nature of childrens lies, and psychologists are agreed that lies in young children are not to be judged by adult standards. Some of the main causes are as follows: (1) The child does not understand what is said to him. It is extremely easy for one adult to misunderstand another; it is far more easy for a young child to misunderstand or to fail completely to understand a question or, more puzzling still, a series of questions. (2) Forgetfulness. The child is pre-occupied by the interest of the moment, and the memory of even quite recent events slides easily from the mind. Also, the relative importance of events and actions is quite different for a child, so that he will naturally tend to forget what would persist in an adult mind. (3) Fear. This is probably the cause to be most often assigned. The child has been told something is wrong or prohibited, and sees an easy way to escape unpleasant consequences. (4) Sensitiveness. Closely allied with some types of fear is sensitiveness. The child loves secret, and will decide in his own mind that some things are not to be spoken about. Fear of having his secret wrested from him will prompt the lie. (5) Imagination. This world is to them so real that happen- ings in it are related in all seriousness as sober facts, to the great dismay sometimes of unimaginative adults. (6) Boasting. Towards the ago of 6 or 7 the child grows more and more self-assertive and anxious to draw attention to his exploits. This can and often does result in statements which bear little or no resemblance to the truth. (7) Desire. To gain his immediate ends, that is, to gratify his desires, a child will resort to artifice and lying, as, for example. Throwing crusts under the table in order to get more attractive food; or pretending to be sorry for some naughtiness hi order to get punishment remitted or avoided.
In all cases it is essential to find out the cause of the lying. Without elimination of that, punishment, scolding and threats are useless, and often harmful, as they lead to more deliberate deceit. It has been shown that children in homes where parents are scrupulously truthful rarely lie; and a very useful moral may be drawn from the story of the small boy of seven who, just after his parents had told him they were not going out, saw them walking down the street away from the house. There go two of the biggest story-tellers I know, he said. Why do they try to make me tell the truth?
Other bad habits which tond to develop, usually from the ago of 6 or so, may be derived from the increasing self-assertivo-ness of the child and the rise of the barbarian instincts which will play so large a part in his life during the next few years. These are bullying and teasing of younger or weaker children, and cruelty to animals.
These also are difficult to deal with; in-fliction of the same pain upon the offender is a favourite but not a happy remedy, as it is more likely to arouse a determination to take it out of someone else than to awake any realization of the actual cruelty. Children are, however, by this age amenable to reasoning and, perhaps more important, very easily influenced by suggestion, especially that form of uncon-scious suggestion conveyed by the lives and actions of older people.
Clothes. The essentials in childrens clothing are that it shall be warm, that it shall be absorbent, free from all fussiness and constriction of the limbs, that-it shall be as light in bulk as possible, and easily put on and removed. Underclothing should be of soft wool.
During these years, and particularly from 5 to 7, duo allowance should be made for growth. A wide hem on frocks or boys trousers allows for letting down. There is no harm in clothes boing loose, but great harm in their being tight.
Very special attention should be paid to foot-gear. Tight or ill-fitting boots and shoes warp and bend the toes, create corns and bunions, and prevent free development of the muscles of the foot, they also check the natural impulse of the child to race about, and so deprive him of needful exercise.
A good plan when the child is growing rapidly is to buy shoes a size too large, to put in a sock, and stuff the toe with sheeps wool, which does not grow hard and lumpy, and can be washed and used again. Sooks, too, are of great importance; they should fit firmly but not tightly, and be of wool. Socks too big in the foot ruck up underneath the arch of the foot, and chafe the skin.
Drawing. Drawing in young children is a very important form of self-expression, and wise parents will encourage it by providing abundance of materials, but not by abundance of praise. It is not art, it is play. Even in infancy a child will love to scribble aimlessly with a pencil, and as soon as he can talk freely will begin to call his scribbling3 a man or a house, though adults can see no resemblance whatever to the objects named.
With children up to six or seven or later, drawing is an expression of ideas, not a representation of objects. The child creates, by movements that are themselves satisfying in their activity and their rhythm, a symbol of what he is thinking. He draws from the picture in his mind, not to copy anything or because it is beautiful, or even to develop any skill. That is why nine out of ten of these childish drawings are of people, and almost all are of people doing things (even a house will always have smoke puffing out of the chimneys, while an engine without volumes of smoke is incredible).
The child is perfectly satisfied with the result, whatever it may look like to the adult; and this is quite right at this age. Not until about ten years of age do children become critical of the artistic merits of their drawings. Often the child will speak his thoughts as he draws them.
Circle: Thats his head. Stroke: Thats his arm. Oval: And thats his body, and so on. Ho draws very rapidly, and will draw the same thing over and over again; his range of ideas is very limited.
A blackboard and chalks; large sheets of rough paper, and thick pencils are the best materials. Small drawings and drawing materials require too much precision for the childish muscles; and the age of paint is not yet, though some children take to it early.
In connection with drawing may be mentioned modelling with plastic materials such aa clay or plasticine. This is an allied form of self-expression; its in-stinctiveness may be judged from the universal habit of making mud pies and sand castles.
Fear in children
Theres nothing to be afraid of; come along, you silly child! How often does one hear that remark; it is one of the commonest made to children, and, if people only realized it, one of the cruellest. For there is something to be afraid of; but only the child knows what it is. And often he does not know; he only feels.
Why do children fear? They fear by instinct, and they fear from experience. Their fears and nervousness are greatest during these yeare of early childhood because they are not yet old enough to set reason against instinct, because their experience is so limited that they cannot distinguish between true and false reasons for fear, because they are every day coming up against something new and strange.
We are told that instinctive fear in an infant may be caused by a sudden removal of support or by loud sounds. These fears persist through childhood, and are added to by fears caused by environment – a dark corner, a gargoyle on a church, any object to which from some obscure reason an aversion has been formed – by fears caused by imitation – e.g. seeing others run away from a cow, a horse, a dog – by fears based on actual experiences – being bitten by a dog, scalded by a kettle – by fears created in their minds by the conversation of grown-ups – fear of death, of not understood actions or events – by fears created by stories related to children – Little Red Riding Hood, for example, which may cause many a child to dread entering a wood, or live in terror of being eaten by a wolf – by fears caused by thoughtless jests – Shall I take her away with me ? No ? All right, next time then, or by the threats of older children – Ill chop your head off.
Often the starting-point of any fear is quite forgotten, and is most difficult to trace. Fear arising out of punishment or 6tern discipline is the easiest to distinguish, but this may be called a reasoning fear, while the others appear to be quite unreasoning, as indeed they are.
Fear has harmful physical effects upon the heart, the blood and the nerves, and causes in children great mental anxiety, discouragement, nervousness, resentment and depression. Prevention is always better than cure, and preventive measures will aim at keeping from the child any likely causes of fear, that is, of making its life as calm, normal and orderly as possible.
Cure of an established fear starts with the attempt to discover the cause, and then proceeds to re-educate the child not to derive foar from that cause, but eure of an established and persistent unreasoning fear is work for a specialist.
Food and Feeding. Care of diet is quite as important during these years as previously. The same general principles hold , though the variety of foods grows. It ia important to have variety; the infant dislikes changes in diet, but later sameness of meals destroys interest and tends to spoil the digestion.
Young children wake early, often two or more hours before breakfast time. They can be given a crust or some fresh fruit when they wake. The practice of giving a glass of milk at eleven a.m. Or thereabouts has spread rapidly during the past few years, especially in schools, and has been everywhere attended with beneficial results. A very light supper may be given – not more than a drink of milk or water and a biscuit or crust – as soon as the childs bedtime is put back to as much as two hours after tea-time.
Between three years and five, children often grow exceedingly faddy over food, and it is difficult to distinguish in many cases between a real repugnance and mere whim. Generally speaking, a child well-trained in infancy will not make a fuss unless the food actually disagrees with him.
Eggs are harmful to some children, even in custards, fat meat is loathsome to other children, green vegetables are an acquired taste, and so too for most children are tomatoes and bananas. If fat is disliked in one form, it can be supplied in another, e.g. butter, margarine, dripping, bacon fat, olive oil. The oil in which sardines are canned constitutes one of the chief usefulnesses of this food.
Milk remains a main item in the diet; 1 ½ to 2 pints per day is a reasonable allowance Tea and coffee drinking should ba postponed as long as possible. Starchy foods – potatoes, bread, cake, pastry – can easily be given in excess. Cold and twice-cooked meat should be reserved as far as possible for adults, though if the cold meat has not been cut while hot, its value ia much greater.
Proper mastication is largely a matter of careful training from the start, but even in well-trained children a distressing tendency to bolt food shows itself often at about five, when rapid growth is about to recommence. Encouraging children to talk freely at meals is recommended as a help against this habit, but it is doubtful if thore is any certain preventive.
Games. This is the ago of individual games; children play together from about 6 3rears, but there is not much real co-operation until about 7. They play in groups, but not as groups.
Games may be roughly divided into games of movement and games of expression, though the distinction is not really a true one, since all play as distinct from organized games is a form of self-expression. Under games of movement we may include running, jumping, swinging, seesawing, balancing, riding fairy cycle, tricycle or engine, or pushing pram, playing with balls, hoops and sticks.
Under games in which self-expression is more obvious may be included drawing , sewing, dolls and all the care of dolls, modelling with plastic materials, building and constructing with bricks, the interest in which ia maintained until a late age if the bricks, or blocks, be sufficiently varied in design and purpose.
Imitative games are a very popular form of self-expressive games. Everything that adults do is acted by their children – mothers activities, the teacher and her class, the minister, policeman, postman, engine driver, shopkeeper. These games are a real indication of the childs interests.
An open space, a sandpit, and something on wheels will provide almost all that children at this age require; they will invent or make the rest.
Habit Training. During these early years children cannot help forming habits. The childs nervous system demands them; and physically this is being affected by everything which happens every moment of the day. Both his nervous and his muscular systems are more easily adaptable than ever they will be afterwards; they have not yet become set, as we say. And there are two great forces now in the child, compelling the formation of habits – the desire for mastery and the desire to imitate.
During the first three years of life, habit formation is largely directed from outside, that is, the child has his habits formed for him by being accustomed by others to do certain things in certain ways at certain times. But with the development of self-consciousness the absolute power of the adult to form the childs habits weakens; the child himself has more to say about it – not perhaps so much in words, but through every expression of his desires and distastes, his likes and dislikes.
It follows that the method of habit training by parents will alter as children grow older. You cannot, for example, pick up a six-year-old in your arms and give him a meal precisely at one oclock each day, and thus accustom him to a one oclock dinner. In place of this arbitrary method (the only one in infancy) there must be substituted gradually a method which will involve comprehension of the meaning of punctuality, some idea of time and of periods of time necessary for putting away toys, washing face and hands, and so on, and probably by this age, some reason for one oclock dinner, as opposed to 11 oclock or 3 oclock.
The actual method employed will vary in every home and with every child; but generally parents methods tend to lag behind the childs development in training for health habits (eating, cleanliness, toilet, etc), and to be in advance of it in training for habits of morality (obedience, truthfulness, honesty, etc).
These years are essentially the period in which to establish good physical habits. (A habit is only established when it has become automatic; so long as there is difficulty in remembering or performing it, it cannot be said to be established.) Eating at regular intervals; eating the right amounts of the right foods: handling table utensils well and exhibiting good table manners : going to bed and to sleep, and getting up at regular hours; regular habits of cleanliness in respect of body, clothes, and, most important, teeth: tidiness: good habits of sitting, standing, walking: good speaking habits: perfectly regular, clean and healthy lavatory habits: and a habit of resting each day, lying down.
A child who has these habits established during the first seven or eight years of life will never lose them entirely. And not only will habits thus formed make a child acceptable in modern society, but their formation is physically beneficial to the child. Habitual actions are carried out with accuracy and speed, yet they entail little fatigue and practically no conscious attention. If we remember the strain that is continually put upon young children because they are for ever encountering something new which demands their attention, we can see the relief to mind (and muscles) when large numbers of duties and actions are performed habitually.
As regards habits of morality (among which we may include manners when that word means courtesy), opinions differ very widely as to what understanding a young child possesses of the meaning of virtues – truthfulness, honesty – and their opposites.
But it is quite safe to apply to the training of a child in these respects the lame basic principles which hold good in all habit training. These are constant repetition, plenty of time, no exceptions, and a good example.
Habits are established by practice, not by precept, and by imitation. As a child will imitate his mother sweeping a room, so he will imitate her being in a temper, and giving an evasive reply to a question.
In addition to training a child in good habits, it is often necessary to train him to leave off habits unconsciously acquired which are annoying or dangerous, or disagreeable mannerisms (e.g. coughing, making objectionable sounds or gestures). Probably the best methods to adopt are the suggestion of some other form of activity whenever the habit shows itself, and the building up in the childs mind of a feeling of dissatisfaction with the objectionable habit or mannerism.
Imagination. Imagination is one of the most precious gifts to humanity: it is also one of the easiest to lose. It is powerful in nearly all young children; it is weak in most adults. The mind cannot continue to resist the monotonous rhythm of the hard facts of reality.
There are three main types of imagination; reproductive, constructive, and creative. Reproductive imagination is very similar to memory; the mind sees images of the past exactly as they were presented in the original experience, but h&3 not the power to rearrange them. Most adults have some power of reproductive imagination; young children have little.
Constructive imagination arranges mind-pictures, that is, selects and groups them, choosing one from one experience, another from another, but building according to a usual or accepted plan. The organizer, the advertiser, the working novelist, artist, or musician have constructive imagination. Creative imagination sees pictures that do not exist in reality; it arranges and colours images according to the creators desires, emotions or purposes – and the creator believes in these pictures; they are real to him. Sometimes he succeeds in making them real to other people. It is this type of imagination which early child-hood possesses; it Ls retained in adult life by inventors and by the people we call geniuses and creative artists – the supreme poets, musicians, painters, leaders of men. Young children have creative imagination because of the activity of their minds coupled with a lack of experience and an inability to criticize their impressions. A child sees a brown cow and imagines a green one quite easily. An adult knows that green cows do not exist, and so it would be silly to imagine one. A child wants a green cow; it adds to the interest of life. An adult has eeen so man brown cows that he finds it extremely difficult to get a mental picture of a green one. Try it; you will find brown spots appearing all over that green cow. The child has no difficulty whatever in seeing a green cow, or a pink one, or a mauve one, or a cow with two tails or three heads or six legs. His mental picture of a cow is not yet set.
But imagination in children is not merely a matter of Beeing green instead of brown cows. It is the childs gateway to expression. H the child had nothing to express, his whole development would be arrested: he would be reduced to imitation pure and simple, and be no more than a Robot. Besides, the child cannot imitate reality; his mind, his nervous system, his 455 muscles, his strength are not yet developed enough for that.
A child thinks mainly in pictures, not in words as we do. So vivid are those pictures that at times he cannot distinguish between what he has actually seen or heard, and what he has imagined. The world of phantasy, as wo call it, of imagination or make-believe, is more real than the world of fact. This accounts for many of the lies of young children.
Sometimes the child knows he is imagining, as when he says Lets pretend ; at other times he simply drifts out of the world of reality and becomes absorbed in a game, an occupation or a reverie. Interruption of this absorption is a shock to the child, and always produces irritation or temper.
His imagination expresses itself in every form of creative ability that is possible to him; in story-telling (both romancing and what we call lying; the difference is only one of purpose), in his make-believe games, and more especially with girls in the imaginary playmates who so often fill their homes with happiness, in drawing and modelling, in the melodies they sing (all their own in-vention), and in their impersonations of anything from a dragon to an aeroplane. Day-dreaming, though not unusual, is more typical of youth.
It is imagination which prevents thought from becoming mechanical and conventional. So, if we wish children to grow up able to think creatively, to act with initiative, to be adaptable, we encourage childish imagination unless it becomes too excited and vivid to allow consideration of hard facts.
When a childs imagination is so active that it refuses to accept the ordinary facts of life, then the imagination is becoming dangerous. The child who is always making up sensational stories about himself, the excessively naughty child who distresses by his wild pranks, are examples of children suffering from too much imagination.
Language. By about the third birthday the normal child may be expected to have a vocabulary of some three hundred words, of which over two hundred will be nouns and verbs (about three nouns to one verb). By the fourth or fifth year the childs speech development is practically complete, that is, he can talk as we understand talking. Ho has learned to use complex sentences and to arrange his words in varying orders according to his thoughts; his questions have extended to timo and to cause. Hereafter language will be a matter of experience and practice.
Money. Generally it is best to begin to allow children the use of money as soon as they feel the need of it. This will come at school ago if not before. From the start a regular allowance is advisable, based on the cost of a moderate supply of those things which the child may be expected to buy. A weekly allowance makes intervals too long for the young child; half-weekly or daily is better.
The practice of keeping accounts from the start is valuable – e.g. Later the child himself can keep his accounts, submitting them to an audit at regular intervals.
Naughtiness. Children are very largely what circumstances make them. Some children certainly are borne with dispositions which tend to make them more liable to naughtiness than others; but very largely – almost entirely – naughtiness is due to two main underlying causes, the ver difficult, complicated world to which the child, all unexperienced, has to adapt himself, and the failure of adults to understand children
It is only natural that during the age when the child begins to realize himself, to begin to feel himself as a distinct personality, the problem of naughtiness begins to be acute. Many parents are sincerely distressed by it; yet in spite of all their earnest efforts they cannot cure or check the naughtiness they deplore. Why ?
In the first place, we must carefully examine the word naughtiness. If we allow that a young child, by reason of his nature, is compelled frequently to be untidy, dirty, noisy, inquisitive, forgetful, careless, self-assertive, imitative, and, above all, restless, we shall probably eliminate a large number of cases of ordinary naughtiness, and find ourselves regarding them as acts which displease adults and not as sins. Strictly speaking, a naughty act is a deliberate act which manifests an evil tendency in the nature of a child; such acts are extremely rare. But the word is used ordinarily in a much wider sense, and we must inquire into the causes of naughtiness in this general meaning.
First, health and physical condition. A poor state of health or a physical handicap nearly always causes trouble. Adenoids and septic tonsils make peevish, irritable and difficult children. A child sickening for an illness is often fractious; a child fussed over during an illness becomes rebellious on having to give up the little comforts and attentions of convalescence. A tired child is difficult to get on with. Some very active children simply cannot find outlets for their energy, and are troublesome from sheer high spirits.
Next, parents quite unwittingly teach their children to be naughty. The easiest way is to say (without really meaning it): Oh, you are a naughty child. This is suggestion, and the child accepts it; he does his best to live up to his reputation.
Another easy way is, having refused a child something, to give it because he cries or seems disappointed. Almost any child will scream the house down if he thinks it worth while. A neglected child will howl or be otherwise naughty simply to attract attention. Children love being made a fuss of, and if they cannot get affectionate attention, will get the other sort.
Children who are always being forbidden to do things (often by over-careful parents) will be all the more compelled by their thwarted curiosity to do those things. Over-severity can breed cruelty in children; they suffer, and must take it out of someone elso. Too much affection, on the other hand, tends to produce the spoilt and unreasonable child. He is bitterly hurt when he finds outsiders do not treat him with the same respect as mother does.
A very grave and difficult cause of naughtiness is the feeling of inferiority which is ingrained in many children by their treatment – the famous inferiority complex of the psychologists. A child who is constantly having his faults and failings pointed out to him, who has brothers, sisters, or other children held up as shining examples, who is not a success at school, feels a deep sense of failure, and is driven by his inborn desire for attention and recognition to make up for it in some way. Legitimate ways are closed to him; he adopts the only ones open.
It is, of course, an unconscious process. Much stealing, cheating, lying, bullying, teasing, and (with older children mainly) sex delinquencies arise from tins cause. On the other hand, very clover children are often troublesome because their school work or house interests bore them by their simplicity and childishness.
Domestic troubles often have their re-flections in childish behaviour; if mother and father do not get on well together, if father is worried over business, or mother over household matters, the unsettled atmosphere causes emotional disturbance in the child, which manifests itself in naughtiness.