How Child-ReminD Cmsltes S'1ontaneous Feelings
Those concerned with raising children have always had
great trouble dealing with "obstinacy," willfulness, defiance,
and the exuberant characler of children's emotions. They are
repeatedly reminded that they cannot begin to teach obedience
too soon. The following passage by J. Sulzer, written in 1748,
will serve as an illustration of this:
As far as willfulness is concerned.
this cxpresses itsclf as
natural recoursc in tcndcrcst childhoud as
as children arc
allle to makc their desire for somelhlng known
by means uf
gestures. Thl(,y sce something they wnnt but cannot ha\'c: they
bccome angry, cry, and flail about. 0.' they are given something
that docs not please them; they Oing
a!;ide and begin to cr}'.
Thcse arc dangerous faulls that hinder their entire educalion
and encourage undesirable qualitics in children.
and wickedness are not driven out, 1l is impossible to give a
child a good education. The moment these flaws appear in a
is high time to resist this evil so that it does not become
ingrained through habit and the children do not become thor-
Therefore, I advise all those whose concern is the education
of childt'cn to Im,ke it their main occupation to drive out willful-
ness and wickedness and to persist until they have reached their
goal. As I have rcmarked above, it is impossible to reason with
young children; thus, willfulness must be drIven out in a meth-
odical manner, and there is no other recourse for this purpose
than to show children one is serious.
one gives in to theIr
willfulness oncc, the second time it wiII be more pronounced
and marc difficult to drive out. Once children have learned that
angel' and tcars will win them their own way, they will not fall
to use thc same methods again. They will fin:llly become the
maslcrs of their pnrcnts and of their nursemaids and will hnve
a bad, willful, and unbearable disposition with which they will
trouble and torment their parents ever after as the well-earned
reward for the "good" upbringing they were given. But if parents
arc fortunate cnough
to drive out wHIfulness from
beginning by means of scolding and the rod.
they wlll have
obedient, docile, and good children whom they can later provide
with a good education.