Educating Children
for Cooperation
& Contribution:
Volume II

The Work of an Adlerian
Psychologist in the Schools

Anthony Bruck

Selected Articles

Anthony Bruck, Alfred Adler, & Theodore Grubbe

Edited by Henry T. Stein, Ph.D. & Laurie J. Stein, M.A.

Published by
The Classical Adlerian
Translation Project

© 2009 by Henry T. Stein, Ph.D.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the editor. All inquiries should be addressed to: Henry T. Stein, Ph.D., Classical Adlerian Translation Project, 2565 Mayflower Lane, Bellingham, WA 98226. Tel: (360) 6475670 or e-mail to HTStein@att.net.

Published 2009 by The Classical Adlerian Translation Project

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN 978-0-9798803-7-7

Table of Contents

Editor’s Preface 2009..............................................................................iii
Biographical Sketch – Anthony Bruck .................................................. iv

Part 1: The Work of an Adlerian Psychologist in the Schools ............1
My Work in a Primary School .........................................................2
Personality Studies Based on Essays .........................................2
Juan ....................................................................................3
Jose .....................................................................................7
Luis ..................................................................................11
Guided Class Conversation .....................................................19
The Reason for Popularity: A Cooperative Attitude.........20
Heroism and Social Usefulness .......................................22
Punishments .....................................................................23
Comments on the Three Class Conversations .................26
Individual Interviews With the Students .................................26
Georgie .............................................................................27
Samy ................................................................................29
Peter .................................................................................30
The Influence of Class Conversations & Interviews ...............31
My Work in a Secondary School ...................................................36
The Personality of the Student ................................................36
The Distancing Factor in the Life of a Class ...........................44
Distancing Traits ..............................................................46
Those Who Believe They are More Than Others .....46
Those Who Are Inconsiderate ..................................47
Those Who Are Unwilling to Help ...........................48
Those Who Seek Advantages ...................................48
Those Who Irritate You ............................................50
Another Group of Irritators .......................................51
Those Who Are Bad Companions ............................51
Those Who Attack You Physically ...........................52
The Hypocritical Aggressors ....................................52
Those Who Attack Your Property.............................53
Negative Traits Toward Third Parties .......................53
Traits by Which Students Harm Themselves ............55
Traits That Make You Despise Those Who
Display Them .....................................................56

Uniting Traits ...................................................................59
Those Who Are Social-Minded ................................59
Those Who Psychically Agreeable ...........................59
Those Who Are Physically Agreeable ......................60
Those Who Deserve Respect ....................................60
The Problem of Mathematics...................................................60
Mathematics as a Barometer of Self-Confidence ............62
Case I .........................................................................62
Case II .......................................................................64
Case III ......................................................................65
Case IV ......................................................................66
Case V .......................................................................67
The Vital Influence of Psychological Conversations...............68
Closing Remarks..............................................................................70

Part 2: Enlightening Children...............................................................72
The Technique of Enlightening Children ......................................73
Psychological Help in The Classroom ...........................................74
Analysis of Jimmy's Problems .......................................................76
The First Interview With Jimmy ....................................................77
Conversation Between Jimmy and His Mother...............................83
The Second Interview With Jimmy ...............................................84
Report of Jimmy's Mother .............................................................85
Six Months After The First Interview ............................................85
Reports of Several Witnesses .........................................................85

Part 3: Influencing The Child...............................................................87
The Roots of the Personality ..........................................................89
Formative Education – Attitude Creation
The Ten Commandments of Creative Education......................94
The V's ...........................................................................................97
The Philosophy of Parenthood .......................................................97

Index.....................................................................................................101
Appendix A: Adlerian Child Guidance Principles for Teachers..........107
Appendix B: Children's Life Tests, by Alfred Adler............................108
Appendix C: Training for Courage, by Alfred Adler...........................110
Appendix D: The Lazy Child, by Alfred Adler....................................116
Appendix E: The Challenge of Kindergarten, by Theodore Grubbe....118
Appendix F: Impact of Teaching Styles on Children..........................134
Appendix G: Dealing Effectively With Students' Mistaken Goals.......135

Editor's Preface - 2009

Although an abundance of Adlerian child guidance materials has helped educators, therapists, and parents, many still hunger for greater depth, and more effective ways to guide children toward cooperation and contribution.

Trained by Alfred Adler, Anthony Bruck embodied several qualities of his mentor: warmth, gentleness, and creativity. His work with children was reminiscent of Adler's remarkable ability to make immediate contact, winning a child with respect, simple insight, and infectious optimism. Like a kindly uncle, he guided children Socratically to make their own conclusions about new ways to cross the bridge from misbehavior to cooperation. His love of languages is reflected in his playful invention of words that dramatically emphasize important child guidance concepts.

This volume includes two of Anthony's unpublished manuscripts, as well as one previously published article. The Work of an Adlerian Psychologist in the Schools documents the range of his educational and therapeutic strategies, including his analysis of written essays, class discussions about behavioral problems, and individual interviews with students. With a number of illustrations, he demonstrates the art of questioning children, leading them gradually to useful insight.

In “Enlightening Children,” Bruck shows us how to use a simple, but profound strategy of clarifying attitudinal and behavioral choices, using the graphic aid of a written “V.” He also offers a comprehensive case illustration, including verbatim conversations.

Originally intended as a lecture, Bruck's “Influencing the Child,” presents additional suggestions for parents and teachers, including the use of graphic clarifiers, and his “Ten Commandments of Creative Education,” designed to encourage positive attitudes toward the self, others, difficulties, and the other sex.

Three articles by Alfred Adler, “Training for Courage,” “Children's Life Tests,” and “The Lazy Child” emphasize the central importance of preparing children to have the right attitude toward difficulties. In “The Challenge of Kindergarten,” Theodore Grubbe provides practical suggestions for helping children adjust to the school environment. This volume also includes condensed charts summarizing the impact of various teaching styles on students, as well as strategies for dealing with the mistaken goals of students. Finally, a summary of “Adlerian Child Guidance Principles for Teachers” focuses on the most effective educational-psychological approach for eliciting cooperation in the classroom.

Teachers, parents, and therapists will discover a treasure of creative, child guidance strategies that bring Adler's unique, original legacy to life.

Biographical Sketch – Anthony Bruck

(1901 - 1979)

Anthony Bruck was born in Apatin, Southern Hungary (now Northern Yugoslavia), the second of three children. Bruck's father was a lawyer with offices in the family home and at the age of six, Bruck began being interested in people's problems as he listened to the conversations between his father and his clients.

Bruck read voraciously as a child and was able to read books written in Hungarian, German, and French. At the age of twelve, he learned English, Latin, Italian and Serbian. This background in languages contributed greatly to his wide range of understanding human nature and his life-long travels throughout the world.

In 1922, Bruck graduated with a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the Hochschule Fuer Welthandel in Vienna which was a specialized University. He had a classical education and a passionate interest in music and the theater (he saw over 500 plays in countries all over the world). After graduation, he went to work in business in the United States. Although encouraged by his family to be a businessman, the young twenty-year-old's greatest desire was to help people.

In 1925, Bruck was introduced to Adlerian thought when he read a publication called The Mother. Having already read ninety-two other psychologies, he was impressed by this article and felt he "had now chanced upon the most truly understanding psychology there was."

For years, Bruck had read about lectures in the auditorium of the Anatomical Institute of the University of Vienna organized by the "Society for Individual Psychology;" i.e. the Adlerians. A few weeks before leaving Vienna for New York, Bruck discovered an advertisement in The Mother about a special edition of the Zeitschrift (Journal) Fuer Individual Psychologie on the "Psychology of the School Child.” Sending for the special edition, he found that, similar to the Adlerian articles in The Mother, it helped him understand a great deal about himself as a child. He subscribed to the Zeitschrift.

In October 1926, Bruck read in the Zeitschrift that Adler was coming to the United States. He immediately wrote Adler and placed himself at his disposal. Adler wrote back, asking Bruck to try to arrange lectures for him in New York. Bruck did so, thus beginning his personal involvement with Adler.

From 1927 to 1931, Bruck arranged and attended lectures by Adler, and observed him working with patients at the Community Church Clinic on 34th Street in New York. In the clinic, patients sat with their backs to a sheet that had been thumbtacked to a door-frame, while behind this sheet, in a small room, Adler's students had a chance to witness the progress of therapy. No names were ever mentioned and the students never saw the patients.

From 1929 to 1931, Bruck served as Honorary Secretary first of the Group For The Discussion Of Individual Psychology which met in the "New School for Social Research," and later the New York Circle of Individual Psychology. The lecturers included Olga Knopf, MD; W. Beran Wolfe, MD; Alan Porter, Bruck, and occasionally Adler himself when he was in New York.

In 1931 Bruck returned to Vienna to acquire further Adlerian knowledge and skill by attending the 32 Adlerian Child Guidance Clinics. He began assisting at Adlerian public lectures, took courses by Adler and joined the Adlerians at the Cafe Siller for lengthy discussions on Adlerian Psychology.

After Vienna, with the recommendation of Adler, Bruck consulted in Egypt, Spain, France, Yugoslavia, and Costa Rica. From 1942 to 1947, he was a professor of Psychology at The School for Social Work, San Jose, Costa Rica; at Mexico City College, Mexico City; and the University of Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri. He also taught Adlerian Psychology and lectured at the Arab University of Cairo, the National University of Mexico, and Purdue University.

After leaving the United States in 1931, Bruck returned in 1947, with 18 years of experience helping people overcome their psychological problems. He held professorships in the United States, Spain, Costa Rica, Mexico and taught eight different courses in Applied Psychology. In addition, he spent another 22 years as a psychological consultant. Writing in French, Spanish, English, German, and Arabic, Bruck published articles in Egypt, Spain, Austria, Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico.

As he taught courses in Adlerian Psychology, Bruck clarified what he talked about with illustrations on the blackboard which he called "Visibilization of Adlerian Psychology." In 1977, Bruck presented his ideas and illustrations to San Francisco Adlerians in seminars at Catholic Social Services, in San Rafael, California. These illustrations and concepts have proven useful as therapeutic and educational "visual aids."

This volume features Bruck's work with children. Like Adler, he could make easy, immediate contact with a child, and through a skillful series of questions, bring the child to a new perspective about solving his difficulties. Knowing Adlerian Psychology in all its aspects, he became a Classical Adlerian teacher and practitioner who understood, applied and lived what he taught.

Sophia de Vries, another of Adler's students, offered some insight into Bruck's Adlerian Style, "Anthony possessed the loving, giving attitude Adler expected of practitioners. With colleagues and 'co-thinkers,' as he liked to call his clients, he shared his knowledge and wit."

Part 1

The Work of an Adlerian Psychologist in the Schools 1

by Anthony Bruck

1 In 1944, Anthony Bruck was Professor in charge of Psychological Reeducation in the Secondary Schools of the Costa Rican Government. Written in 1946, while he was living in Mexico City, this previously unpublished manuscript reflects his twenty years of experience in the schools of the U.S.A., Austria, Egypt, Spain, and Costa Rica.

My Work in a Primary School

1. Personality Studies Based on Essays

Because my work requires the specific reasons for the presence of each trait in an individual, I prefer to get the material I need in the form of a conversation with my consultant. Or, if I must select my perspective consultee among large numbers of children or students, I have them write essays about certain suggestive topics, which will elicit the uniqueness in each personality, as well as the origins of each trait. Of course, the interpretation of these essays depends entirely on my knowledge and ability, but the validity of this interpretation is easily confirmed.

First, I find the consistency of the manifestations of the personality throughout the different essays of the same individual, confirming that essays are a valid basis for understanding a person. Second, the psychological conversations I have with each individual selected for personal contact confirm the opinion I had formed when studying their essays. Third, each individual's later achievements further confirm the validity of the psychological prognosis based on essays.

Of the three boys whose essays follow here, I have known only one personally. I formed my good opinion of this boy, Jose, while analyzing his essays when he was less than 12 years old. That opinion has been confirmed both in our personal contacts during six years and in his progress as a student during this time, without any professional influence on my part. He is now at Harvard University, with a scholarship. As for the other two boys, I have intentionally selected for presentation here two individuals whom I have never met, in order to show how much we can learn from childhood essays about the later personality of each boy or girl.

Clearly, given complete freedom to write whatever they want in their essays, each child represents the task of a special, individual analysis. While the answers in such tests as the "Personality Inventory" have already been validated by comparison with other tests, I must weigh each expression and idea in the essays I read on the basis of my knowledge and experience. Still, this is the only true way to know an individual's attitude and style of life, which lie behind the manifestations so many erroneously see as completely separate traits.

Juan

Essay I: What I Want to Be When Grown Up

When grown up, I shall become a Doctor.

We may interpret the spelling of the word “doctor” with a capital “D” to mean that the profession of a physician must loom large in the boy's mind. We must not, however, jump to the conclusion that the boy is social-minded because he thinks so well of the medical profession. There are many reasons for the desire to become a "Doctor", especially in these countries, where the physician is the most respected of all professional men, and thus has great political, social, and marital chances.

I shall go to other countries in order to study, and I shall make many trips, a thing I like very much to do, and, besides, this profession satisfies me very much,

We were right to have reservations about Juan's socialmindedness, because we find here that he emphasizes the pleasures of trips abroad more than his studies. We may say that he shows more interest in pleasure life than in work life.

and I shall cure people,

Let us keep this "and" in mind. The exercise of his profession seems of little importance to him.

I shall make a lot of dough

This shows a very materialistic attitude toward the profession. Also, he uses the vulgar slang word, "plata" (dough), instead of "dinero".

and I like all that has to do with surgery.

Some surgeons are very humane and eager to help those in need. But some surgeons are very egocentric, interested more in moneymaking than in the social function of their specialty. On the basis of what we have read so far, we cannot expect that Juan will belong to the former group.

I shall go to the different universities, with my family.

Initially, we are surprised to see that Juan speaks about going to foreign universities accompanied by his family. Even a boy of eleven must know that families do not usually go abroad when a son (and brother) goes there to study. But, on second thought, we can easily interpret this "with my family" as a manifestation of a pampered child, who does not want to leave his pamperers behind, and to whom it may even have been promised that his parents, as well as his brothers and sisters (probably not many, since he has been very pampered) will follow him to whatever university town he might go.

I shall buy myself a house from what I will earn

Once more, we see that Juan is most interested in the material consequence of his becoming a "Doctor".

and I shall go to clinics, and visit my patients

This is the third time that references to the profession he wants to study appear following an "and". First come the pleasures and material benefits he can gain from it.

and I would like none of my patients to die..

Another "and," a casual one. The boy does not say: "I shall do all that is humanly possible so that none of my patients die," as a different type of boy, one for whom medicine would be a battlefield on behalf of humanity, might well say. Juan sort of asks "la suerte" (fate) to help him not lose his professional significance and the high income he expects to have, due to a mishap.

Adler taught that we must always check our interpretation of one of an individual's manifestations against as many others as we can get. Let us then see, in Juan's other essays, if we have not been too hostile in the interpretation of his personality, because of a feeling that medicine is a distinctly social profession, to the study of which only definitely social-minded people should be admitted.

Juan

Essay II : Childhood Recollections

One day, when I was five years old, in the absence of my parents, my sister began to tease me,

A counter-person has appeared on our horizon. The boy does not tell us if it was a younger or an older sister, but he seems to be pampered and inclined to indulge himself, so we suppose he must be the younger brother.

I threw a stone at her and broke her head. On another occasion, I threw a knife at her, but it did not hurt her. When my parents came home, they beat me so that I never did it again.

We may imagine the situation in Juan's family like this: As it so often happens, especially when the elder child is a girl, Juan's sister has been "good" and thus has probably been held up as an example to Juan. Pampered as he was, Juan must have been jealous of any credit given to his sister, while she was doubtless jealous of the pampering he received. Thus, in the absence of the parents, she started to antagonize him, while he reacted with the usual violence of the tyrannical, pampered child.

I also remember that, when I entered the first grade, I did not want my mother to leave the school, because I did not feel at home there without her presence, and I cried.

Again, we see that Juan has been a pampered child.

Juan

Essay III: A Dream I Had

One night,I dreamed that I had the winning number in the lottery...

The Costa Rican lottery distributes over 2,000 prizes twice a month, averaging from some 8,000 dollars,(first prize),down to 50 cents. Juan is not the only one who dreams about this prize, which he calls "the winning number;” practically everybody buys lottery tickets thinking only about the first prize. Nevertheless, this desire to get rich quickly and without effort is a typical reaction of the pampered child, accustomed to not making efforts and guided by his style of life to avoid them.

Now we say to ourselves: "If Juan wants to be a physician because he has more than a superficial interest in medicine or surgery, he will say that he used the money for his studies." What does Juan really say? Let us see:

and I went to Europe and I was very happy because I enjoyed myself very much all the time.

Again, we think: "He must be a pampered, youngest child." We suppose there are only two children in the family: the sister he mentioned and Juan, because so far we have heard of no other sibling.

I went to the theaters, to dances, and other places. I was very happy to find myself among so many amusements.

We see that he quite forgot his intention to study abroad.

But then my mother awakened me and I had to go to school. So, it was all over with Europe and the amusements, and I had to study in order to get good grades.

We get a glimpse of the family philosophy: the boy has to bring home "good grades,” not knowledge. Undoubtedly, Juan's parents have a rather materialistic outlook on life, just like their son.

Juan
Essay IV: My Family

My father is in business and my mother takes care of the household. I have a sister, 14 years old.

We see that our assumptions that Juan was the youngest, and that there were no other children besides him and the sister he mentioned, have been correct.

In our house we live alone, my father, mother, my sister and I.

In a country where we almost always find relatives co-living in the house, this "parents and children" unit suggests egocentric tendencies in the parents as well.

Sometimes, I fight with my sister, but this is not customary.

Perhaps not, but we must not forget the intensity of the fights in the past.

After having dictated this analysis, I read the opinion of the class teacher, which I had asked her to give me on a separate sheet. It read:

Thoughtless. (acting without thinking first). Strong-willed. A jester. A sports enthusiast. Careless about his studies. Undisciplined and lacking habits of order. Not frank. Shows little brilliance in his studies. Slow in understanding abstract ideas or in developing such. Under pressure and handled with energy, he has improved somewhat in his studies.

Jose

Essay I: What I Want to Do When Grown Up

It is my desire to become a great physician: to operate and save many people from death. To heal people is one of the most beautiful things, to my mind. To attract the affection of many, many people, and to be loved by all, is THE thing which makes me desire to become a doctor. This is one of the most beautiful professions, not because of the money one makes, not because of the honors one obtains in this way, but for the pleasure of saving people from deceases which would make them suffer all their lives. I would selflessly help very poor people unable to pay a physician, and I am sure they would look upon me with gratitude all their life.

This essay needs no detailed analysis. However, its strong focus on the benefits in affection, love, and gratitude a physician may derive from his profession seem to require a psychological explanation. Jose's teacher has informed me that for years the boy has suffered from a certain ostracism on the part of his classmates, who dislike his brilliance in all the school subjects and his extraordinary reasoning power, which make him far superior to themselves. They do not consider at all the fact that he constantly strives to help them.

Although some people might object to Jose's "egocentric profit-seeking," I believe that we cannot make such an objection as long as a person seeks psychic profit so very definitely on the social side of life. We may also consider that Jose's suffering has been a useful element in his psychic development, because it has deepened his personality. We admire how he can maintain his social attitude in face of the ostracism he has suffered, notwithstanding the attempts to be helpful.

Jose

Essay II: Childhood Recollections

I have sometimes found myself obliged, in light of other manifestations of the individual, to give childhood recollections, which apparently spoke against their owner, the interpretation that they meant: "I am no longer like that.”

The recollections of Jose clearly have this character. He starts off saying:

Before beginning to tell my childhood recollections, it seems to me right to say that I was a pest, a true trouble-maker.

When I was two or three years old, I was terribly naughty. I had few nursemaids, but those whom I had must have had a very bad impression of me.

He then goes on telling how he stole up to one of these nursemaids in the park and ran away with one of her shoes, making her hop after him on one leg.

When I was a small boy, I caused many disasters. One of the most important was when I was about four years old, I took my brother's puppets and hit them against everything on the dining room table: glasses, plates, etc.

Not yet 12, this boy is a mature little man, who looks back on his naughtiness as anti-social behavior, which he is quite surprised to have displayed.

Jose

Essay III: A Dream I Have Had Several Times

In my dream I see myself walking between my father and my mother,on an unpaved street. Then my parents disappear and the street begins to become darker. The houses lose their familiar aspect and become strange-looking. I go on and now have to ascend a steep slope. I do so, but I find it very difficult, and, though the way is by no means slippery, as ways are when many people have used them, I slip back.

I make great efforts to get ahead, which I do to a certain extent, but I slip back again.

I go on desperately fighting in order to get to the top, until I wake up.

It is not difficult to recognize in this dream a variant of the frequent Costa Rican fear-dream: "If I lose my parents, I shall not be able to study for a profession." Most families live here on the little income they have; children cannot count on inheriting anything, so parents frequently tell them: "If I can no longer work for you, you will have to interrupt your studies."

However, Jose's dream has an unusual element: the desperate fight to get to the top anyway. His resolute facing of the difficulties is quite unusual in this country, where the general atmosphere discourages practically everybody from striving toward any aim.

Jose

Essay IV: My Family

A brother, five and a half years older than Jose, appears on the scene. He is said to be "very annoying" for "he quarrels with me all the time."

This brother has come to see me since in order to discuss some personal problems and we have found together that he has always viewed his younger brother as a disagreeable competitor. On the other hand, much of Jose's naughtiness as a small child may have been because of the preference his mother has shown for the older brother. He seems to have taken pleasure in annoying her and her female representatives. Later on, when Jose entered school and his mother also admired him for his brilliant progress, he gave up naughtiness.

Other Manifestations of Jose

During the group conference I have organized in Jose's class, I have often been surprised by his statements. Even if some of them are merely deductions from what we discussed in the class, their precise form is entirely his own. Here are some of his ideas:

It is necessary to know how to distinguish between good and bad.

In order to be happy, it is necessary to be useful.

I shall place my discoveries at the service of humanity.

One of the most useful things in this world is to create.

He made, perhaps, his most admirable statement in the seventh class conversation. I was discussing with the boys that we can seek significance on the useful and on the useless side of life, and made the following division on the blackboard, already well known to the them:

useless | useful

and, moving the teacher's pointer over the two sides, with a point on the vertical dividing line as a pivot, I asked: "On which side is it better to be on the top?"

I expected one of the boys to answer, "On the useful side," but Jose suddenly came out with the following statement:

Then it is better to be at the bottom of the useful side, than to be at the top of the useless one.

I must confess that I still find this statement in a boy, who had just reached the age of 12, frankly admirable.

Three Years Later

Three years after dictating the above study of Juan and Jose, I can state the following about them.

Juan has gone to a private secondary school, where good grades are easier to get. He has failed in mathematics in the third year and has passed, practically always at the minimum with which a boy still passes here, in all the other subjects, during his three secondary school years.

Jose is in the government high school in which I work as a consulting psychologist, employed by the Costa Rican Government. He has been an "honor student" all these years, paying no tuition fees because he had, with two exceptions in three years, only the best grades possible. He pays no tuition in the fourth school year either, which starts on March 1st.

From the point of view of society, it would be better if, (because this country has no medical school), Jose and not Juan went abroad in 1945, in order to study medicine. As it so often happens, however, Juan's father has the money to send him abroad, but Jose's father will be unable to do the same for his son.

Five Years Later

Jose has finished the five years of the "Liceo" (11th grade in the United States) with honors and passed his examinations brilliantly for the Baccalaureate (somewhat more than a High School Certificate).

In the meantime, the U.S.A. has generously helped Costa Rica build its section of the Pan American Highway, which passes in front of a formerly practically worthless piece of land belonging to Jose's father. This has put Jose into Harvard University, where I could get a scholarship for him so that he will pay no tuition fee.

Juan has also passed his "Baccalaureate" examination, but he was not sent aboard to study medicine. He entered the School of Dental Medicine in his own country, yet his grades in the first semester were so bad that he had to leave the school.

Luis

Essay I: What I Want to Be When Grown Up

1) Father desires ...

The very first words make me suspicious; Luis seems to be a "puppet child.” It isn't normal that a boy of 12 in the 6th grade, when writing on his future profession, begins by telling us about his father's desire, rather than his own.

2) … that I become an architect, because there is dough in it.

We see that the father is no idealist. He does not tell his son about the possibilities an architect has to create work for many men who are unemployed, or to fight for better housing in the community; he tells him about the "dough" that can be made in the profession. This is a dangerous education, because if "dough" becomes the child's objective, we cannot count on his becoming a highly ethical professional man.

3) I shall be honest, courageous and happy.

While this "declaration of intention" is very nice, it has no particular psychological value to us, because we have seen that the boy has been educated to strive for "dough" and that he is rather "puppety.” Such a declaration may well reflect wishful thinking, and the very fact that the boy reports such thinking makes us feel he must be consoling himself with such a thought, perhaps for frequent self-doubts.

4) From primary school, I shall first go to high school, and there, 'si Dios quiere,' they will give me the high school certificate. Then I shall go to the school of architecture, where I shall study the profession.

In the country of Luis, older people often use this "si Dios quiere," even after such simple statements as, "I shall come to see you tomorrow." The literal translation is: "if God wishes it to be so." While most people might carelessly assume that Luis has just "taken on the habit of older people," we must insist that no habit is adopted unless it fits the individual's concept of life. No boy of twelve, who believes that success depends on his own ability and efforts, would ever use this expression. The fact that Luis did use this "si Dios quiere" suggests that he has not been taught to rely on himself and to believe in the efficacy of whatever he himself might do.

We cannot consider it an accident either that Luis says: "they will give me the high school certificate.” The normal thing to say would have been: "there I shall work for the high school certificate" or, at least, "there I shall obtain my high school certificate." The expression, "they will give me," suggests a concept of life which automatically influences the boy's way of expressing himself, and the chief element of which is: those "above" must give, as parents give to their children.

5) When an architect, I shall work with my father, so that he may help me in what I cannot do alone.

If a boy wishes to follow in the footsteps of his father and study the father's profession, we consider it normal for him to say that he will first work under his father's guidance. A self-confident boy would not have said, however, "so that he may help me in what I cannot do alone;" he would have said something like: "so that I may help him in his work, while studying the practical side of the profession."

6) In accordance with my hopes, I think of getting married, in order to have children and to make architects of them, too.

The expression, "in accordance with my hopes," has no organic place in the preceding sentence; it is nothing but another automatic manifestation of the lack of self-confidence, closely related to the "habit" commented on under item #4. Furthermore, Luis does not say, "I shall get married," but, "I think of getting married;" he hopes he might. We consider this, too, a result of inner insecurity.

Luis

Essay II: Childhood Recollections

7) When I was seven years old, and I first came to this School with my father, I did not want him to separate from me and I started to cry. Every morning he would bring me to the School.

Generally, the mother accompanies a child to the school on the first day. Perhaps the father “brought” Luis to school on that day because the mother could not go (we must not "over-psychologize;" she or another child of hers may have been ill). But the father may also have wanted to "bring" his first-born to the school.

At any rate, this quotation shows us how insufficiently independent the child was when entering school, how he was unable to enter a community of children with pleasure over the possibility of making friends. We can almost see invisible strings tying this puppet child to the home.

Because the father probably went to his office at the time the boy had to leave for school, he would naturally have accompanied him to the school door every morning. However, the boy does not express himself about this common departure from home in a positive way. He does not say: "We left home together every morning, each going to his work,” but: "Every morning he would bring me to the School."

8) In the course of time I became friends with my schoolmates. I got more confident and I started to go home alone from School and I became more of a man.

There must have been much talk in the home in those days about the boy's lack of "manliness." A certain improvement in this area during the school years is natural, but we find no reason here to suppose that Luis has had a considerable change in self-confidence. He does not state any facts that would show us active participation in the life of his schoolmates.

Interestingly, in quotations 7 and 8, Luis has spelled "school" with a capital "S" three times. His spelling seems automatically influenced by the difference in size between him and the large school building with its 1200 pupils when he first entered, or by the impression the building made on him then.

Luis

Essay III: A Dream I Had

In the dream related by the boy, he appears to have certain physical self-confidence in connection with bicycle-riding. Nevertheless, even here we see him react with tears, when in the dream, his father threatens to take the bicycle away, because he is never at home.

9) Father told me that he would take it away and I started to cry.

When the poor "I" has to face "HIM", it always feels helpless and insignificant. Even when it is dreaming.

Luis

Essay IV: My Family

In this essay, we see that the boy is a first-born son who has two brothers, two and three years younger than himself, respectively. We may suppose that these two brothers have also contributed to Luis's lack of self-confidence, ever since their birth. They must have taken away from him much of his mother's attention, right after he had reached the age of two.

We may also recall that fathers tend to consider their first-born sons "heirs to the throne" and that the special attention they give them because of this fact, full of declarations of what they expect of them, of how they will have to be more than their fathers, generally results in a lack of self-confidence in the children. For the latter, their fathers are "great" and they cannot imagine that they could become even greater than their progenitors. (This may not be true in the American environment, but it is so in Europe, Egypt, and Latin America, where I have seen many cases based on this parental attitude.)

Other Manifestations of Luis: At the age of 12

In his essays written during the same school year, we find several details confirming the impression we have already received of him. Thus, for example, he writes:

10) In the school of architecture the professors make you pass examinations, and if you pass you become an architect.

11) If I can pass in all the high school years, I shall pass from high school to the school of architecture, where they prepare you in order to make an architect out of you.

12) Would to God that I become as good an architect as my father is.

The first two quotations show us once again the characteristic way of people lacking self-confidence. Without even noticing the awkwardness of their sentences, they say such things as:

"the professors make you pass examinations."

"they prepare you in order to make an architect out of you."

We can see clearly how Luis feels himself to be a puppet, rather than an independent person. He also contemplates the possibility of failure ("if I can pass") and leaves it to God to make as good an architect of him as his father is.

In his eagerness to find details which would reduce his fear of the task he will face once the professors "have made an architect out of him," he has even found the following argument:

13) I am sure I will not have to buy many books, since father is an architect, and he has practically all the books on Architecture.

In a drawing on the profession he intends to study, Luis drew a building with a sign saying "Office." In the drawings of all the other boys of the school, where there are signs above or next to the doors, all the signs carry the names of the future tradesmen or professional men. Experience with such drawings allows me to say that if Luis did not put his name on the sign, this was because the name did not enter his pencil automatically as it did with the other boys' pencils, because their owners looked more self-confidently into the future.

Luis in high school, at the age of 13

(In Luis's country, there are six years of primary school and five years of high school; in the American System, he would be in the 7th grade.)

After spending three and a half months in the new institution, where he now has thirteen male teachers instead of one woman teacher as in primary school, Luis was asked to answer a series of questions similar to those he had answered in separate essays in his former school.

The following are his most characteristic answers, together with the corresponding questions:

A. What will you do when leaving high school?

14) When leaving high school, I shall stay in town in order to pass Xmas and the New Year Festivals in the city. Then I shall go to the country with my family, in order to pass the rest of the vacation period there.

Among the 596 boys who answered this question, only one other boy besides Luis did not understand that the question aimed at what they would do in the way of further studies after obtaining their high school certificate. Therefore, we take this misunderstanding as a sign of an unusually strong longing to escape from the difficulties which studies always represent to discouraged students, and to live for compensatory pleasures as long as possible. The other boy was also this type of student.

(School in Luis's country begins in March and ends in November; most people leave town for their farms only after the New Year.)

B. Will you finish your high school?

15) Si Dios quiere, I shall finish my high school.

We have commented on this "if God wishes it to be so", in connection with the quotation under number 4.

C. Do you believe you will have to repeat any high school year?

16) I believe I shall not have to repeat any school year, except if I become ill* and if my parents are alive so that they may maintain me, for otherwise I would have to leave school and go to work.

The answer is logical and corresponds to the question only up to the point I have marked with an *. Here, in accordance with his inner insecurity, Luis makes a mental jump, beginning to think and write about what might happen if he lost his parents, so that they could no longer "maintain" him. Evidently, the word "ill" represents an opportunity for such a mental jump, but self-confident boys did not make it. For Luis, this mental jump clearly reflects his lack of self-confidence.

D.What are your intentions for the period following your high school years?

17) I have the intention that my father should send me to study Architecture abroad.

A strange intention. He intends that his father should do something with him, as if he wants his father to wrap him up and send him abroad by Parcel Post.

E. Why did you choose the profession you want to study?

18) Because Father 'me ha ilusionado' telling me stores about it.

"Telling me stories" is a rather childish way of expressing oneself at the age of 13, instead of something like: "telling about the buildings he has constructed."

"Me ha ilusionado" is the right expression for Luis. He is not "interesado," interested, but "ilusionado." Correctly translated, this means that his father has fascinated him with his "stories," but we think that architecture will not be more than an illusion for Luis.

F. What are the difficulties you might encounter and what will you do then?

19) I might encounter some difficulties, for instance, that father might be unable to send me abroad to study there, and in order to overcome this difficulty I might have to work in some other line, in order to make money and to go abroad. Would to God that this should not happen.

Many boys have foreseen in their essays this difficulty of having to work first in order to make money for their studies abroad, but Luis is the only one who has added: "Would to God...".

G. Tell us a Childhood Recollection.

20) When I was about five years old, I was eager to enter school and I kept on begging my father that HE should PUT ME into school. I kept on telling him that he should buy me a satchel and copybooks. He always told me that HE would PUT ME into school when I would be seven and buy me the school equipment at that time. Finally I did get to be seven and he DID PUT ME into school and bought me the satchel and the equipment.

We see that before he had to face the reality of the school with the capital S (see our commentary after quotation 8), Luis was very eager to go to school. However, even in connection with this intense desire to be a big boy, he now speaks of himself as if he were a puppet. Three times in six lines we find him referring to himself as a puppet, as a chess-board pawn of his father (Capitals are mine: HE SHOULD PUT ME, HE WOULD PUT ME, HE DID PUT ME).

Five Years Later

Can such an insecure boy possibly finish high school and then go on studying architecture? Will he even get through high school? Luis did not even finish the first year of high school (actually the 7th school year for him, not the 9th, as it would have been in the States). Three months after giving the above answers to questions A-C, he left high school because the total of his grades in several subjects during the first three bi-monthly periods showed he would have to repeat the first year anyway.

I knew nothing of the presence of Luis in the high school at that time, because I had to read the essays of 596 students and got around to reading his when he had already left high school. The study preceding this postscript was originally dictated in Spanish at that time.

Last year, when I made a special study of the boys who were in the 6th grade with Luis in the primary school, I decided to visit his father, in order to find out what became of the boy. I had heard through friends that this gentlemen was very prosperous and the owner of much valuable land near the capital.

The man I met was rather unattractive, resembling much more an ex-champion of baseball or wrestling than a high class architect. He told me that Luis did not want to go on studying after he had failed in the first year of high school; therefore, he got the boy a job in an export firm.

Luis' salary in the first year was the magnificent equivalent of $10 a month, but by the time my conversation with his father took place, he had $20 a month, because of his firm's custom of automatically raising all salaries by $5 per month each year. This was Luis' fourth year with the same firm and the fact that they have not given him a better position in all these years, but raised his salary only because of his years of service, shows that he is still the same "puppet" he was in his school years.

I tried to make the father understand that there was no reason to suppose Luis incapable of going on with his studies, saying that the boy's essays showed him to be an intelligent, but discouraged person. His answer was: "I have thought I would PUT HIM into Night School this year." Once more, poor Luis was to be PUT into a new place by his string-puller. I tried to explain the futility of “putting” Luis anywhere if he did not develop enough self-confidence to benefit from a new opportunity, and even offered to have a few psychological talks with the boy, if he came to see me, free of charge.

Luis has never come to see me. However, I have heard through former classmates of his that he led a dissipated life, frequently getting drunk with other young men who have similarly failed to continue their studies. Like so many discouraged people, Luis seems to seek in alcohol and purchasable pleasures oblivion of his intellectual and social insignificance. For once, he "puts" himself into new situations, but because of his discouragement, they are, of course,negative ones.

I have never met the boy, so I cannot make any statement about his "type," but I see no reasons to suppose any organic element behind his discouragement, or a general "psychopathic personality." At any rate, the main point in this study of his essays is to demonstrate how they reveal, to a trained Adlerian: the unity of the personality so clearly exhibited in every one of the quotations presented, the influence of a discouraging father on his sons, and how essays can show not only the symptoms of maladjustment (as character tests do), but also the formative education that has created the style of life behind the symptoms.

2. Guided Class Conversations

Schools should not only instruct, but also educate. They should not only make their students learn, but also make them think. After all, the supreme aim of education is to prepare students for creative co-living in society, which means not only the acquisition of knowledge that will serve for “making a living,” but also of knowledge and attitudes that will make for happy living.

Class conversations are an excellent technique to get to know what children think, to make them change incorrect ideas without protest because they discover the right attitude by themselves in a collective effort, and to create in them the habit of thinking before taking action. In these conversations, the students voice their opinions, while I (the adult organizer, until I have trained the teachers to do it) focus only on unobtrusively directing the conversation, so that we thoroughly and constructively discuss each subject.

The Reason for Popularity: A Cooperative Attitude

How children even younger than seven can carry on such a class conversation with considerable benefit to all present (including the adults) will become apparent, if we examine the following extract from such a conversation carried on by children in the 1st grade of a primary school in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1931. This is the second conversation I organized in this class; a week earlier, we had discussed “being bad,” and when the principal, a very kind lady, asked who had been bad during the week, several boys got up to accuse themselves. I had the boys and girls state their opinion about the six self-accusers. No boy or girl of the 32 present acknowledged that Max was bad, while Edgar got one masculine and 10 feminine voices against him. When entering the class this time, and after sitting down on "my" bench, in order to maintain at least the attitude of not being a teacher, but "Bruck, a visiting friend", I asked:

Bruck: Tell me, Max, how come the last time you said you had been a bad boy, while the class did not find you bad at all?

The Reason for PMax: I misbehaved toward the teacher.

Bruck: And you, Gaston? (This boy had no voice against him, either).

Gaston: I misbehaved in the geography class.

Bruck: We shall speak about being bad toward the teachers some other time; you can see that your classmates have not condemned you at all for this type of "badness." Today, we shall go on talking about being bad to classmates. Two little birds (I used this euphemism whenever I did not want to disclose the identity of my informants; the children rather liked the little joke) have told me in front of the school door, that Edgar has not been bad to the girls during all the long week since our last conversation. I am sure we are all glad about this. Edgar, will you tell us on what occasions you used to be bad to girls?

Edgar: Whenever they made me mad.

Bruck: How did they do it?

Edgar: They did not want to play with me, so I hit them.

Bruck: Look, it was this way. As we have seen last time, you first used to hit the girls just because they were girls, like your sister. Then, they did not want to play with you, because you had hit them. Then, you hit them again, because they did not want to play with you. As you see, you cannot get anybody to play with you by hitting them. Let us now see who are the best boys in the class. We shall first ask the girls to name them, and then we shall vote on each knight. We shall write everything on the blackboard.

THE KNIGHTS:

Feminine voices Masculine voices Totals
in their favor: in their favor:
Vincent: 15 10 25
Samy: 15 9 24
Gaston: 13 8 21
Joseph I 17 11 28
Joseph II 17 10 27
Henry 10 5 15
Edwin 18 7 25
Max 17 10 27

Bruck: What about Vincent? Why is he so popular?

Girls: He is nice; he always lets us play with the boys when he is the captain.

Bruck: And what about Samy?

Girls: He is good; he always lets us play.

Bruck: Joseph I has obtained the largest number of boys' votes. Why is he so popular with the boys?

Samy: He is good; he always shares whatever he has.

Joseph II: I share with him too, whenever I have something. He is good; he likes us to come to his house.

Other boys: Joseph I is not stingy. He always invites us to come to his house to play.

Girls: He is very nice; he lets us play with them. If anybody has not brought food along for the 10 o'clock recess, he gives him his own.

Bruck: (To the Principal). We can learn here how simple it is to make life pleasant. Letting others share in our play is enough. It would be fine if the adult captains of the International Game would also let others share in their play, with equal rights. (To the children): At the end of the year, we shall write another list of the best-liked boys on the blackboard; at that time, I hope all the boys will be on the blackboard.

Heroism and Social Usefulness

(Extract from a class conversation, the third of a series I organized in a primary school in Barcelona, Spain, in December, 1936, in a 6th grade, with pupils of an average age of 11, five months after the outbreak of the Civil War.)

Bruck: I should like to know who is a hero, in your opinion.

Joseph: If a boy is about to drown and another saves him, the
latter is a hero.
Richard: One who has made himself great in a war.
John: One who has made himself great in motor races.
A boy: A child who has died in order to save another.
George: One who has made a great invention.
A boy: One who defends humanity.
A boy: One who has made himself great by his ideas.
A boy: One who has died in defending his father against a bunch

of highway robbers.

Bruck: Let all those raise their hands who believe that the person who has made himself great in the races is a hero.

Boys: (All talking at the same time, with the exception of John): He is not.

Bruck: Many people admire him, and for them he is a hero; but he is not the same kind of hero as the person who has saved a drowning child, for instance. (He divides the blackboard in two parts by a vertical line.) Do you remember our division of life into two sides? Where shall we put 'useful' and where 'useless'?

Boys: Useful on the left and useless on the right.

Bruck: And 'harmful'?

Boys: Even more to the right.

Bruck: (Writes the words 'social,' 'asocial,' and 'antisocial' in the corner of the blackboard which he has reserved for remarks.) Who knows what the word 'social' means?

Boys: Social is what refers to a nation. What happens to a nation.

Bruck: You seem to know, more or less, what the word means. 'Social' is what is useful to all; what is useful to one person only,

is not 'social.' Do you know what the letter "a" means at the start
of the word 'asocial'?

Boys: ........
Bruck: It is a prefix, which means the same as 'not.' Asocial'
means 'not social'......And the little word 'anti,' what does it
mean?

A boy: It is like 'antiNazi,' one who fights against the Nazis.
Bruck: That is right. And 'antisocial' means that a person is

against others, i.e. hostile to them. ...Is it 'social' or 'antisocial' to
save a drowning person?
Boys: It is social.
Bruck: If we now wish to place 'social' and 'antisocial' on the

sides which correspond to them, where shall we put these words?
Boys: 'Social' next to 'useful' and 'antisocial' next to harmful.
Bruck: Well, and where shall we put 'asocial'?
Boys: Next to useless.
Bruck: Where shall we put 'To save a drowning person'?
Boys: Below 'useful;' below 'social.'
Bruck: Is one 'who has made himself great in a war' always

useful?
Boys: One who has become important in a social war.
Another: In a civil war.
Bruck: But there are two opposing sides in each war. How shall

we determine on which side the hero must be?
Richard: He must be on the useful side, concerned with the
welfare of humanity.

Punishments

(Extract from a class conversation in the 4th grade of a primary school in San Jose, Costa Rica, in 1939. The children are all a little over 10 years old.)

Bruck: Well, if you say that punishments are good for children, tell me also which punishments are good for them.

Luis: It is good to beat them.

Albert: To scold them.
Alphonse: To make them stay in bed on Sunday.
Gunard: To lock them up.
Flores: To make them copy things, or add up long columns of

numbers.
Serra: Taking some toy away from them, which they like very

much. For instance, if they like their bicycle, take it away from
them for some time.
Raul: Not to give them any pocket money on Sunday, or during

the whole week.
Rees: Not to let them go on an excursion on Sunday.
Charles: To make them stay in bed all day, or a whole week.
Gunard: Not to give them any pastry at lunch.
Alphonse: Not to let them get away with even the most

insignificant wrong action. (Lifting a leg of his trousers:) Look
at the whip-marks I have here. My father has whipped me,
because I had been very ill-behaved).

George: Not to let them eat the things they like.
Raul: Tying them to a leg of chair.
Serra: Not to talk to them for days.
George: Pulling them out of their warm beds and sticking them

under the shower.

Alphonse: That isn't a punishment, because if the child catches a
cold, the parents immediately have to pay for medicines.
Juan: To tie them to a post, with their hands behind their back.
Alphonse: To make them kneel on corn or beans.
Charles: To make them take castor oil.

Bruck: Well, that is enough as to means, let us see about the ends: Why do people punish children?

Gunard: To make them better.

Raul: If children are punished, they get to be so that they do not care about anything and then the punishments are of no avail.

Bruck: Well, how should children be made better then?

Gunard: Things should be explained to them very carefully, because if they are beaten, they get frightened and do not understand anything.

Raul: That is why the mother should improve her children in a nice way.

Bruck: Do you, then, maintain that it is good to punish?
Guido: Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is bad, because

sometimes children do get better in that way, and sometimes they don't. Bruck: And you yourself, do you become a better boy if they

punish you?
Guido: Sometimes.
Bruck: How many punishments do you need to become a good

boy?
Guido: About a hundred.
Bruck: And have you not yet been punished a hundred times?
Guido: Mo-O-O-re often than that.
Gunard: Punishments are no good.
Guido: That is true; they are effective for a short while only.
Pauli: One boy may improve through them, while others don't.
Bruck: Did you become a better boy through punishments?
Pauli: To a certain extent.
Psychologist: How often have you been punished?
Pauli: About 200 times; I will need a hundred punishments more,

I think.

Bruck: How long can the effect of a punishment last?

Pauli: If it is big, it may last some three months; if it is small, it may last only three weeks, or no more than three days.

Gunard: The truth is that one must change for a lifetime and not only for short periods.

We can see here how eleven children suffice to tell us about a whole arsenal of different punishments practiced on them by their parents, evidently without major benefit. Interestingly, some children have come to believe that they should be punished if they deserve it, feeling at the same time that the effect of their punishments has by no means been final. The truth is admirably summed up by 10-year-old Gunard: “One must change for a lifetime and not for short periods.” The concept of life must be changed, but this objective cannot be achieved by punishments, which only help the individual, child or adult, to justify his hostility toward others.

The next class conversation brought out an additional truth: to prevent is better than to punish, and education for cooperative co-living prevents negative attitudes.

Comment on the Three Class Conversations Extracted Above

We have here three class conversations from three countries (Egypt, Spain, and Costa Rica) on three different continents (Africa, Europe, and Central America). They prove to us that children all over the world, whether they are 11, 10 or only 7 years old, are very capable of discussing even such “philosophical” problems as cooperative attitudes, social usefulness, or the effectiveness of punishment. It seems truly admirable to me if a boy of 11, like Richard, can be helped to reach the conclusion that a soldier, to be a hero, must be on the side "concerned with the welfare of humanity," or if another, just a few months older, like Gunard, can be helped to recognize that punishments are useless because they produce change merely for short periods, while what should be achieved is "change for a lifetime." I am also reminded of Jose, only a few months older than Richard or Gunard, who said in a class conversation that, "It is better to be at the bottom on the useful side, than to be at the top on the useless one."

In view of these facts, class conversations should be made a regular feature in the curriculum of every school, and all teachers ought to be specially trained to organize them. Such "discoveries" as those of Richard, Gunard, and Jose are not merely individual discoveries; they are felt by each child in the conversing group to be collective discoveries of the group, and thus practically their own. No teaching of civics or history is as effective in creating a capacity for cooperative co-living as class conversations.

3. Individual Interviews With the Students

A trend in psychology is to create child guidance clinics in which a whole group of professionals cooperates. These clinics have a psychiatrist as their executive head, a psychologist chiefly occupied with testing the children brought to the clinic, a part-time pediatrician, two or three psychiatric social workers, and two or three clerks. In these clinics, the psychiatrist, a rather distant gentleman, generally with much more medical than psychological training and practice, is the only one who does real psychological work, if he knows how, in direct psychological talks with the children. The number of these talks is necessarily limited by the time the psychiatrist can devote to the cases, and the time he spends with each child is further limited. He works under the handicap that he did not get his own details, but they have been collected for him by co-workers with personalities different from his own. Therefore, we find much too much paper in between the real life of the consultant and the psychiatrist.

In my experience, we would gain more benefit from training all these people in the clinic for independent psychological work, and letting them work in schools as independent consulting psychologists. (They may need the advice of a pediatrician occasionally, or a mental examination by a psychiatrist even more seldom). L. F. Shaffer correctly says: "The minimum organization needed for practical work in mental hygiene is a single, adequately trained person."

From my experience as a "minimum organization" with primary school children, I shall mention three cases.

Case I: Georgie

Georgie, 7, was brought to me by his aunt.

Aunt: (entering the room): This boy is just the right type for you.

Bruck: Why?

Aunt: Because he is very bad.

Bruck: (to Georgie): And why are you bad, may I ask?

Georgie: Because Mother has to spank me then.

Chain of thoughts of the psychologist (with lightning-like speed):

  1. To be spanked is not pleasant; it hurts and makes me feel inferior.

  2. If this child nevertheless provokes his mother until she spanks him, the pain he gets for himself on purpose must be the price for some pleasure he gets by his attitude.

  3. Every human being wants significance. The greatest possible significance for a child is the attention of his mother.

  4. This child probably does not get as much attention from his mother as he used to. A 7-year-old may have a younger brother or sister. Perhaps the child feels that his mother has abandoned him for such a

rival.

Bruck: (to the aunt): Since when is this boy worse than before?

Aunt: He has been like this for about a year. Oh,...I should have told you, a year ago a little brother was born.

Bruck: (to Georgie, while pulling out a piece of paper from his pocket and drawing on it): Look, young friend, this large M represents your mother. In front of her is the SIDE OF THE GOOD ONES and behind her is the SIDE OF THE BAD ONES, like this:

SIDE OF THE MOTHER SIDE OF THE
BAD ONES GOOD ONES
Bruck: On which side are you?

Georgie: On the side of the bad ones. (I place "YOU" on that side.)

Bruck: On which side is your little brother?

Georgie: On the side of the good ones. (I put "L.B." on that side.)

Bruck: Look, my young friend, you seem to have thought that your mother busied herself more with your little brother than with you because she liked him more than you. Then you placed yourself on the side of the bad ones, in order to punish your mother for her lack of love for you. But you are wrong. Your mother loves you just as much as she loves your little brother, but because he is so small, he needs more attention from her than you do. You yourself also make your mother give you less and less attention by your behavior. When you place yourself on the Side of the Bad Ones, behind her, she does turn back, but only long enough to hit you. Then she turns back again to the side of the good ones, where your little brother is, because she, like everybody, prefers to look at the side of the good ones. ......What do you think you could do to make your mother see you just as much as she sees your little brother?

Georgie: Pass to the side of the Good Ones, as if shot out of a gun.

I paid a visit to Georgie's parents the next day, in order to make sure they would appreciate his change in attitude. Many parents believe that "being good" is natural, and that they must notice their children only when they are "bad." Georgie had already been surprisingly good for 24 hours, and he stayed on the side of the good ones thereafter, to a degree unusual for his age.

Case II: Samy

Samy, another boy of 7, was presented at my psychological clinic by the principal of the school. He had the habit of wrapping up pebbles in large leaves, tying this package with a string, and throwing it into the face of his brother, a 9-year-old.

Before admitting Samy to the classroom in which I held the clinic, in the presence of some twenty interested adults, the principal informed me that Samy's mother, a widow who lived alone with her two children, preferred her elder son and that this might well be the basis of Samy's hostility.

Bruck: (to Samy, who has just entered the room): Samy, what do you want to become when grown up?

Samy: A bomber. (The conversation took lace in 1931, in Egypt; then and in that country the desire expressed by Samy was much more unusual than it, unfortunately, would be today.)

Bruck: You are a French citizen, aren't you? So you will enter the French army. If there is a war with England, you will have to throw bombs on England, will you not? What will happen to the people on whom the bombs fall?

Samy: They will die.

Bruck: And if the English fly over to France and throw bombs on the French?

Samy: The people can hide.

Bruck: Listen, you did not say that the English could hide from your bombs, and you know full well that many people die in each bombardment, even if others could save themselves by hiding underground. I understand that you not only want to be a bomber in the future, but are one already. You throw bombs at your elder brother because you feel that your mother likes him more than you, and, of course, she might, but only because you misbehave constantly, also attacking the other children in school. Why don't you try something else? Try to throw BOMBBONS at people instead of BOMBS. (The conversation was in French and the words in capitals mean "candy" and "bombs" respectively. The greater similarity of the French words made my suggestion more effective.)

Samy: I have just received a box of bombons which I can offer to people. I shall do so. (There was "the light of sudden understanding" in Samy's eyes, which I am accustomed to seeing in my consultees' eyes whenever I have said something decisively helpful. Samy's answer showed, furthermore, that he had understood he was not to "throw" the bombons, but rather that I had proposed a change in attitude toward the others, not a new way of bombing them.)

A few days later, I had to change trams in front of the school building. While waiting there, I suddenly felt my coat pulled from behind and I heard a child's voice: "I have changed!" Looking back, I saw Samy's beaming face.

During the following weeks, the principal of the school reported again and again that Samy was a changed boy. We had further proof of this fact a few weeks later, when the only masculine vote against Edgar was that of Samy, in the vote on the self-accusers mentioned earlier. When I asked him why he had voted Edgar bad, the Samy who had formerly indulged himself in girl-hitting laconically answered: "Because he hits the girls." Among 13 boys, he was the only one chivalrous enough to think of Edgar's attitude toward "the other sex."

Case III: Peter

Peter's father was a drunkard and a vicious card-player. His well-to-do mother-in-law had to maintain his wife and his three children, and him too, most of the time. The old lady, of course, threw it up to him whenever she saw him.

In order to retaliate, Peter's father taught Peter all kinds of ugly things, and sent him to tell them to his grandmother. Though the boy did not understand any of the things he was made to tell, the grandmother took a violent dislike to him. The other two children were "good little girls" and the grandmother loved them, partly, also, because they resembled their mother, while Peter resembled his father. In the grandmother's mind, the family was split in two parts: "the men," Peter and his father, two "devils;” and "the women," she, her daughter, and her granddaughter, suffering "angels."

When Peter was 9, his father suddenly died. The grandmother immediately took her daughter and granddaughters into her own rich home, while she placed Peter in the house of a poor shoemaker, who hit him frequently. The boy, of course, gave ample reason for this punishment, being more of a little devil than ever.

I was told the above by a lady interested in child welfare, a few days before visiting Peter's school. Here the principal told me that Peter, the day before, had stuck pins into the backs of two children. She was visibly astonished when I said: "It must have been girls." I was correct in the conclusion to which I had jumped instantaneously, on the basis which I then explained to the principal: that Peter would "naturally" hate his sisters because of the preference shown to them by his grandmother, and that he might well have included all little girls in this hate.

When Peter came to my Psychological Clinic, I explained to him:

1) that he had no reason to make other girls suffer, because

his sisters were treated better than he,

2) that his sisters' better situation was because of his own

ugly attitude toward his grandmother in the past, which

made her dislike him, while his sisters had always been

nice to her.

3) that he could get himself to be liked by his grandmother

too, if he was so nice to her that he made her forget that,

for years, he had been a messenger bringing only ugly

messages to her.

In an interview with the grandmother, I made her understand, for her part, that she had no right to go on blaming the boy for having been ill-used by his father, and asked her to give him a chance.

Once admitted to his grandmother's home, Peter became a well-behaved child, who, when he saw that he continued to be treated well, became very affectionate, both with his mother (whom he had previously blamed for her siding with the grandmother) and his grandmother. He also began to enjoy the company of his sisters and make them like him.

4. The Influence of Class Conversations and Individual Interviews

Class conversations and individual interviews can significantly influence students' world view and style of life, creating more productive, happier human beings. In order to show this influence, I must first state what I mean by world view and style of life.

World view is the individual's interpretation of the world and the best way to live in it.

The style of life is his actual behavior in relation to the tasks of life. The main elements in a positive world view and style of life are: self-confidence, the ability to face difficulties, and the feeling of community. According to Adlerian thought, these fundamental factors of the personality are usually formed in the first five years of life. The "tree" that follows shows the roots of the fundamental factors.

The Roots of Personality

A. The formative period of personality (Childhood Influences):

The five roots, constantly influencing the individual's interpretation of every new experience, form the world view and the style of life in the first five years of childhood.

B. The pre-formed period of personality (Adolescent Preparation):

The individual solves the three problems of life in accordance with his fixed, automatic world view and style of life.

If, then, at the child's entrance into school and even kindergarten, his world view and style of life are already formed, or rather, DEformed because of the deficiencies of education in the home, the school's main task is to REform them, to humanize them, to reeducate the child for cooperative co-living, developing in him a strong self-confidence, a strong ability to face difficulties, and a strong feeling of community with others.

We have already seen how the class conversations turned 7, 10 and 11-year-old children into little philosophers, and particularly in the case of Samy, even a single psychological conversation can clearly change a child's entire world view. Let us now see some statistical proof of the usefulness of class conversations, because I had few individual interviews with students in this class.

In 1939, I organized 13 class conversations (in 13 successive weeks) in the 6th grade of a primary school in Costa Rica. Although the school had three parallel 6th grade sections, I worked only in section 6B, while I never spoke to the boys in sections 6A and 6C. However, the influence of my work in the class was not restricted to the 13 hours I spent there; both the students and the teacher have actually lived in the psychological atmosphere I created in the class. The boys wrote essays on the subjects discussed in our class conversations; they discussed our talks during recesses and whenever they met.

I followed up on the further studies of each individual student in the three sections, as well as the activities of those who did not continue studying. 84% of the boys entered secondary school (grades 7 to 11), i.e. 65 out of 77 primary school graduates. Practically the same number of boys of each section went to secondary school.

Students who failed in one or two subjects had the right to present themselves for re-examination at the beginning of the next school year in the same subjects,and if they passed their examinations then, they could enter the second year; those who failed in three or more subjects had to repeat the year in all subjects, or leave school. The passing grade was an average of 2 for the whole year; the worst grade in the course for the year was 4 (most insufficient).

Evidently, several boys must have been strongly influenced in their world view and style of life. This conclusion has been confirmed by some boys from this section, interviewed when they were in the 4th or 5th year of secondary school, who stated they had been profoundly impressed, particularly by two of my "lessons" which they had heard in primary school:

a) the idea that bad grades frequently were not due to "lack

of intelligence," but to lack of self-confidence and an insufficient

ability to conquer difficulties, and

b) the graphic representation of the situation within the

family constellation that the second child feels as if

constantly having to mount a ladder, step by step, with his

speed of ascension being subordinated to that of the firstborn, until he decides to get ahead of the one before him.

Many boys who were "behind" the best students of the class, decided they would not stay behind any longer, and worked to get ahead of them during all the years of secondary school.

The limited extension of my time in Costa Rica also allowed me to check up on the few boys of section 6B who did not continue studying. They were all getting ahead nicely in life, except one, a boy with a weak heart, who could have, however, been made into a striver notwithstanding, if his parents had not preferred to hide him away at home. One of the non-students, the son of a carpenter who went into his father's trade, achieved at the age of 18, the great significance of being put in charge of his father's workshop. The father had recognized the greater capacity of his son to modernize their production, to sell to customers, etc.

Of course, other elements have possibly also contributed to create the enormous difference between Section 6B and Sections 6A and 6C. For instance, section 6B has had the same outstanding teacher in grades 4, 5, and 6, while the other sections had new teachers in the 6th grade. The home environment of the students in all three sections was more or less the same, though such tests as the Rating Scales for Home Environments used in the United States might have shown differences. The "intelligence" of the students has not been tested either, because of lack of facilities for such work.

Both the interesting results and the lack of "controlled conditions" of my small-scale experiment in Costa Rica make me want to repeat the experiment in the United States, under such exactly controlled conditions as, at present, only the United States is interested in and able to establish.

Some may be interested in the experiment the City of Vienna was carrying on between 1928 and 1942. Having noticed the better results of teachers who had studied psychology under Alfred Adler, the Board of Education of the city of Vienna asked Adler to pick the teachers for one of the "Hauptschules" of the city (schools for boys between the ages of 10 to 14; 5th to 8th grades in USA). They planned to make Individual Psychology a required subject in all teacher training institutions, if the 4year experiment in this school proved the superiority of this particular school to others with no such selection of teachers trained in psychology.

When I passed through Vienna in 1931, the experiment was in its third year and the teachers of the school were sure the proof they presented would be conclusive. I listened to a spontaneous class conversation of 14-year-olds on the "Meaning of Life" (in the presence of the Turkish Minister of Education and other high authorities in the field), which was astounding, considering the depth of the ideas presented by the students and their age.

The reactionary movement that set in soon after 1932 in Austria killed this project of having all the teachers of Vienna trained in Adlerian psychology. But the experiment should really be repeated in the United States, as part of education for democracy and the constant effort to create a greater co-feeling among the many different creeds, races and national groups, as well as the employer and working classes and the two sexes.

Never has such a creation of co-feeling been more important than now, when the only way of saving ourselves from the consequences of the existence of the means of wholesale destruction is a new attitude toward each other. Instead of calling our age "the atomic era,” I would call it, “the era of unavoidable union.”

We have seen that the fundamental elements of the positive (i.e. healthy) human personality are: self-confidence, the ability to conquer difficulties, and co-feeling. The first two traits are dangerous without the last one; only if they are directed toward socially useful ends, under the control of co-feeling, are they valuable. Education, also, has value only if it truly creates co-feelings.

My Work in a
Secondary School

1. The Personality of the Student

*Finding those who will be real students.
*Reasons for the failure of a large number of students, both in
their studies and conduct (with statistical material).
*The effect of the teacher's personality on those who lack the real
student's attitude.

People in the United States tend to judge a country by its laws. Those who want information on a country, focus in particular on education laws, which concern perhaps the most fundamental of all government functions.

Even in such a culturally advanced, well intentioned country as Costa Rica, however, we find reality differs significantly from the laws. Among all the staggering differences, one of the most important is that: in the United States, 85% of the students who enter the first grade also graduate from the 7th grade; while in Costa Rica, only 3% of the first grade get to enter the first year of secondary school, corresponding to the 7th grade. (Of these 3%, only a little over half passes on to the second year, or the 8th grade.)

A short note on education in Costa Rica and Latin America in general, will probably help: The child enters primary school at the age of 7 and graduates from the 6th grade at the age of 13. The young student now enters the 1st year of secondary school at 13, and graduates from the 5th year at the age of 18.

A student may take a special examination at this point, called "Bachillerate," supposedly covering all that he has learned so far. The student who passes this examination is now a "Bachiller en Ciencias y Letras" (a Bachelor of Sciences and Arts) and his certificate entitles him to enter any Latin American university, immediately starting such professional studies as medicine or engineering.

This "certificado de bachiller" has such high value because, while the North American high school teaches only 4 or 5 subjects each year in five days a week, the Latin American "Colegio (Instituo, Licero) de Segunda Ensenanza" teaches 13 to 16 subjects, during five years, with a weekly number of usually two to four 50-minute periods of recitation.

The 11th grade in the United States is, then, merely an exterior equivalent of the 5th year of the Latin American secondary school. For reasons of statistical clarity, however, it has been treated here as a full equivalent.)

My work in Costa Rica as a consulting psychologist in the secondary schools of the government, working with a small minority of the country's potential students, made me take particular interest in the reasons that made even these 3% dwindle to 1% (against 85% and 52% in the United States) in the course of five years.

My interviews with hundreds of students during this five-year period have shown me that their failure was rarely due to limitations of their mental capacity, but nearly always to a lack or insufficiency of the elements indispensable to a “real student:”

a) an intense, intrinsic interest in their studies

b) self-confidence

c) the ability to conquer difficulties

d) co-feeling.

Let us, first, examine the factor of interest. The earlier a boy or girl shows a definite interest in a special field of activity, the better. Alfred Adler used to say: "If a boy of 14 does not yet know what he wants to become, he needs psychological help." Adler also attributed the greatest possible importance to early interest, a factor we usually find in those who later on become outstanding in some human activity.

The general public may attribute little importance to the manifestations of an early interest, because most people have observed that small children and even school children often change their ideas about their future profession. However, this happens only because parents do not take such manifestations seriously and do not further the corresponding desires, just as they generally do not further early aptitudes manifested by their children. (North American fathers are different; they are proud of their sons' achievements and interests and will help boys establish small laboratories or let them work along with them in their workshops, which they themselves have set up as a hobby.)

A few examples will show how early interest can create the “real student's attitude” which we have mentioned as indispensable for success in studies.

1. Alan Porter, one of my best teachers of psychology in New York, was about four years old when, one day, he entered his father's office. The father and "a bearded gentleman" sat on a sofa, conversing with each other. Stopping to listen in on the conversation, the boy did not understand more than occasional words. He asked: "What language are you speaking?" and his father answered him: "English, my boy." Little Alan felt greatly irritated that he had not understood his own language. He soon forced the adults of his family to teach him to read.

At the age of five and a half, Alan had some contagious disease and had to be transferred to the Children's Hospital. His father told him that he could take only one book along, because it would have to be burned afterward, and asked him to pick out a book. The child selected the Dictionary of the English Language. The nurses and visitors to the hospital were greatly astonished to see a child a little over five years old read the dictionary and study the definitions of the words.

One of the consequences of this early interest has been that when Alan Porter's book of poems, the Signature of Pain, was published in New York in 1931, the critics of that city found themselves obliged to refer to their dictionaries in order to understand the poems, as some of them have publicly confessed.

2. Alfred Adler used to tell us how he had become a physician because of his desire to defeat death. He was about four years old when a little brother of his died, which greatly impressed him.

Soon afterward, he himself became gravely ill, and one night, when the people around him thought he was deeply asleep, he heard the physician say to his mother: "This boy will not live until daybreak." This statement made Adler decide he would not let death defeat him. He fought all night to keep awake and not surrender himself. He was much better when morning came.

Later, Adler changed from fighting against physical death to fighting against the psychic death of others because of their lack of self-confidence and co-feeling, but he has always maintained his attitude of a fighter. When death finally did defeat him, in a street of Aberdeen in Scotland, he was once more on his way toward a lecture hall, in order to continue his fight against psychic death.

3. Perhaps I may add myself as another example. When I was a boy of five, one of my greatest pleasures was to get up as early as my father, whom I already admired very much. I drank a glass of milk, just like he did, in order to be able to await breakfast with my mother an hour and a half later. At 6 A.M., I then took my place in the "outer office," where the peasants who came to the market from the surrounding towns had to wait their turn until my father, who was in the "inner office" with another one of his consultants, could see them.

Many of these people, weighed down by their troubles and finding me an interested listener, used to tell me what had brought them to consult my father. Because I had often listened in when my father dictated legal papers to his clerks, and also when he told my mother about interesting cases over the dinner table, I had, notwithstanding my extreme youth, certain ideas about what might be done in some cases. So I used to suggest measures to the peasants in sentences starting with "Why don't you..."

The clients of my father, whom they called “doktor ur” (Mr. Doctor, because he was a Doctor of Law), were often quite astonished when he told them practically the same things as I had told them. My father reported to my mother each time that once more somebody had said to him: "but little Mr. doctor had told me the same thing."

In those days, I formed the idea that I would become a lawyer, viewing this profession the same way as my father did: as a means of helping people. Early contact with people's troubles made me keenly aware of the existence of psychic differences, and I read voraciously ever since I could do so shortly after the age of 6, always giving special attention to the psychic difficulties I found in my readings.

When I could not achieve my ambition because of the first world war, I let my parents influence me to study an unwanted profession they thought economically more advantageous for me. But I soon started to fight in order to become a consulting psychologist, which essentially gives me the same position toward others as I would have had as a "helpful lawyer," with an added advantage: no dependence upon written laws and thus greater independence in thinking.

4. With the examples just mentioned in mind, I started to examine, in 1940, the professional objectives of 596 boys in a secondary school (1st to 5th year) of Costa Rica, based on essays of the type already mentioned in connection with my work in primary schools. (See Part I.)

I took particular interest in the personalities of the boys who wanted to become physicians, because, for years, I have observed how this profession is increasingly becoming a "business," losing its former ethical superiority of a helping profession. A student may have many reasons for wanting to become a physician, among them several which have nothing to do with medicine directly and which, therefore, cannot create that intense, intrinsic interest which we have mentioned as present in the "real student." In Latin American countries, medicine is the profession of greatest social prestige and thus the best springboard for a political position (including the Presidency), or a fine marriage, or a great fortune (to be made as a surgeon).

Intense, intrinsic interest in the study of medicine may come from: a) a desire to help the sick or wounded, and b)a desire to become a helpful scientific investigator. Only from those who have this intense, intrinsic interest in medicine can we expect valuable and truly helpful activities in that field.

Among the 596 boys I have studied, 131 said they wanted to become physicians. But I found only two among them with what I have designated as "iii," (intense intrinsic interest). Both these boys are now studying medicine in Mexico City.

One of them, the son of a writer whom I admire for his intellectual honesty and his extensive co-feeling, is about to finish his studies. He wrote in 1940, at the age of 18, as a student in the 5th year of secondary school:

"To study medicine is the ambition of my life. I thought of it when I was a little schoolboy. I had been profoundly impressed by the pains suffered by an uncle of mine, who always had liver trouble, and I ardently desired to become a bachiller (graduate from secondary school), in order to study medicine and cure him."

In addition to the iii factor, we also see here an early interest distinctly based on a co-feeling, i.e. two of the four elements we said the real student must have, and an indispensable factor for truly social medical work.

The other student, son of an honorable lawyer, was only 15 years old when he wrote the following paragraphs. Early in life, he had been impressed with the importance of health for all of us. He answered the question, "What interests you most?":

"Health. Without health, nothing is of any value. One can have much money, but without health there is no joy and no happiness. Money can be lost and gained again, but if health is gone, it does not come back. This is why it makes me sad to see how nearly all my friends and acquaintances waste their health away, by smoking, by drinking, etc."

We find here co-feeling in the form of preoccupation with the health of others. In another one of his auto-studies, the young man wrote:

"When in some book or journal I find something on a medical subject, I read it with special interest and I feel an immense satisfaction. I feel an even greater satisfaction, however, when I can help someone, or indicate something to a suffering person which will help him. I also like medicine, because one can save many people, taking this profession as it should be taken, thinking carefully about each patient and studying his disease. I like medicine, because it is a science with many unknown elements which must still be cleared up."

Once more we see co-feeling manifest in what the student says, and genuine scientific interest for the chosen profession.

6. After a recent lecture of mine at the University of Mexico on the subject of studies beyond the secondary school, in which I stressed the importance of early interest, a young civil engineer came to consult me. In his answer to a question in my questionnaire, "Why did you choose the profession you have?", he wrote:

"I believe I liked this profession even before I knew it existed.

When I was a small boy of about 6, I liked to play at making small villages and roads to connect them, with bridges and tunnels through which I pushed carriages and trains bought from my savings. I made bricks and laid out houses and streets; built highways and brought water for the rivers over which I had built bridges. Or I used to go to a sand-hill outside the village where I lived and build lakes and tunnels. I also drew ugly streets and gardens and used to correct them in red pencil. When I was older, I learned that the Civil Engineers did these things, and it is for that reason that I picked my profession."

We see here an early interest born, most probably, out of an observation of the landscape from that sand-hill outside the young man's village, as well as an early preparation for the future profession the existence of which the child still ignored. It is particularly interesting to see that the child drew incorrectly first, in order to have something to correct.

If we now proceed to examine what happened to the other 129 would-be physicians, each of whom I followed all through his school years, we find that only 82 of these companions of our two outstanding medical students mentioned previously passed the "bachillerato" examination. Fully one third of the would-be physicians left secondary school without finishing their studies. While poverty and mental limitations may have played a certain part, we must remember that self-confidence and the ability to conquer difficulties can help to overcome their effects. We can safely say that either the interest in medicine was not genuine (intense and intrinsic) or the elements of personality just mentioned were lacking.

The three studies of the personalities of Jose, Juan, and Luis (See Part I) also provide an interesting comparison, if we compare them with each other in regard to the fundamental traits of the real student:

Juan Jose Luis a) Intense interest in their studies: -+ -b) Self-confidence: ? + c) Ability to conquer difficulties: ? + d) Co-feeling: -+

In this comparison, Jose appears as a completely positive boy, while Luis appears completely negative. We know that Jose is in Harvard University, studying to become a helpful scientific investigator, while Luis left secondary school after failure in the 1st year (corresponding to the 7th grade). Juan's essays did not tell us much about his self-confidence and ability to conquer difficulties, but we know that he is a pleasure-seeker, has failed in mathematics, and has constant difficulties in this subject. Even if he did go abroad to study medicine, we still do not expect great results from him.

Also, intense interest clearly correlates with behavior. Because at present we consider that parents have a democratic right to send their children, no matter how little they have educated them to become real students, to secondary schools and even the university, both types of institutions are full of individuals not interested in any studies at all, but merely in avoiding manual labor, or the task of helping in their parents' grocery store or other type of shop. The less interest a student has in a school subject, the worse his behavior. If we glance again at Table I, we can see clearly that the 7 boys who lost a school year because of their bad behavior were among those who failed in an astounding number of subjects. In contrast, none of the boys in Section 6B, in which I worked, lost a year because of bad behavior. On the other hand, only the 6Bboys, i.e. those with good behavior, were a respectable 23% of those who had no worse grade than an average of 1.50.

The faculty of every school contains a few members who have constant difficulties with their students. Those who remember their own school days know that the "bad" pupils (i.e. those who are "bad" in their studies) are also the "bad boys," the boys who exploit the foibles of their teachers in order to make fun of them, play tricks on them, etc. Some of these "bad boys" are mentally unable to study in secondary schools, but most of them don't study only because they lack intellectual interest and the ability to conquer the difficulties presented by the different subjects. The boys who come to the secondary schools with an intense interest in studies in general, or those who feel that their present studies will prepare them for their future career, have no time for anti-teacher activities.

The great importance given to tests of mental capacity has unjustly obscured the doubtless even greater importance of the "realstudent attitude" and personality. The trouble with schools, at least in Latin America, is not that the students are mentally unable to study the school subjects, but that these subjects do not interest them. In part, this is a fault of the programs and the all-too-frequently unattractive presentation of the material. But the major reason is that the students lack intense intellectual interest and are unwilling to conquer the difficulties they would have to overcome in subjects that do not interest them.

Admission to Secondary Schools in Latin America should not be a right but a privilege, based primarily on personality factors (intense intrinsic interest, self-confidence, the ability to conquer difficulties, and the feeling of community). A school is harmed less by admitting students who are mentally slower than average (if they are willing to fight this difficulty presented by their brain, compensating for it by greater efforts), than by admitting students who have no interest in studies.

Much has been made of the constancy of intellectual capacity from birth. But the constancy of the fundamental factors of personality, and the fact that their strength or intensity can be recognized in such ways as we have seen here (class conversation; essays as written by Juan, Jose, and Luis; individual interviews) remains little known.

Puberty is a great scarecrow of the pedagogues. When Latin-American (or other) boys become "lazy" and ill-behaved in puberty, their behavior is blamed on the physical phase of life they are going through. Educators do not understand that each boy enters this phase with his own definite personality, which if positive, can counteract the physical influence of the phase. A minority of boys and girls do fight the difficulties presented by their bodies in puberty, because their concept and style of life make them do so.

If admission to secondary schools and universities (at least those maintained by the taxpayers or by endowments) were based on personality (popularly called "character"), parents would be forced to make sure that their children form a positive concept and style of life. Also, primary schools would have to become institutions of education and not only of instruction, as they are now.

An important difference between the United States and Latin America must also be pointed out. In the U.S.A., graduation from high school means little more than a minimum requirement for a junior clerkship in any office, or for a job as a sales clerk in a store. Many factory workers and farmers are also high school graduates.

In Latin American countries, on the contrary, even the student who has spent one or two years in a secondary school, and especially the graduates, find themselves "too good" for manual labor and especially for agricultural work in the fields, while the country needs more than anything else farmers who have had some education. This attitude creates enormous numbers of those seeking clerkships in the services of the government and influences politics all over Latin America, because the candidates for the presidency and the president and his secretaries of state have to promise and give away jobs to all those who have had some secondary schooling, but were unable to study at the universities.

Furthermore, a great surplus of individuals have graduated from universities, but have no means and no initiative in accordance with the social standing their diploma gives them, because the incipient economy of most Latin American countries does not need so many professional men. These countries have especially far too many lawyers, who equally seek employment by the state. Physicians also are becoming much too numerous, not because people don't need them, but because the economic situation of potential patients prevents them from calling a physician. (50% of all deaths in Costa Rica occurs without a physician having seen the sick person before his death). Physicians crowd into the capitals and the bigger cities, while the malaria districts and other places where physicians could do preventive work of national usefulness have only very few. Because so many practitioners lack the intrinsic interest in medicine, co-feeling with the suffering patients, and the ability to face the difficulties of disagreeable climates and the comparative poverty of work among poor people, while they desire the purchasable pleasures the capitals offer, much of the higher education obtained is weakened in its value by the defects of the personality we have just described.

Thus, while in the United States, high school education has positive value for the country because it creates better clerks, workers, and farmers, in Latin America countries, even the few who get to enter secondary school may become more of a hindrance than a benefit to their country, because they do not make a truly beneficial use of the education they have obtained. Political parties in smaller Latin American countries usually consist of merely groups of job-seekers of all categories, grouped around men who, when lifted into power, will distribute jobs to them.

The solution is not, of course, that fewer boys and girls should receive a secondary education, but that those admitted to studies preparing for the university should be chosen in accordance with the personality factors we have pointed out several times. The other students should be given a more practical education (trade, industrial, artistic) and then helped to put their knowledge to good use. Education should not be, as at present, an activity detached from the needs of the country's economy and objectives, but clearly based on them.

2. The Distancing Factors in the Life of a Class

The task of our time is to establish the strongest possible cofeeling between all human beings; between all human units, like groups, countries, classes, creeds and races, and within each unit.

A child enters even his first classroom, kindergarten, with his world view and style of life already formed. But the school's task is to create a co-feeling in those who have none, and increase the co-feeling that others (unfortunately, only a small minority) have brought along with them. Our schools, institutions dedicated mainly to instruction, fail terribly in the task of education in co-living and the development of "uniting traits," i.e. social feeling.

The results of an inquiry of mine, made in the first year of a Latin American secondary school, shows the extent of this failure. I asked boys of an average age of 13 to list the types of students they knew, with an explanation of each "label" they used to designate the respective types.

With the help of several young student friends of mine from the upper years, I grouped the traits mentioned by the students, as follows:

Pupils With Uniting Traits Pupils With Distancing Traits
1. Those who are social-minded. 1. Those who believe that they are
more than others.
2. Those who are psychically 2. Those who are inconsiderate.
agreeable.
3. Those who are superficially 3.Those who are unwilling
agreeable. to help.
4. Those who deserve respect. 4. Those who seek advantage.
5. Those who irritate you.
6. Those who are bad companions.
7. Those who attack you physically.
8. Those who attack your property.
9. Traits noticed in the behavior
of students toward
third persons.
10. Traits and customs by which
students harm themselves.
11. Traits that make you despise
those who display them.

Though I had some years of experience with the attitude of Latin American students toward each other, I was still amazed to see how many traits leading to psychic distance these 13-year-olds had already found in their companions, while their experience with positive attitudes toward fellow students was evidently very limited.

(The boys used many "labels" to call each other names which I had never heard before, so I had to ask my assistants for an explanation. Many of these would have to be rendered by entire phrases or sentences, while in Spanish the much wider use of nouns made of adjectives, gave the boys many creative possibilities...on the negative side of life. Thus, in English, "The Inconsiderate" would not fully translate "Los Desconsiderados," nor would "The Inconsiderate Ones" sound quite right. Therefore, I have adopted the somewhat stilted form: "Those who are inconsiderate.")

Repeating this inquiry in North American schools would be most interesting, in order to see what uniting and separating traits the students there find in each other. North American students seem to me much closer together psychically than their Latin American neighbors. Should an investigation prove me right, the origins of the differences would have to be investigated, with special attention to early home education.

Let us look at the separating traits first and examine the uniting ones thereafter, to see how far they can compensate for the general negativity of Latin American perception in regard to "the others."

Distancing Traits

The first eight groups represent traits which directly affect the individual who judges the others; traits 9 to 11 affect third persons, the observed person himself, or make the observed person unfriendly, often to the extent that the observer despises him.

I have arranged the first eight groups in the order in which my assistants and I felt they became more and more separating.

Those Who Believe They are More Than the Others

The Inseparable Ones: They are always together. They are good friends. (This label denotes a certain hostility, based on the feeling that a close unity of two individuals within the group means disdaining the others.)

The Conceited Ones: They believe they are more than anyone else.

The Movie Actors: ("Los peliculeros") They want to show that they are abler than the others. (These boys make themselves uncongenial by their all too evident desire of competitive superiority.)

Those Who Always Pride Themselves: They always believe themselves to be more than others, and show it. They strive to be recognized as more than the others. They believe that only what is theirs is good. They pride themselves on being more than others. They tell exaggerated tales about their lives.

The Braggers: They always brag about what they have done and about what they are.

Total of the group: 5 labels, referred to 13 times.

Those Who Are Inconsiderate

The Untidy: They exaggerate untidiness. (The boys also condemn "excessive" tidiness. Those who are poor, who still have a youthful neglect of themselves, who still seek a negative "freedom" from the conventional exigencies of adults, who still lack the desire to impress people by their exterior personality; they all condemn excessive tidiness. Here we see, on the other hand, that excessive untidiness is also condemned, as beyond the limits of admissible "freedom.")

The Pigs:: Those who let off winds (flatulence) in class, (because they must, or in order to annoy the others.) Those who spread bad odors. (This "must" is doubtful; the need to free oneself of flatulence is generally felt in time to ask to leave the class. Not to do this, means Lack of Consideration for the others or even Intentional Lack of Consideration, in order to make use of the gases in the body to annoy one's classmates one.)

The Indecent Ones: They only tell "piggish" things.

The Immoral Ones: They use vulgar words. They use bad words.

The Vulgar Ones: They do not respect anything. (Certain social rules have been inculcated in the boys with great success. The foremost among them is "not to curse mentioning the other fellow's mother." They are also shocked if a boy says vulgar things in the presence of a woman, or to a woman. Many boys, even in conversations among themselves, do not want to hear vulgar words. Generally, a profound personal morality does not create this desire, but a feeling that one is "disrespected," i.e.that the person who talks in this way shows no respect to the listener.)

The Peasants: They are very rude when they speak to others.

The Ducks: (*This expression stems from the fact that peasants generally have broad, flat feet, like ducks.) Uneducated farmers often shock city people by their expressions. Boys who use this expression show lack of respect for their companions.

The “Informal” Ones: ("Los Informales") Those who do not keep their appointments. (Not to keep an appointment shows lack of consideration and appreciation for others.)

Total of the group: 8 labels, referred to 11 times.

Those Who Are Unwilling to Help

Those Who Are Unwilling to do a Favor: ("Los inserviciales") They wouldn't do favors.

Bad Friends: They wouldn't cooperate.

The Mistrustful Ones: They don't want to lend pencils, pens, erasers, copybooks, etc.

The Misers: They wouldn't help anyone.

The Close-Fisted: They wouldn't help their classmates.

The Stingy: They wouldn't lend money, copybooks, etc. They do not help students who are in financial need. Though they have in abundance, they do not share. They can see others who want to eat something, and even if they have money, they don't lend any. They do not trust their companions. They distrust everyone.

The Usurers: They do not lend anything, because they are afraid they won't get it back. They make a profit on loans. They make loans only if they make a profit on them. They lend their homework or whatever another boy needs only if they are paid for it.

Total of the group: 8 labels, referred to 20 times.

(The poverty of the majority of students makes unwillingness to help a very hated trait. Loan sharks are particularly unpopular. On the other hand, the self-defense of those who can lend is somewhat justified; they do not want to be "PUNTA"s, i.e. individuals who can be "tapped.")

Those Who Seek Advantages

Those Who Lean On Others: (The corresponding Spanish labels are: 1.Los Arrecostados, 2. Los Atenidos, 3. Los Frescos, 4. Los Copiadores. The statements about them are:)

Those Who Let Others Make the Necessary Efforts for Them: They do not make efforts on their own. With examinations and homework, they let their classmates do the work for them.

The Impertinent Ones: When the professor dictates anything, they do not write; afterward they ask for their classmates' copybooks and do not give them back on time, dirty them, and cause the lenders difficulties in their studies.

Those Who Copy the Work of Others: They copy the work of their classmates. They copy the work of others during examinations, and they copy the homework.

The “Brushes”: (The Spanish labels were: "Brochas" and "Cepillos"). They like to "brush" their companions. (This means that they behave toward those who can give them something like a servant who brushes the clothes of his boss. The boys are irritated by the insincerity of the "brushes" and by the fact that they make themselves intentionally inferior in order to get something in this vile way, thus lowering the morale level of the class community.)

The Probosci: They stick to others, in order to get themselves invited. (They "hang on" to others, or rather "from" them, as the proboscis of the elephant-"el moco"--hangs down from its head.)

The Suckers: (The Spanish term "Chupadores" means exactly the opposite of the usual English meaning of “sucker.” In English, the sucker is the one who gives; in Spanish, the sucker is the one who "sucks" the money out of others.) The definition given by a boy was: They are poor but mentally alert, and they exploit the rich and stupid ones.

The Sycophants: They go along with someone who has money, in order not to have to spend any money themselves. They have gotten accustomed to being paid for. They live off of others.

The Extortioners: They make a lot of noise about supposed troubles in order to oblige others to do them favors.

The Beggars: They always beg for something. They beg from everybody, but they never give anything. (Lack of reciprocity makes this trait worse).

The Destroyers: When you lend them anything, they return it all destroyed. (Lack of gratitude and consideration for the lender).

The Fresh Ones: They ask for pencils and other things and then do not return them.

The Cheaters: They ask for pens or money, and do not return them.
The Shameless: They do not pay what they owe.
The Bad Debtors: They borrow but do not pay back.
The Postponers: (Los Morosos) They never pay up.
Total of the group: 16 labels, referred to 21 times.

Those Who Irritate You

The Jesters: (Los Bromeros)
The Fun-Makers: (Los Burlistas)
The Critics: (Los Criticones)
The Trick-Players: (Los Charlatanes)
Los Choteadores: (like the Burlistas, they make fun of others)
Los Fregones: (Literally "the rubbers;" they rub you, in order to irritate

you.)
Los Goteras: (They irritate you constantly, like a drop of water (gota)

that keeps on falling, like water of a "gotera" that comes down in drops
from the ceiling of a leaky house.)
Los Juguetones: (the playful ones)
Los Majaderos: (those who beg you constantly)
Los Tiradores: (those who throw things at you)
Los Vacilones: (merry jesters).

Significantly, this group made me run out of English equivalents, so that, after four attempts at giving such, I decided to give explanations of the Spanish terms. Even "Fun-makers" is a rather poor equivalent of "Los burlistas," because this Spanish term clearly indicates "making fun of others." This type of fun-making is typically Latin-American.

21 boys complained about this group of individuals. Their complaints have been summed up by the following descriptions: 50

A. They play rough jokes on their classmates.

B. They make fun of their schoolmates. They make fun of those who have made mistakes. They observe the defects of their schoolmates and make fun of them. They make fun of the cripples. They always try to shame others in the presence of others.

C. They throw paper balls and seed at their classmates during recitations, or they throw earth at them during the class in agriculture.

D. They hide pen-boxes and make knots in the coats of our uniforms.

E. They irritate and bother us constantly.

Another Group of “Irritators”

The Butters-In: They butt in on conversations of their schoolmates. They stick their noses in the affairs of everybody, even though their opinion has not been asked for. They exaggerate greatly anything they know about.

The Peekers: They see only what is none of their business.

The Botherers: They push themselves into everything.

The Storrytellers: They tell tales about you all over the school.

The Charcoalers: (Los Carboneadores): They put psychic carbon ("fuel") on the fire that burns in the soul of others, in order to make them fight with each other): They like to make others fight. They get others to fight. They throw coal onto others. They try to get their companions to fight among each other.)

Total of the two groups: 16 labels, referred to 32 times.

Those Who Are Bad Companions

The Envious: They get disgusted over the triumphs of their classmates and hate them.

The Intriguers: They desire the posts held by other students. They want to overthrow others, in order to take their places.

The Betrayers: They get their classmates to dislike others, by accusing them. (Such boys cooperate excessively with the professors, "brushing" them. )

The Accusers: They are constantly finding reasons to accuse. They like to accuse others. (Even if a boy has been provoked, juvenile ethics require him to endure small attacks without accusing.) See also The Delicate Ones. Some accuse without saying who has done them harm. (They are satisfied with having frightened the aggressor; they are not angry enough to want him punished, and they don't want to make him dislike them seriously.)

Total of group 6: 4 labels, referred to 7 times.

Those Who Attack You Physically

The Unfair: They like to exploit their physical superiority. ("Los Aprovechados") They beat only their weak classmates, so they will appear to be strong. They treat poorly those incapable of offering resistance. They like to treat poorly those who are smaller than they, in order to get a reputation for being very strong.

The Fighters: (Los Buscapleitos) Those who go looking for fights.

The Stonethrowers: They amuse themselves by throwing stones at their schoolmates, without thinking of possible consequences.

The Pushers: They throw their classmates into the swimming pool.

The Rough Ones: They hit their friends. They treat others poorly, and hit them.

The Bullies: They believe they are superior just because they are stronger. They misuse their strength. Using their physical force, they insult and abuse their schoolmates.

The Jews: They only know one thing: how to spit. (The label stems from the statement that Jews have spat on Jesus).

The Hypocritical Aggressors

The Hypocrites: (Los Agazapados & Los Disimulatos): They do things
and deny having done them. They like to irritate without being seen. If

they hurt their schoolmates without being discovered, they are amused. (See also hypocritical behavior toward the professors)

Total of the group: 11 labels, referred to 23 times.

Those Who Attack Your Property

The Thieves: They take things from their classmates' coats.

The Robbers: They rob their classmates. They like to take what is not theirs. They perpetrate bad actions. They are thieves out of pure viciousness who steal things without value, only in order to have the satisfaction of having grabbed something.

The Crop-Thieves: They steal crops from the field of Agriculture. (Each boy has his own little piece of land there). They eat the products someone else has labored to produce.

Total of the group: 3 labels, referred to 9 times.

Negative Traits Noticed in the Behavior of Students
Toward Third Parties

The Self-Styled: (Los Entrometidos) They offer their services to the professors as self-styled assistants, without being asked to help.

Los Oficiosos: (another term for The Self-Styled.)

The Brushes: They ask the professors about things they wouldn't be able to use in their studies. (Boys dislike others who try to create a special relationship with the professors, thus trying to lift themselves out of the student community. They particularly dislike when this is done by intellectual means, because the intellectual superiority of the student who converses with the professor is a criticism of their own superficiality.)

The Sycophants: They try to be liked by the professors, even if they have to lie.

The Cramps: (Los Calambrosos) They force themselves to find something nice to say to the professors. ( e.g., "What a nice suit you are wearing today.")

The Fresh Ones: They answer back, to the professors or other people.

They are fresh and ill-behaved toward the professors. They try to be interesting by being fresh.

The Noisy Ones: They exaggerate noise.

The Hoboes: They do not let their classmates hear the lessons.

The False Accusers: They accuse others in order to irritate, even though nobody has done anything to them.

The Hypocrites: (Los Agazapados) (Los Hipocritas) They do things, then deny having done them. They do wrong things and accuse their classmates of them, so that the professor will believe them to be good boys. When the professor has his back turned on them, they misbehave; but when the professor faces them, they are very good. They always accuse others of their own faults. They behave well when the professor faces them, but when he turns to the blackboard, they irritate others and do all kinds of mischief. Clearly, the professors think well of them, but the students know who they are.

The Dead Flies: They misbehave when the professor does not see them.

The “Majaderos”: They keep on misbehaving, even though the professor has told them to stop it.

The Misbehavers: (Los Molestones) They irritate the professors. (2 boys)

The “Necios” (Nuisances): They are reprimanded for something, but do it again immediately.

The Damagers: They damage the benches with a knife.

The Sign-Painters: They put signs on the walls all over school.

The Forgers: They like to forge. They forge their father's signature when they have bad grades. They forge the signatures of their parents (3 boys) They forge the signature on the report cards, excuse notes on their absences, etc. They cheat the professors.

The Liars: They like to lie to their parents. They tell lies (to the professors and to their parents).

Total of group 9: 18 labels referred to 31 times.

We cannot interpret the "labels" of this group as a result of true indignation, except in a few instances, such as the condemnation of the "majaderos," who keep on disturbing, although the professor has asked them not to. The boys somehow feel that once the teacher has directly asked one of them not to irritate him, for the boy to continue to do so is unfair.

The individual boy's co-feeling with others beyond the class community (which does not include the professors, unfortunately), determines up to what point he condemns negative attitudes and actions toward non-students. Although a few dislike noise in the classroom, others are quite glad if the professor has to lose time in "restoring order" in the class; and they are amused when he is angry, except if he punishes the whole class.

Most have some contempt for the forgers and the liars, and even more so for the hypocrites, because the Code of Honor requires that someone should accept responsibility for what he has done. Most also have some hostility toward forgers and liars, because they try to attain by illicit means what others often work hard to achieve.

Many of the opinions expressed in this group are based on the teachings of the adults, who are interested parties (like the professors, who want peace in the class so they can teach uninterrupted); thus, these opinions do not have the same value of sincerity as those of the first 8 groups.

Traits and Customs by Which Students Harm Themselves

The Unconscious: They believe that Secondary School is just like Primary School, and that they can live a life of vagrants or playboys. During recitations, they do nothing but play.

The Sleepers: They come late to school (2 boys).

The Idlers: They do their homework in the entrance door of the school.

The Non-Fulfillers: (They do not fulfill what they are supposed to do.) They come late and stay away just because they want to.

The “Truants”: (comes from "viento," i.e. "wind") The boys sort of "blow away."

The Adventadores: They run away. They run away from recitations. They run away from examinations.

The Vicious: They smoke at the School corner. (Bigger boys have permission to go to the street during recesses and smoke there.) They smoke in the Agricultural Field. They exaggerate smoking, drinking, etc. They smoke or drink. They like all kinds of vices, like smoking, drinking, etc. They believe they are adults. They do themselves harm, because every vice is bad for man's health. They give a bad example to their schoolmates. They smoke and give cigarettes to others, so that they may become vicious, too. They harm the class, because having smoked during recess, they have atrophied their brains instead of letting them rest, and in this way, returning to class without readiness to study, they disturb their classmates and the professor. (This last statement is a good example of the way in which investigations of this type reveal the superior character of certain students. Even if we do not go into the matter of whether or not the opinion of the boy is correct, his range of thinking is evidently greater than that of others.)

The Apaches: They have all kinds of vices and are not ashamed of them.

In the attitude toward the VICIOUS and the APACHES, we can once more recognize the influence of professors, parents, and other adults. The boys who at their age of 13 do not yet smoke or drink, condemn "the vices." Besides "concepts learned from others" however, we also find a certain contempt for those who are not even able to refrain from smoking during school hours. All young people desire self-control, and they despise those who do not have it. Envy of those who are courageous enough to smoke and drink already may have caused some of the hostility toward "the vicious."

Totals: 8 labels, mentioned 27 times.

Traits that Make You Despise Those Who Display Them

The Nail-Eaters: They constantly have their hand in their mouth.

The Pessimists: Because they receive one bad grade, they already believe they have failed the school year and lose the desire to study. (Young people, full of the desire to get ahead in life, also like striving and optimism in others. They are disgusted by those who lack self-confidence, because they remind them of their own self-doubts.)

The Bitter Ones: ("Los Agriois") One does not even want to speak to them. (They, too, have an unyouthful attitude).

The Sleepers: They behave well in class, but they are only sitting there and nothing else. If the professor asks them anything, they do not know what to answer. They are "on the moon," when in class. (These boys are looked down on by their classmates, both because of their lack of intellectual capacity and for their lack of compensatory negative behavior. A bad student must at least be a bad boy; a "sleeper" is not even negative, he is just nothing.)

The Saints: They are very quiet and they do not do anything. (3 boys).

The Saintly: Of course, this means they do not do anything considered "bad."

The Mummies: For a youngster, to be a "saint" is to be unyouthful, to be like a mummy. Furthermore, such SUPER-GOODNESS is a constant criticism of the less "good" behavior of others. "Saintly" boys are so only in the presence of the professor, but amusing when he is not present; "absolute saints" are "good" both when the professor is present and when he is not.

The Ill-Fated: (The Bad-Luck Boys; Los Mala Suerte): Small transgressions get them exaggerated punishments.) Some boys believe in "bad luck" and consider those who have it "poor devils," but most of them look down on the bad-luck boys, because they do not have the "normal" youthful capacity of escaping that "bad luck." (Criminals, too, despise those who have "got themselves caught.") Another type of bad-luck-boy is the one who studies hard, but still gets bad grades.

The Martyrs: Everybody bothers them, especially those who "come to school only to be present there."

The Delicate Ones: They like to play tricks on others, but do not like it if they are repaid in kind. (We see here contempt both for the unfair attitude of not admitting reciprocity in kind, and for the unmasculine and unyouthful attitude of "touch-me-not.")

The Tough Ones: They become hard on you.

Those Who Love Themselves Excessively: They are afraid even of the smallest wound. (Another unyouthful attitude.)

The Fever Boys: They can't stay quiet.

The Furnaces: They can't get off the apparatus for gymnastic exercises. (Energy, in itself, is a very positive thing in the eyes of boys, but self-control is equally so; and if energy is not controlled by character, boys find it somewhat ridiculous and despise the uncontrolled super-energetic individual. This inability to keep quiet in class and stay put, or the uncontrollable desire to make a few more turns on a trapeze for which others are waiting, awakens contempt.)

The Politicians: They talk of politics. (Boys, especially in the lower years, feel that politics is not a normal preoccupation for their age. They believe that the normal thing for a student is to busy himself with problems of his school, and those of his age in general. A student who tries to win sympathies for a political candidate seems to them anti-natural, unyouthful. Furthermore, they do not believe those political ideas are the student's own; rather, they think these ideas must have been acquired in conversations between adults heard at home. This makes the "politicans" somewhat ridiculous. The other students also dislike that their attention is required for things to which they never have given any thought, and that they are treated as "inferior" just because they have not done so.)

The Super-clean Ones: The poverty of the great majority of students required a cheap uniform to be introduced, in order to make social differences less obvious. Cleanliness is considered natural, even though it is not always possible for all the students. But they feel hostile toward those who lift themselves above others by coming to school with an always well-pressed uniform, well-greased hair, a starched shirt, a constantly new tie, etc.

The Young Gentlemen: "They want to appear like young gentlemen."

The Effeminate Ones: “They seem to be women.”

The Beauty-Maniacs: So careful are they of their exterior, "they do nothing but comb themselves and see if their coat is well put on."

The Mother's-Babies: (Carlos Gardel was an Argentine move actor, who was much admired for being a kind of Beau Brummell).

The False Pretenders: They go about well dressed, but their stomach is empty. They lie about their grades. ("False pretense" is met with resentment, as an intent to cheat a schoolmate and because it represents doubt about the intelligence of the others, pretending to cheat them.)

The Flirters: (El Copador) They flirt all day long. (To the younger boys, a student who spends too much time on conquests of the other sex seems somewhat ridiculous; but, this attitude conceals a great deal of envy toward the one who is more able as a conquistador. In this way the majority, who suffer from inferiority feelings and doubts about their abilities when facing a girl, transforms the superiority of the "flirter,"

The Work of an Adlerian Psychologist in the Schools

who stops girls in the street, into the inferiority of being ridiculous.) Total of this group: 22 labels, referred to 35 times.

Uniting Traits
Those Who Are Social-Minded

  1. They like their companion.

  2. They help their friends in whatever way they can.

  3. They cooperate with the class.

  4. They like to serve.

  5. They cooperate to improve the situation.

  6. They want to make things better.

  7. They turn over their seats to other students or to professors.

(We might use the following Positive Labels.) The Social Ones: Those Who Are Eager to Serve: The Cooperative Ones: The Courteous Ones: Those Interested in Making Things Better: (The boys gave no "label" for any of these references to positive traits.)

Those Who are Psychically Agreeable

The Happy Ones: (“Los Alegres"): They are generally optimistic and with their happy conversation, they gradually get their companions to be more optimistic, too.

The Amusing: (Los “Graciosos”) (“Los Comicos”) They amuse others. They amuse the class. They play clowns, doing all kinds of nonsense. They amuse the students and the professor. They speak nonsense, in order to amuse. They make others pay attention to them by constant joking. They make faces.

Those Who Are Physically Agreeable

The Tidy Ones: ("Los Aseados"): They come to school well dressed. They are cleanly dressed and have their things in order. They are clean. (This trait is slightly uniting, because we like to see clean and tidy people. Those who do not have this trait admire it, but any exaggeration of it awakens hostility. See p. 52 on top)

Those Who Deserve Respect

The Studious Ones: They get to triumph.

The Serious Ones: They have very formal manners.

The Honest Ones: They return money they have borrowed.

The Understanding: They understand you. (The general feeling is that it would be good to be friends with these boys, because they could help with their knowledge, and you could tell them things about yourself. In regard to these traits too, however, exaggerations elicit protest. See “The Saints,” etc.)

Total of the 4 groups of positive traits: 24 (9 labels)

The Problem of Mathematics

Teachers, parents, and students all mention "native ability" most often in connection with mathematics. The definite relationship between intelligence and mathematical ability found by test psychologists confirms that "native ability" does play an important part. However, even if we recognize the importance of the "native ability" factor, we must stress another one, which until now has been given little attention in connection with mathematics: the character of the student.

In 1940, when the Congress of Costa Rica created for me the post of "Professor in Charge of Psychological Reeducation," I believed that one of the most useful things I could do for the country's schools was to carefully examine the basis for the many failures in mathematics. The investigation had two points of attack: a) a study of the mistakes that occurred in the boys' examination papers, and b) individual consultations with the boys who had difficulties in mathematics.

The professors of mathematics of the Liceo de Costa Rica in San Jose collaborated with me to investigate the boys' mistakes. We examined one by one every mistake made by 120 boys in four months, in three different school years (corresponding to grades 7, 9, and 10 in the States).

We found four types of errors:

  1. Errors of exactitude during work

  2. Errors due to lack of knowledge

  3. Errors due to lack of mathematical logic, especially in the stating of the problem

  4. Errors due to self-doubts (the boys crossed out what they had put down correctly, replacing it with something incorrect).

We found that errors of exactitude in work constitute practically two thirds of the errors contained in the examination papers. The general idea that the most frequent errors are those of "mathematical logic" is hereby proven to be incorrect, at least for Costa Rica. A parallel investigation in the States would be most interesting.

The types of errors most frequently observed, were:

a) Errors in the four fundamental operations.

b) Adding up numbers that should have been multiplied, and

other similar erroneous substitutions of one operation for

another.

c) Omission of the "-" sign, when passing from one row of

figures to the next one.

d) Not changing the plus or minus sign, when passing a

factor from one side of an equation to the other side.

e) Not multiplying all the items within parentheses by the

common factor, when the parentheses are eliminated.

An interesting fact revealed by this investigation is the constancy in the number of errors of exactitude. We might expect that greater experience with mathematics would make the students more exact in their work as they continue studying and that with the elimination of "bad" students in the first two years of secondary school, the students in the third and fourth years would be much more exact, because they are a select group. However, inexactitude has remained the same (with even a very slight increase) between the first year and the third and fourth. The boys' study of algebra from the second year on changed the type of errors, but not their quantity.

After each examination, as soon as the professor and I had analyzed the errors, I went to the respective class and pointed out the types of errors of attention (exactitude) committed by the class as a whole. This proved most encouraging to the boys because they came to feel they were not as bad ("inferior") intellectually as they had previously thought, when they had considered only their grades or the number of their errors, but not the type of errors. The boys rightly felt that they could more easily correct their lack of exactitude than they could correct lack of mathematical logic.

In individual interviews with some boys, we soon discovered that they also had errors of exactitude in their homework. This proved that these errors did not result from the speed imposed by examinations, or from the fear of bad grades (homework was not evaluated by the professors), but to inexactitude in work in general.

When I had the boys make collections of their own types of errors, we soon found that certain types recurred frequently. Once conscious of their own special tendencies toward certain errors, the boys automatically became more careful when they got to an operation of the types in question, thus avoiding further mistakes.

Mathematics as a Barometer of Self-Confidence

Self-confidence and mathematical ability connect in a curious relationship. This connection emerges even in the first grades of primary school, where children lacking self-confidence shy away from such simple "problems" as the usual: "A merchant bought...., he then sold....," even though these problems imply only two multiplications and one subtraction, operations which they know well.

Again and again, I have been able to change the results in mathematics of young consultants of mine, by changing their self-confidence, without much talk about the field of their failure, the ogre mathematics.

The following first two case histories illustrate this point.

Case I

(A young girl of 13, student of the first year of secondary school in Paris.)

When I passed through Paris in 1939, a Costa Rican gentleman, who knew I was to leave for his country two days later, asked me what could be done to help a person psychologically in a single consultation. I answered that it depended on the case, but that it was always possible to help a little at least. He thereupon asked me to see his elder daughter, 13, greatly discouraged by the fact that her younger sister, 11, studied with much more ease than she.

In the only talk I then had with the young girl, I made her see that her bad grades in mathematics especially, as well as those in many other subjects, were not because of an inability to study those subjects, but to her "I-give-up attitude," in response to the ease with which her sister studied. Her last grades in mathematics at that time were: 18-14-10-9-86; 20 being the highest grade in Paris schools. I immediately noticed that this situation could be drawn in the form of a curve, with 6 at the lowest point. So I drew this curve and asked: "What could we do about this now? The young girl (Mary) answered, unconvinced: "One could study?" This impersonal way of speaking ("One could.....") reminded me of another little girl, Ines, who was brought to Paris from Spain not knowing a word of French, but was put in the class corresponding to her age, 11. I told Mary the story of Ines, as follows:

"Ines quickly learned French by talking to the girls at school and her other playmates, who were all French, but she had difficulty with spelling. She made 30 or more mistakes in every essay and the teacher used to tell her, "I have underlined all your mistakes in red, now have somebody at home help you correct them and write the correctly spelled words in the margin. With her father's help, Ines did write all the necessary corrections in the margin, but by that time her page looked more red than blue, and she became discouraged. When her father now wanted to explain to her each of her mistakes, she ran away, and so the mistakes recurred the next day."

I then added:

"You must not be so discouraged about school grades; they are only of secondary importance. Tonight, I have seen you bring a glass of water for your mother and I was struck by the humane attitude with which you handed the glass to her. If I would have to give you grades in "Humane-ity," I would not give you 20, the highest grade in school, but something close to 100, and I am sure your parents feel the same way. I am now headed for your home country; here is my address there (I gave it to her) and I expect to hear about your grades in mathematics after this vacation period."

A few weeks later, in Costa Rica, I received a post card from Mary with a report.

The first part of the report looked like "native inability for mathematics," but the second part showed how erroneous it was to jump to conclusions about "ability" solely on the basis of grades. (Even tests must be deeply influenced by discouragement.)

What did the help given in this case consist of? First, I pointed out that discouragement more than inability accounted for the bad grades. Second, I showed Mary that her "One could study" attitude was

insufficient, that she should not run away from mathematics, but really face the difficulties. Third, I encouraged Mary by giving her the (well-deserved) praise about her humane way of serving others.

Fourth, I added a strong incentive to that of "better grades" and "to prove to myself that I am not as inferior as I thought:" the incentive of knowing that a gentleman seen only once, who goes across the ocean to another continent, will still be interested in her grades.

Case II

(A young man of 17 in the 4th year of secondary school in Costa Rica.)

For several years, this young man experienced low grades and failures in mathematics. These failures did not stem from a lack of "native ability," but from a lack of self-confidence. After six consultations, he moved from the worst grades in the subject to the highest grades. The following self-analysis, brought to his second interview with me, reveals the nature of his psychic difficulties:

"I feel I am inferior to others. I consider those classmates who do not get nervous and red in the face when the professor calls on them, superior to me. If one of them is outstanding in any subject, I consider him more intelligent than I, although in the other subjects he may be rather bad.

This feeling of inferiority causes me not to raise my hand whenever the professor asks anything, even if I know the answer, because I am afraid I might answer incorrectly anyway, and that my classmates might make fun of me.

With a number of my classmates, I am accustomed to visit some young ladies. When we are in their home, I feel inferior to my classmates. This causes me to become so embarrassed that I cannot take part in the conversation, even though it consists only of ordinary students' topics.

In sports, my feeling of inferiority plays still another trick on me. I might be a great football player, if I did not get so nervous. The minute I get the ball, it seems to me that I shall lose it, and so I cannot play well.

I also consider superior to myself all those who have a better social position than I. This feeling of inferiority makes me shun all those who belong to good society."

I shall not reveal here in detail what was discussed in our interviews. The main source of the young man's inferiority feeling was his inferior social position ever since early childhood, the fact that he was the 12th one, but not the youngest child, bossed by many of the others and endangered in his position in school by a younger brother, who would have been in the same class, though two years younger, if he (the elder) had failed. Shown that he was a "hero notwithstanding," having lifted himself above the social level of his family despite all the difficulties he had to overcome (including the frequent failures in mathematics), the young man began to see himself with less self-doubt. This new increase in self-confidence promptly showed in his work in mathematics.

In the following year, this student passed his final examination (bachillerato) in mathematics without any difficulty, though this examination covered the studies of the entire five-year secondary school period.

Case III

(An 18-year-old student in the fourth year of secondary school.)

All his classmates considered this boy an excellent mathematician. Before examinations, he tried to clear up his classmates' questions, explaining to them what they did not understand. Although he helped many boys, he himself turned in very bad examination papers. He failed in the fourth year and also in the first make-up examination. The fact that a new law allowed a second make-up examination three weeks later, and that I heard about his unusual difficulties in that three-week period, helped him get into the fifth year instead of failing again and repeating the fourth.

At the end of a conversation of an hour and a half, we uncovered together that the disturbing factor he could not discover in himself was his father's motto: "A person who is not good in mathematics is not good for life." This motto psychically overburdened the young man's examinations, though he noticed only the effect without understanding the cause.

After he heard my explanation, the boy's face "lit up," as I have seen many other consultants' faces light up when I have correctly interpreted their problem. He immediately ran to the principal of the school, with a victorious: "Now I shall be able to pass." And he did.

When passing his final secondary school examination some months later, the young man did not need all of the twenty minutes allowed for an exposition of the problem whose number he had drawn. After eight minutes, the jury stopped him, congratulating him on his skill in handling the problem.

Case IV

(A student, 17, in the fourth year of secondary school.)

To some extent, this case is similar to the one just described. The boy once said:

"In every examination which I have to pass, my mother and my elder brother stand next to my desk."

Besides the effect of this disturbing attitude of his mother and brother, this young man, the youngest of three brothers, was also influenced by super-pampering in early childhood. His father had died when he was less than five years old, but the education he received during his formative period had already spoiled his style of life.

The boy's following childhood recollection characterizes the way in which his father had spoiled him:

"At Christmas, after I had reached the age of four, my father went out late in the evening, in order to buy plastic toys, knowing what pleasure I took in destroying them. Because the salespeople at the Christmas market were not interested in keeping certain toys until the next Christmas, my father could buy many of these toys at a low price.

He turned them over to me,telling me to go ahead and break them. He was greatly amused by my destroying ability.

When all the toys were broken, we sat down on the tiled floor of the hall, burning up what had been nice-looking toys shortly before."

This spoiled child grew up exactly how a psychologist could have predicted, into a self-pampering adolescent lacking the ability to conquer the difficulties presented by school subjects. However, the greatest difficulty the boy had in secondary school was that two of his elder brothers and a cousin by the same name had passed through the same school as "formidable" students (as they used to call themselves). The professors frequently said to the youngest: "You are not like your brothers and cousin."

For a striving younger son, this might have been a stimulus toward more intensive efforts in order to demonstrate that he can be as good or better than "the formidable ones," but for our self-pamperer and fugitive from difficulties, it became a further source of discouragement. When the elder of his two brothers, who had taken the father's place as the head of the family, sent him to me, the young man had already abandoned all efforts to get ahead in school, passing his afternoons smoking cigarettes, lying on his back in a meadow.

In our first conversation, I drew for him the situation in which he lived in the form of a ladder with four steps, showing him that he had taken the horizontal road of flight, instead of stepping on the fourth step of the ladder and trying to reach or surpass the formidable ones.

Looking over my shoulder at the drawing, the young man said: "It will be difficult, but I shall try."

Because I consider mathematics a barometer of self-confidence, I was not surprised that this student's main difficulty was in that school subject. Yet, eight days after the first consultation, he said:

"All this week, I have done nothing but study mathematics. I understand everything perfectly. The formulae, which I could never learn by heart, now stick in my mind without much effort."

In the last months of the year, he earned only "one"-s (the best grade possible)in mathematics, thus saving his fourth school year in this subject. In the fifth year, his last in secondary school, he was a good student in mathematics, as well as in other subjects.

Case V

(A young man of 18, in the fourth year of secondary school.)

In this young man's secondary school, two professors teach mathematics. They have agreed between them that once they have taken on a group of students in the first year, they will continue teaching this group until it graduates from the fifth year, in order to avoid the boys' frequent claim: "We did not study this under the other professor."

George has been an excellent student in mathematics with Professor A. for three years. Only in the first bimester (each year of studies is divided into four bimesters) did he have a 2 in mathematics; in the subsequent 11 bimesters, he has always had the best mark, 1. In these 11 bimesters, he has written some 33 examination papers and all have been absolutely correct. Because each examination has about 3 problems to be solved, this makes a total of 99 problems correctly solved in three years, without even the slightest mistake.

Because of a kidney condition, George had to stay home for a year and when he came back to school for his fourth year, he had Professor B. as a teacher of mathematics. He finds the new teacher equally good, understanding his explanations as well as he understood those of Professor A; he even finds the new teacher more pleasant than Prof. A, yet....his grades are always far below his previous level and he cannot complete a single examination paper without mistakes.

Thinking about the difference between work with Professor A. and work with Professor B., the boy concludes that the cause of his bad grades is that A. let the boys write their papers with a pencil, if they wanted to, while B. insists on their writing with a pen and ink. So, he asks the professor for special permission to write with a pencil. The principal of the school is asked for his opinion and says that the boy must be forced to write with ink and "overcome his ink complex;" otherwise, he would never again be able to write with ink.

When I interview him, I tell him about several cases with special difficulties. In one of these, I mention that I had said: "The most disagreeable moment for me was...." This phrase makes George say: "The most disagreeable moment for me is that of repainting numbers."

Then he explains himself:

"Whenever I find that, for instance, a number does not go into

another seven times, as I thought, but only six times, I have to

repaint the seven and put a six over it. This makes me mad and

then I cannot go on. With Professor A, we wrote with a pencil,

and then I could erase such mistakes, so that my work was

perfect."

The young man had found the solution himself, with the help of the cases I had told him about: his pride as an excellent mathematician, acquired in the three previous school years, made him hate to hand in examination papers in which the professor could see every little mistake of his, even though he had "repainted" the respective numbers.

When given this explanation, the young man said quietly: "And here I was, at the verge of leaving school forever, because I did not want to get bad grades in mathematics."

I cite this case in order to show how far away from any influence on innate abilities difficulties in mathematics can be. Here, too, an element of the student's character, his great pride, had caused the trouble. Thus, I can recommend only that, in connection with difficulties in mathematics, the character of the student should be given greater attention than is now generally the case.

The Vital Influence of Psychological Conversations

Unfortunately, such new medical movements as "Psychosomatic Medicine" and "narco-synthesis" focus the public's attention on the somatic byproducts of psychological difficulties and on the origin of hysterical symptoms. These distractions obscure the fact that psychology consists of really understanding human nature and is much more philosophical than medical.

The following case shows what vitally important work I was able to do in a few consultations. Not long ago, I received a letter from a South American young man of 18, who had just become a millionaire through the death of his mother. (His father had died when he was a small boy.) This young man had consulted me when he was 16 and stayed for a few days in a port town where I was lecturing. We had only three consultations then, because he had to take the boat on his return trip to his country. The young man wrote:

"I sometimes think, and I am sure it is true, that if you had not changed my world view, I would now be making use of my good financial situation in order to deviate even more from the good road. I have thanked Providence again and again for having met someone who taught me the value of creative pleasures and the deficiencies of recreational pleasures. If it had not been for you, I would not even have been a good student. Please accept my most sincere wishes for your success, which will be one for humanity as well."

In his gratitude, the young man clearly exaggerates my importance for humanity, but his case is symptomatic of the life of all too many "sons of rich men." When he came to consult me, he was on a trip through the Americas with a brother ten years older than he. This brother lived only for the recreational pleasures. My consultant, 16 at that time, took part in this life with a rather disturbing inferiority feeling, because he was "the kid" in a group of men of 28 or thereabouts, formed by his brother with great ease in whatever city they were in. This feeling of inferiority had brought the young man to one of my lectures and later, to my hotel for a consultation.

I immediately noticed his great intellectual potential, of which he himself knew nothing. I was convinced that this aspect of his character could give him the profound pleasure of creation never attainable in the field of recreational pleasures.

Our three consultations would never have been as effective as they evidently still are after several years have passed and considering that he could now buy himself recreational pleasures almost without any limitations, if I had said: "You should study, instead of constantly amusing yourself," as parents or teachers usually express themselves. Fortunately, the young man's character, which I uncovered behind his activities, made me invent the following V:

Recreational Creative Pleasure (-) Pleasure (+)

In his letters, the young man speaks of this V as "The V That Changed My Life.” Through our consultations, he has learned that creative pleasures are also lasting pleasures, while recreational pleasures are merely momentary.

I am sure this young man will some day play an important part in the life of his country. His last letter tells me that he has passed the first year of law school as well as the school of social service with excellent grades, studying one profession in the morning and the other in the afternoon, though between the two schools he has to spend several hours on one of the enterprises left to him by his mother.

I could multiply my examples of significant help given, but I believe this to be unnecessary, trusting that I have clearly shown the usefulness of psychological consultations with secondary school (high school) students. A Spanish educator, Cossio, has rightly said: "A person does not need the best educators at the university; he needs them in his early childhood." The closer to that period we correct mistakes in character, the better, but in all circumstances, we should not allow them to be carried beyond secondary school.

Closing Remarks

Instruction Alone vs. Instruction,
Education, and Psychological Help

As I have presented, the main elements of positive character are: self-confidence, the ability to conquer difficulties, and co-feeling (what Adler calls "social feeling" or "feeling of community"). Every time I have found a deficient character, the individual lacked one or more of these three factors.

As my previous reports have shown, Juan had been pampered so fully that he lacked the ability to conquer difficulties; Luis lacked self-confidence; Georgie, Samy, and Peter lacked co-feeling. In another classroom group, the individuals lacked co-feeling with each other, resulting in a terrible array of distancing factors in the life of a disunited “unit.” Later, I described how a young man of brilliant positive possibilities can come to live on the negative side of life, for sheer lack of knowledge about his own positive potential and about the pleasures of positive striving. Even in three of the five cases of problems in mathematics, the lack of self-confidence (Cases I and II) or an insufficient ability to conquer difficulties (Case IV) caused the troubles.

Clearly, in both individuals and the small human unit we call "a class," we have a picture of what we can also observe in our largest unit: the world. Our world reflects the psychic insufficiencies of the individuals that compose it.

We see the lack of self-confidence of entire nations in terms of their ability to re-build their destroyed cities, an insufficient ability to face the enormous difficulties they would have to fight; and a lack of cofeeling toward those whom they dominate in the nations who still "own" colonies, as well as their peoples, even though serfdom has long been abolished. The governing classes and individuals everywhere lack cofeeling for the masses of their own and of other countries, whose prosperity they should promote, even at the expense of their own power and economic superiority.

Instruction is not enough. We need education and psychological help for the development of self-confidence, the ability to conquer difficulties, and co-feeling.

To instruct means merely: “Today, you must...” The individual is told: "You must live cooperatively and creatively," but he is not taught how to do it. He is given technical skills, but not the skill to live positively.

We have seen that we can form and re-form world views and styles of life; it is our most noble and sacred duty to do so. It is our duty to form the future generations, so that they will become self-confident and co-feeling cooperators toward the common end: world happiness.

Mexico City, January 13, 1946.

Part 2

Enlightening Children 2

by Anthony Bruck

2 Originally published in The American Journal of Individual Psychology, Vol. XII, No. a, 1956. Published and copyright, 1956, by The American Society of Adlerian Psychology, Inc.

I like to present alternatives in the form of "V"s. For parents, teachers, and others who try to educate children by constantly repeating the principles they want them to accept, I usually draw a "V" as follows:

The Technique of Enlightening Children

  1. I collect as much information as possible on the child, from parents, teachers and others who know him, and try to understand the child's actions and reactions on this basis.

  2. In the interview with the child, we discuss his behavior and its effect on his own and other people's lives. (The previously established hypotheses and the information received from others are imperceptibly checked in these talks.)

  3. In very few conversations, often the first one, children "see the light," i.e., come by themselves to the conclusion that changing their behavior will be worth their while .

  4. The effect of the discussions is nearly always far greater than that of mere symptom treatment, the change in the child's mind amounting to a new philosophy of life, a philosophy of cooperative living within the family circle and beyond its limits, and of striving toward worthwhile aims.

  5. To achieve this change, the child's fundamental attitudes toward himself, others, and difficulties are carefully positivized. (Selfconfidence replaces self-doubt; the child starts to face difficulties instead of avoiding them; and co-feeling replaces counter-feelings against others.)

6. Simultaneously, I continue discussions with the parents, in order to enlist their help in working with the child and to help them understand his past and present motivation, as well as their own.

To illustrate this technique, I present here the case of an eight-year-old who, although he always had money at his disposal, stole money from his mother and elder sister, old coins from his mother's collection, and minor objects in stores; he bickered with his sister and forgot too easily about the desires expressed by his mother.

My two interviews with the boy took place in the presence of sixteen students of Child Psychology in a university classroom. The statements of these students will give additional information on the work with the child, demonstrating the value of holding such interviews in the presence of an interested audience.

Psychological Help in the Classroom

Jimmy's mother was a student in my Child Psychology class at a mid-western university. In connection with some of the matters discussed in class, she mentioned that she had difficulties with her eight-year-old son.

I offered to help her with these problems, if she was willing to let him do the work in the classroom and if she would first make an extensive report on her difficulties, to be discussed in class before the boy's visit. The report follows:

To write a paper on my son will most probably be to write a paper on both my children. Jimmy is eight; Mary is eleven.

Jimmy is very affectionate; whenever he performs some action meriting approval, he automatically raises his arms for a hug. Mary for the most part reports her triumphs casually. Jimmy is full of his own concerns, and they are so important that they exclude parental direction of his activity. In the morning, I may explain why he needs to come directly home alone after school, rather than bring a friend or go visiting. By the afternoon, his desire to practice football with the other boys has caused him to forget my desires entirely.

His teachers all think he is young for his age, though I have often thought he is young only in his group, one in which he is at the very lowest age limit. His birthday is less than two weeks from the deadline, which places him with children up to nearly a year older than he.

The only appeal I have ever found effective with Jimmy is through his affections. He is extremely sensitive to my disapproval and fights back in many of the well-known ways: stubbornness, obstinacy, and disregard for discipline. At one time when he had been particularly naughty for several days and I found myself being more and more strict with him, and more and more disapproving in my manner, he started screaming and walking in his sleep. It was a lesson to me I shall never forget, because the minute I changed my attitude to a more helpful one, his spells stopped.

I feel very inefficient in my training of Jimmy. Mary is a child to whom I have always been able to explain causes and effects and she will discuss her friends' actions with me and we may reach reasonable explanations. But Jimmy's feelings at the moment seem to be his only motivation, nothing else is considered.

Jimmy's father says that Jimmy is amazingly persevering in his projects to build or create. Because they work together on a good many things, my husband has the best chance to observe that.

I remember two dreams he has reported in the last few weeks, though he doesn't dream very much, and can't remember the dreams past the first day. In one dream, he was fighting Mary and a group of her friends; in his words, he was "at war." He was the only one on his side while there was a group on the other side. When asked why he didn't go over to the other side since he was the only one, he said, "If I had done that there wouldn't have been any fight." In another dream, a fox started to chase him but after a few minutes, Jimmy turned around, chased the fox into a sewer and blocked up the sewer with rocks so the fox couldn't get out.

The two children bicker often. Mary, with greater age, has the advantage, because she can tease him more subtly, bait him, while often his only recourse is hitting. Then, too, he will get into her possessions because he knows that annoys her. I am trying to help him in these situations by telling him in advance what to say to Mary when an argument starts, or when she starts teasing him, and he is pleased beyond belief when he can stop her with words. I have explained that only babies hit, that once they learn to talk, people argue with words.

The only problem we have with Jimmy is the petty pilfering which occasionally occurs with some attractive object at the stores, a tiny padlock or a key ring perhaps; mostly it is small change around the home. Usually only my small change, though sometimes his sister's too. His father never leaves a purse around, so there is no opportunity to discover if he would take from that. Also, I keep an open box of change in my room from which the children are to get lunch and bus money as needed, and he takes from this. More dismaying, I have a collection of old and foreign coins which he knows is never used for spending money, but which he will search out and take from, even though it has been hidden. Interestingly enough, in this collection is a silver dollar he won once for a costume prize at a Western rodeo, and this he has never touched, though it is considered his, and no real objection could be raised if he preferred to spend rather than save it.

This problem has me baffled. He almost always has some money at his disposal; large gifts that may be given to him as presents on his birthday or at Christmas are left with me as a kind of drawing account. He has no need for more than the pennies and a nickel or two he carries to rattle in his pocket, as he is too young to frequent the stores with his friends. When asked why he takes the money, his invariable answer is, "I don't know."

Yesterday, Jimmy made me particularly angry when after I told him, "Go and get your sister's old green sweater," he answered, "I can't, she is wearing it." He knew perfectly well that I was referring to a sweater his sister had outgrown, which was then given to him. He knew I didn't mean her new green sweater, which she was actually wearing at the moment.

Analysis of Jimmy's Problems

(in the classroom, two days before the boy's visit)

I think the mother has made a fine report in which the boy's personality appears quite clearly. We see a soft-hearted little boy who likes to be loved by his mother and expects this whenever he thinks he merits approval. (Paragraph 2) The mother has built a method of managing him on this desire for affection, but, from the psychological point of view, we cannot accept this as a creative method in education. The mother pays with affection for what she considers correct behavior, and withdraws her affection if she is not satisfied with the boy's behavior.

This is but another variation of the age-old "candy vs. whip" method of education, and does not make the behavior of the child depend on what is objectively considered right or wrong in the community at large. The danger of this method of playing on the child's affections is clearly revealed in his strong reactions of fighting back during the day and in the symptoms of worry, the screaming and walking in his sleep, which appear during the night.

We have heard the mother's three complaints about her child: (a) He forgets his mother's wishes. She says that this stems from his being "too full of his own concerns." We would put it another way, saying that the boy cares too little about cooperating. If he had a strong desire to cooperate, he would remember.

The two children bicker too much. We know the difficulty of being a younger brother. The younger child usually tries to get ahead of the elder one, especially if the elder is a girl. Our little man naturally uses his fists when provoked because he hasn't the same vocabulary at his disposal as the sister, three years older. Here the mother commits the mistake of teaching the child how to fight better with words, and she seems to feel that by effecting such a change she actually has done something positive for the boy. The really positive thing, however, would be to help the children lose the desire to bicker. Perhaps the elder sister teases the younger one, feeling the mother prefers him. In order for this sort of feeling to arise, a preference does not need to actually exist. The frequency of hugging between mother and younger child would be sufficient to cause the sister's belief.

The child pilfers; he takes attractive objects at stores, small change from mother or sister or from the petty cash box, and he even takes foreign coins which he cannot use, but never the silver dollar which is being saved for him. We might say that our little friend is too soft with himself; if he likes something, he will take it. Quite possibly, his answer, "I don't know," when asked why he takes money, is true, yet we may conjecture from his behavior that he indulges himself, probably on the basis of the over-indulgence he has experienced from his parents.

The fourth complaint relates to the green sweater. We can understand why the child reacted as he did. The mother made a psychological mistake by referring to the sweater which the boy was to fetch as "your sister's," instead of calling it, "your green sweater." The boy was now the proud owner of the handed-down green sweater, and his pride was hurt when his sweater was characterized as if still owned by his "adversary," the sister. Many of us would probably have reacted in the same way in the same situation.

We shall focus on all these problems when the child comes tomorrow, but let us now see what positive things we can tell him about himself. We will speak to him about the positive things first, because he can listen more easily to his negative behavior after we have mentioned his positive traits. We will begin by commenting on his amazing perseverance, which is, next to his affectionate interest in his mother and her feelings, the only positive thing that has been reported to us.

We might add that the boy's first dream shows him definitely in opposition to his sister, and he has evidently learned to enjoy this opposition. His statement that if he had gone to the other side in the "war," there would not have been any fight clearly shows this attitude.

In the second dream, we find Jimmy's reaction in accordance with what he does when fighting with his sister. He does not let himself be ill-treated for long, but turns back against his enemy. As we see, his personality which we know from his day-time behavior clearly manifests itself also in his dreams.

The mother was in the class during the explanation, and in the recess following, I apologized for being so outspoken about her mistakes. She answered that she was there to learn, and that she would bring Jimmy to the next class.

The First Interview With Jimmy

(in the college classroom, with sixteen students as an audience)

When I entered the classroom, Jimmy was sitting next to his mother, in the first row. After shaking hands with the boy and welcoming him as a visitor, I said to the class:

"As you know, only one member of each family can be present here at a time. Shall we ask Jimmy's mother to give her seat to him for the day?"

The mother, who had previously been informed of this requirement, quietly got up and left the room. Jimmy followed his mother's steps with a regretful look. However, while visibly impressed by the proceedings, he showed perfect concentration during the forty minutes of conversation.

Bruck: I think your mother told you that we are going to tell you a story here. We are actually going to tell you a story and speak of a little boy who is about eight years old. This boy has an older brother, about twelve. Let us see what kind of boy this younger brother is. Let's do this on the blackboard. (I divide the blackboard as shown: ( + | - ). Which side is better?

Jimmy: The left side.

Bruck: Why would you say this is the better side? Three and two equal . . . ?

Jimmy: Five.

Bruck: Three minus two equals . . . ?

Jimmy: One.

Bruck: Which is the better side, the plus or the minus side?

Jimmy: The left one.

Bruck: (Draws kids on either side of the signs) On which side will the kids be friends? Left or right?

Jimmy: On the left side.

Bruck: (Pointing to the positive side) This is the side where the kids are friends. What are the kids on the minus side?

Jimmy: Enemies.

Bruck: This boy we have been speaking of, when he is working with his father and they are making some kind of object, keeps on until he finishes it. Which side shall we put this on? We call such a person "persevering."

Jimmy: ..

Bruck: I think we must put this on the positive side. The same boy also does other things; for instance, he will always fight with his brother. On which side shall we put the fighting, Jimmy? Shall we put it on the side of friendship?

Jimmy: No.

Bruck: All right, we put it on the other side. So . . . our boy fights; now how does he fight? The big brother has gone to school four years more than the younger boy and because of this he knows more words. When the two boys fight, the elder brother has more words to fight with against the younger one. The younger one gets angry. It is as if they were sitting on a thing that moves like this (I show the movements of a see-saw with my pencil). What goes like this, Jimmy?

Jimmy: A teeter-totter.

Bruck: If two people are fighting, where is the fellow who fights better?

Jimmy: On the top.

Bruck: I shall draw a teeter-totter. On the teeter-totter the boy who has more words is on the top because he can fight better. What do you think the little one does, if he does not find so many words to fight back with? How does he fight?

Jimmy: He tries to get on top.

Bruck: How? With words? What does he do to his brother? Does he use mouth or hands?

Jimmy: Hands.

Bruck: The little brother uses hands because he does not have so many words. Who wins in the end? Little brother tries to put the other brother down by hands. On what side is fighting? (Pointing to the divided line).

Jimmy: Right.

Bruck: Yes, on the side of the enemies. Being together and being apart . . which side is better?

Jimmy: On the side of together. (I point to plus side).

Bruck: Good, if you know that. Suppose the younger brother . what shall we call him?

Jimmy: . . .

Bruck: Well, let us call him Bob. On what side is Bob when he is very nice to his mother?

Jimmy: On the side of together.

Bruck: On the side of being together, this is helping mother. He is asked to come home from school alone because she wants to go out with him. The boy wants to play football and forgets and brings boys home to play. Then mother cannot go where she wanted to. What is this?

Jimmy: Being apart.

Bruck: If he remembers, on which side is he, then?

Jimmy: On the side of together.

Bruck: I will tell you something else. You know there is an older sister in the house. The boy not only has a brother, but also a sister. The sister had a sweater which was black. The mother said to the sister, "You give your black sweater to Bob; it is too small for you, and Bob can use it." To whom does the sweater now belong?

Jimmy: To Bob.

Bruck: Then the mother says to Bob, "Go and get your sister's black sweater." In the meantime she bought sister a new black sweater. Bob says to his mother, "But she is wearing her black sweater." Did Bob know his mother meant his sister's old sweater, or did the boy think he should go and take the new sweater off the girl? Do you think Bob knew which sweater his mother was talking about?

Jimmy: The old one.

Bruck: Yes, I think so too. However, Bob said to his mother, "I can't take her sweater, she has it on." Is this being together or being apart?

Jimmy: . .

Bruck: Who will put a name on Bob's way of acting?

Jimmy: Put it on the side of being apart.

Bruck: Bob is being clever. Why does Bob do these things? I think Bob wants to show himself as being clever. Should this be on the side of together or apart?

Jimmy: Together.

Bruck: Everyone can be clever in two ways. Nicely clever or naughtily clever. We can make a V out of this. (I put the V on the blackboard).

Bruck: Here again, which side is nicer? Nice or naughty?

Jimmy: Nice.

Bruck: This Bob is doing something else which we have to talk about. Bob's mother has a box. In the box are many nickels and dimes. She keeps these at home so when the children go to school she can give them money for lunch. Bob has found out that he can go to the box and pilfer. He can take out coins from this box when nobody sees him. On which side is this? (Painting to the divided line)

Jimmy: On the minus side.

Bruck: On the side of being apart. A shopkeeper has worked many years, until he got enough to buy himself the shop. He now works for his children. He wants to send his children to school. Whatever the shopkeeper has in his shop, he has bought for money or has to pay for. You have to work for money, if you want it. Bob goes into the shop and sees something very cute. Everyone likes cute things. In this world, what do you do when you want things from a shop?

Jimmy: You have to pay for them.

Bruck: So this is another V we can make. (I draw on the blackboard.)

There is a beautiful locket in the store for only 5 cents. Bob thinks, "He will not see me . . . I'll stick it in my pocket." He does not pay.

His mother has a box with money in it. Bob opens the box and puts a couple of pieces of money into his pocket. This is getting something for nothing. We have just heard that we must work when we want something. Must earn it or pay for it. When you work, you get money for your work.

The mother also has a box of old coins. She collects them because she likes them, and likes to have them together, these coins of all countries. Occasionally, Bob takes from that box, too. In the middle of the box is a silver dollar. It has been given to Bob as a present. This coin belongs to Bob, but he never takes it. He always takes those that belong to his mother. He takes only his mother's coins, never his own. Here again he is taking something for nothing. This taking . . . belongs on the side of being apart. It does not belong on the side of being together. It happens that Bob likes very much to be together, with his mother. He likes to hug her and likes her to hug him. People only hug each other when they feel like being together. When they feel like being apart, they don't hug each other. When they like each other, people turn their faces toward each other. When they're angry, they turn their backs on each other. Bob's mother often does not know what to do because Bob often goes to the side of being apart. When he takes money, fights, doesn't remember what his mother asked him to do, when he is naughtily clever, then the mother turns her back on the boy. What should Bob do to always be together with his mother?

Jimmy: Be on the left side.

Bruck: (Writing on the left side of the board) Persevering, helping, being clever nicely . . . what is another thing we also have to put here?

Jimmy: Not taking what is not his.

Bruck: Can I put this here?

Jimmy: Yes.

Bruck: Come back next Monday and tell us how the week was.

On what side are you most of the time?

Jimmy: . . .

Bruck: Well, forget about what side you are on now. Tell us about

the side you will be on. Jimmy: On the side of "together."

Conversation Between Jimmy and His Mother

After The First Interview, On The Way Home

Mother: What did you talk about?

Jimmy: He asked me a lot of questions.

Mother: What kind?

Jimmy: You know, you told him.

Mother: What do you mean?

Jimmy: He talked about me. He called me Bob and the rest of the kids didn't know. He invited me to come back a week from today.

Mother: Are you going?

Jimmy: Oh, I don't know.

When the mother reported the above to the class two days after the interview, I asked her to send me a written report before Jimmy's next visit to the class, unnoticed by the boy, and in time for me to start the class with a reference to this report. I called the attention of the class to the fact that Jimmy, when talking to his mother, very proud of his right to decide, left the question open whether or not he would accept the invitation, while only a few minutes earlier he definitely stated to the class that he would be back. I expressed my belief that Jimmy would change and that he would come back for the significant clue to help him change. I asked the mother to stay in the class for that occasion.

The Second Interview With Jimmy

(seven days after the first)

When I entered the classroom, Jimmy was sitting with his mother in the first row. After a friendly waving of the hand to him, I silently read his mother's report, which I had found on my desk:

Jimmy hasn't taken money I know of. He earned his first money (not from family) this week, and is very proud of the fact. I don't believe he has been see-sawing with Mary so much, though with all the Christmas excitement and tension it is hard to tell. He now accuses Mary of see-sawing when she argues with him:

After this reading, I said:

I have just received a letter from Mexico, from Bob's mother, telling me all kinds of good things about him. She is writing that the box is untouched, and that he has earned his first money outside the family this week, being very proud of this fact. He is entitled to be proud. To earn money at his age is getting significance in an adult way very early. People who don't want to work are on the negative side; people who do are on the positive side.

The mother also writes me that Bob is not see-sawing so much with his brother any longer. He has explained the see-saw to his brother. Now, when the brother starts see-sawing, Bob says to him: "You are getting on the see-saw."

Bob has taught his brother about the see-saw, just as a lady student of mine in another class here, about six times as old as Bob, has recently taught her husband about the see-saw. Now, when either of them notices that they are on the see-saw, they very quickly get off, because they know it is nonsense to see-saw.

Bob has certainly made great progress in a short time and I shall tell his mother to congratulate him on our part.

As soon as I said "all kinds of good things about him," Jimmy turned a beaming face on his mother. From then on, the beams of happiness seemed to grow increasingly up to the end of my little talk, when the mother rose and asked to be allowed to leave, because she had to take Jimmy to school. (This had been agreed upon.) A very proud Jimmy walked to the door with her, after shaking hands with me and several students who held out their hands to him.

After the departure of Jimmy and his mother, I read the mother's report aloud to the students and pointed out to them how she evidently could not yet believe in a definite change, demonstrated by her phrases, "I know of" and "though with all the Christmas excitement. . . ."

Report of Jimmy's Mother

(forty days after the first interview)

This final report on Jimmy has no further misdemeanors to describe. He has taken no more money from anyone and has taken nothing from the stores. He has been paid again for his choir singing, so still has money of his own which he values highly. He never talks about visiting the class, nor does he mention what he heard there, though I have remarked on what was said several times. I am more pleased than I can say at the results of Jimmy's visits to class. He has been a great deal more self-possessed and responsible since then, and is far more assured in the normal give and take of family life.

Six Months After The First Interview

Jimmy's parents invited my wife and me to their home. In the absence of the children, the parents stated that since my conversations with Jimmy, the entire home had a smoother, more pleasant atmosphere. The children had stopped see-sawing and Jimmy had become a knight without blame.

Jimmy seemed somewhat fearful that the old sins might be discussed again, but he soon noticed that the past would not be mentioned. He then spent the afternoon with the grownups as a pleasant young companion, in whom the so usual efforts of children to attract the adults' attention were conspicuously absent.

Reports of Several Witnesses

The students who had assisted at the interview with Jimmy have been asked to write a report on their observations under the title "Seeing It Done vs. Hearing About It." The following is a condensation of their statements:

Young Married Woman: Seeing is believing. In many things it is true that what the ear may find hard to believe, the eye accepts as proven. Certainly this is so in the case of Jimmy. I must confess that I had been a bit skeptical about the method of changing a child's life direction that was explained in class. Here there were no tests used, no hocus pocus, but merely an insight into the child's environment, and then a talk, not too lengthy, with the child himself.

This, as a theory, sounded fine, and was indeed more to my liking than ink blots and other tests, but did it really work in all cases, or was it subject to abject failure as often as success?

I looked forward to Jimmy's visit to the class. There, before my eyes, it was proven to me: that a child could and will understand and change after an understanding talk in which he is shown the error of his ways. I could tell that it was very likely to be a success, because I could see that Jimmy uncomfortably realized his error.

Young Married Man: From hearing you speak of different cases in class, I concluded that you were probably exaggerating just a little in the description of how easily a psychologist could show a person the way in which he should direct himself to the positive side of life, and thus to significance. I was honestly amazed to see how you gained Jimmy's confidence so easily and were able to show him the pleasure in the positive side of life in such a short time.

College Senior, young woman: Seeing Jimmy's case handled in class proved very interesting to me and was most helpful. I must admit that I was slightly skeptical about a couple of the methods previously talked about in class, and their working out so nicely. For instance, I felt almost sure that Jimmy would believe the whole class knew about his behavior, and this would give him a rather hostile attitude toward us all. This was not the case, however, and Jimmy was very cooperative. A couple of times I seemed to notice a little tenseness in him, but this situation was eased very readily by having someone in the class take part in the discussion. Whereas before I thought a private consultation would be the only way of obtaining any results, now I can now see how a consultation with others present has its advantages. Jimmy was proud that everyone was interested in "Bob" and this gave him a greater incentive to "jump over" to the positive side.

Young man: I watched him closely and observed every little movement. Knowing Jimmy's previous misbehavior, I was interested in how he reacted when certain things were brought up that reminded him of his naughtiness. I was even more interested when you made him reason through his own misbehavior and arrive at his own conclusions that the matter should be corrected.

Young woman: The face of the consultee is dramatic evidence of his understanding. Seeing and hearing the consultee and watching you in action, it is difficult to doubt.

Part 3
Influencing the Child3

by Anthony Bruck

3 Notes for a lecture scheduled be delivered on April 19, 1965, to the Bay Area Society for Adlerian Psychology, at the home of Sophia de Vries in Oakland, California. Due to health concerns, Anthony was unable to present the lecture, so Sophia de Vries read it.

Let me, first of all, express my regrets for being unable to meet with you personally. I appreciate the willingness of Mrs. de Vries to act as my interpreter and her suggestion that I can, at least in this indirect way, cooperate with the lecturers of the San Francisco Bay Area Society For Adlerian Psychology.

In the first five years of life, parents normally are the only educators of the child. In those first five years, apart from such incidental contacts as grandparents, baby-sitters, and friends of the family, the parents usually influence the child more than anyone else. They have the responsibility of developing his knowledge, skills, and positive, fundamental attitudes that will manifest themselves during his entire life. 4

The role of the parents in the first five years of life is, I believe, well illustrated by the chart "The Roots of the Personality" which you see before you. I first published it in Costa Rica, in Spanish, in 1939, then again in 1945 in Mexico and finally in English, at the University of Kansas City. 5

4 When Anthony wrote this paper, pre-schools had not yet become influential in the early education of children, ages three to five.

5 Anthony's original chart is not available. A revised version is printed here. Some of the terminology has been changed, and these new terms are marked in the text with parentheses.

The Roots of the Personality

A. The FORMATIVE PERIOD OF THE PERSONALITY (Childhood Influences), shows five potent roots of the personality of which you are likely to have read or heard a great deal:

Root I. The physical constitution and appearance of the individual (Health and Appearance).

Root II. The social and economic position of the

family.

Root III: Formative Education (Parental Attitudes).

Root IV. The family constellation: whether the child

is a first-born, second child, youngest, only boy among girls, only girl among boys, only child, adopted child, whether the child lives alone with parents and siblings or also with its grandparents, etc.

Root V. The fact of being "A BOY" OR "A GIRL."

(Gender Roles)

Formative Education (Parental Attitudes), Root III, occupies the central position on the chart, because of its decisive importance. The formative education is normally given by the parents, and on it depends the degree to which each of the other roots participates in the formation of the Personality Core (Style of Life).

Just a few examples of how the central root can influence the others:

Root I: One of Alfred Adler's fundamental teachings has been: "It is not the difficulty that counts, but how the individual sees it, and himself."

The parents' task is to make stimuli out of handicaps. I know no better example, even today, almost 30 years later, for such a formative education than an article in the Saturday Evening Post, also reprinted in the Reader's Digest of November 1936, by an anonymous author, called: “My Son – Handicapped?” about what the parents did for the boy, who was struck by infantile paralysis when he was five. We assume that these parents had previously given their son a positive education in facing difficulties, or they would not have obtained the results they did.

An original by-product of psychological consultations with fathers on their own personal problems is the discovery of the importance of a formative education for self-reliance and the courageous facing of difficulties in early life. Fathers sense this importance, because they themselves have often lacked this type of education. One of my consultees in Costa Rica told me how his wife used to lift their handicapped three-year-old into bed each night, so that he would not have to climb up on it. In contrast, my consultee, the father, systematically developed both the desire for independence in the three-year-old, and his acrobatic abilities, by letting him jump into bed across a space of about a foot, from the top of another piece of furniture on top of which he could get only by climbing on two lower ones first.

Root II: Presidents J. F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson are good examples of positive developments resulting from very different roots, which would not have been possible without a beneficial formative education in each case. President Kennedy, son of a very rich father, might well have developed into a playboy, without a formative education that made him, as well as his brothers, into individuals who always demanded skills, knowledge, initiative and constant striving toward social usefulness from themselves.

Born into a relatively impecunious, socially unimportant family, President Johnson may well have developed into a discouraged farm boy, without formative influences that made him into a strong striver toward both personal significance and public usefulness.

Root IV: Many children accept a spanking as a matter of course, but a child who aims to be spanked is a rarity. Such a boy was introduced to me at a streetcar station in Alexandria, Egypt, over 3 decades ago. His aunt, who had heard a number of my lectures, shouted to me when she saw me coming: "This boy is for you, because he is bad."

As all three of us got into the streetcar, I sat down with the boy on one side, asking the young lady to sit opposite. Then I asked her: "And when did this young man turn bad, I pray you?" She exclaimed: "Oh, after your lectures, I should have told you: when his little brother was born." Then I asked the boy: "And why are you bad?" He answered: "Because then my mother has to spank me."

I pulled a piece of paper from my pocket and drew the letter "M", about two inches high, in the center of it. Then I asked the boy:

"If this 'M' stands for 'Mother,' and to the right of it is the SIDE OF THE GOOD ONES (I spelled it out, all in capitals, for the seven-year-old), and to the left is THE SIDE OF THE BAD ONES, on what side is your little brother?" Boy: "On the side of the good ones." "And you?" - I asked.

The boy: On the side of the bad ones.

Bruck: What do you think, which of the two sides your mother likes to look at?

The boy: The side of the good ones.

Bruck: That's right. She just looks over to your side long enough to spank you, then she turns back to the other side. What do you think you could do, to be seen as much as your little brother?

The boy: Jump over to the side of the good ones.

It was clear to me from the moment that the child had said "Because then my mother has to spank me," that he was using badness as an attention-getting device, out of a feeling of being neglected. All I did with my drawing and our brief streetcar conversation was to logicalize the thinking of the child. His last statement, just before he and his aunt got off the streetcar, clearly showed that he had understood he would get more, and more pleasant attention, by being "on the side of the good ones".

At school, where this boy was a bright first-grader, he never caused any trouble. There he had a different kind of significance, a positive one, being not only bright but also "good."

The next day, when I met the boy's parents for the first time, they were astonished how "good" the boy had been during the last 24 hours.

They had never understood that goodness at school and badness at home could serve the same purpose: the striving for significance.

After I explained what had happened to the parents and cautioned them to show equal attention to both children, in the two more years that I spent in Egypt, I never heard any complaint about "the M-boy"--as I came to call him--though I remained in touch with the family.

This was not a case of "sibling rivalry;" the little brother certainly was too young to compete in any but a passive way. The M-boy's behavior was due to the usual concentration of maternal interest on a newborn (he used to break perfume bottles, sweeping them down from mother's dresser, etc., never anything that belonged to the father). Mainly, of course, the parents had failed to give the boy a position of significance within the now wider family circle, to point out the greater need of a newborn child for maternal attention, to show the older boy that he too could do things for the baby, and to let him discover that he would have more attention from the mother when helping her with the care of the baby than by trying to draw her attention away from it.

Today, 34 years later, many parents have read a great deal of elementary psychology. They may handle the potential conflict situation of the birth of a little brother or sister more understandingly than the M-boy's parents originally did. Parents who have turned themselves into educators will certainly do their best to get things right from the start.

One of the most impressive sayings of Alfred Adler, particularly in view of the years that another school of psychotherapy employs in its attempts to help individuals, was: "The chief task of the psychologist is to make himself superfluous."

I have always tried to live up to this precept, but never did I succeed as quickly as in the case of the M-boy. Our single conversation lasted only about 10 minutes. I have related this old "case history" rather than any one of dozens of others, mainly to show how simple and discoverable the motives of children can be. For constructive parents-tobe who prepare psychologically for their new tasks as parents, Adlerian reading and studies are the best preparation.

Root V: The fact of being a girl is still a special difficulty all over the world. The situation is not as bad as it was 20 or more years ago, especially not in the United States, where the preference for boy children has never been as marked as elsewhere.

In a French-language grade school in Egypt, twelve-year-old Rene's essay on what she wanted to become when she grew up showed a characteristic vacillation between desired significance and occupations She added: "God has reserved his destiny for each of us and no one can say what she will become." In a dream she related, she was bathing in the ocean and taken far out by the waves, where she was "swallowed by the water."

that she was more likely to attain:
attorney-at-law aviatrix
stenographer bank employee

In her first interview in the Child Guidance Clinic I had opened in this private school, she said:

"There aren't many easy things."

"My aptitudes are less big than those of my brothers."

I called in the father, a Syrian, who, according to the teachers of the school was the source of Rene's discouragement. He told me in his businessman's terminology:

"You know, Mr. Bruck, girls are promissory notes that one will have to pay some day, while boys are drafts that one will cash some day."

He evidently referred to the fact that he would, some day, have to give a dowry to have someone take his daughter off his hands, while a man could always count on his sons to help him in his business and take over when necessary, maintaining their aged parents. Essays by Costa Rican High School girls, a decade later, showed that discouragement and the desire to become a nun were closely related. In the United States, I once met a married woman who had escaped from a baronial home in Sweden, at the age of 18, after a most disappointing childhood. She was the youngest of seven sisters and the only one who had brown hair, while all the others were blond.

Her mother had wanted to make a one-year trip around the world with her husband after she had the six blond daughters, and she was very disappointed when she found herself pregnant again and her husband called off the trip. All through her early childhood, the little girl was told by her mother: "God has marked you by your dark hair, because you have spoiled my chance for a trip around the world by coming at an inopportune time."

The little girl became so insecure, even in her walking, that she fell with her face on the hot grate of the fireplace and burned herself. In the interpretation of her egocentric mother, this was another "mark" she deserved because of her inopportune arrival.

The atmosphere in the United States of greater equality of women has had a salutary effect on this lady, but she needed considerable Adlerian help to calm down about her childhood experiences of 50 years earlier, and give up reactions still based on those experiences. Clearly, a boy, even a brown-haired one, would have had a privileged position in the eyes of the father. The mother, too, profiting from finally "giving her husband" a male heir, would most likely have forgotten about the world trip she had missed.

Summing up the effect of the five roots examined, we have seen that none of them has a direct and independent effect on the Personality Core, but that this central element of the pre-formed personality is the result of all the roots together and particularly of the Formative Education that interprets each of them to the child. The parents of the boy with infantile paralysis tried and succeeded in making their son a sportsman, notwithstanding his physical handicap, turning him into the best shot among the boys in the neighborhood. Rene's father, instead of stressing, for instance, that only women can bear children, a superiority over men that no one could have taken away from her, turned her into a self-doubting "promissory note" who saw herself as a burden placed on her family.

While teaching Latin American Psychology at Mexico City College, I thought up the term "strivingize"6, telling my students that what the Latin American masses needed was "strivingization." Shortly afterwards, I came to the United States. In 1952, I lectured in Los Angeles to Senior Citizens who were asking me what they could do.

Formative Education – Attitude Creation:

The Ten Commandments of Creative Education

I. Developing the Attitude Toward the Self

  1. Self-confidentize. Do not timidize or self-doubtize: (through overprotection or neglect)

  2. Independentize. Do not dependentize.

  3. Self-demandingize, Do not pleasure-seekerize,

creativize. fun-seekerize, amusementmaniacalize, self-overindulgentize.

II. Developing the Attitude Toward Difficulties

4. Encourage. Do not discourage.

6 Bruck liked to invent words and graphics that often clarified an important

idea in a playful way. His warm, gentle, manner also contributed to the

friendly appeal of his insights.

  1. Initiativize. Do not puppetize.

  2. Sticktoitize. Do not impatientize.

III. Developing the Attitude Toward Others

7. Humane-ize, Do not provincialize or prejudice.
universalize.
8. Cooperativize. Do not see-sawishize.
9. Undemandingize, Do not self-centeredize,
enoughishize, takerize, demandingize,
giverize, helpfulize. tyrannicalize.

IV. Developing the Attitude Toward the Other Sex

10. Understandize, Do not distantize, hostilize, friendly-ize. intolerantize.

Although encouraging is usually done by words, words are seldom enough, particularly if said to a self-doubtized child. We have to "courageousize" the child, helping him develop courage and self-confidence, as well as a disposition to face difficulties. Alfred Adler used to say:

"Difficulties exist in order to be overcome" and "the greatest tragedy is that of an individual who has had no difficulties to face as a child."

Once a child told me: "I am a devil." He half meant it, because he was unsure of himself, and half used the term as a complaint against his mother, who had put this label on him. I could plainly see that he was a gentle, refined, sensitive child, and I did not understand his mother until the boy was about to leave for school after lunch. The day was fine, sunny, and cloudless, so the boy wanted to leave without an overcoat. This seemed natural to me, but the mother objected and sent him upstairs to "get your coat." The boy came down with a light coat, but the mother chased him back, to get the other, heavier one. When the boy was about to leave with the other coat, the mother must have realized that the coat was too heavy, in view of the fine weather. She told the boy that he could leave without the coat, but first he had to take it back upstairs.

I don't know if the lady, who had invited me to lunch after a

95 morning lecture of mine, would best be called "nervous" or "nervewrecking." She certainly had turned her boy into a puppet, afraid and not allowed to act on his own initiative, and acting mostly when told what to do, i.e. when his mother pulled his invisible puppet-strings.

One of my most successful finds of useful words was "enoughish," a direct translation of the German word "genuegsam." used it to characterize to herself a young college girl who was wondering whether she should marry a student with only a G.I. bill income. She thought she might make him unhappy, by demanding of him what she was used to in the house of her well-to-do parents. But she recognized the truth in my statement that she really was an "enoughish" young woman, who when loved, would need and want few of the things that have to be purchased with money.

Demanding, tyrannicalized, takerized children tend to become adults of the same type. They bedevil their parents and later their life partners, making everybody unhappy, including themselves.

All the ize-words that apply to attitudes toward the others in general, also apply to attitudes toward the other sex. Mothers, especially those dissatisfied with their own husbands, tend to create a diffident distance from men, or even hostility toward them, in their daughters. Other mothers often overindulge their sons to such an extent that they become unappreciative, and intolerant toward feminine interests that take away time from whatever they want their "women" to do. Boys may display these traits toward their sisters or girl playmates, and later as husbands toward their wives, or as fathers toward their daughters. A lady who runs a needlecraft store complained that her husband did not allow her to do any needlework herself, even after business hours; such work might take her mind off the business.

Parents often become fanatical about developing certain traits in their children, e.g. truthfulness. An extensive study of the "trait universe," i.e. the sum total of all traits, has shown me that all psychological traits can be subsumed under the four attitudes within the personality core. Once the right attitude has been created, the corresponding traits will manifest themselves, too. Truthfulness should become part of the child's self-demanding attitude, rather than the result of fear of being unmasked as a "liar."

We need to remember that the four attitudes, during the preformed period of the personality, (B on the chart), form the essence of the individual's striving to solve the three Adlerian life problems as best he can. Even the smallest manifestations of this striving (the leaves of the Personality Tree) are decisively influenced by the attitudes, which were decisively influenced, in their turn, by the formative education given by the parents.

The V's

In 1942 or 1943, the U.S. embassy in Costa Rica distributed large-size Churchillian V's to be placed in the windows of those who were emotionally on the side of the allies.

After looking at the V in my window for weeks, I realized that V's would be a good way to illustrate alternatives in attitudes and actions. In over two decades since, I have used V's as clarifiers, both in my lectures and in psychological consultations. Several of these V's apply to the way in which we should treat others, and particularly our children. To create positive attitudes, we best use positive methods:

TO WIN TO FORCE
TO HELP ATTAIN TO SAY: "YOU MUST...."
TO CONVINCE TO COERCE
TO INSPIRE TO NAG AT
TO REASON WITH TO YELL AT
TO RE-EDUCATE TO PUNISH
TO PROPOSE TO IMPOSE
TO PRAISE TO SCOLD
TO REWARD TO SCOLD
TO LOVE TO REJECT

Several of the terms on each side of the V's are interchangeable. Thus, we might well construct a V that would read:

TO WIN FOR POSITIVE TO PUNISH BEHAVIOR

The Philosophy of Parenthood

Each period in history has its own attitude toward parenthood itself. An old work on the moral training of children, the name or publication date of which I could not obtain but which is probably from the 19th. century, tells us:

"Children are their parents' goods and possession. They owe them their all--even their own selves. As the Lord our God hath made and created children through their parents, so hath He also made them subject under the power and authorities of their parents to obey and serve them. The child is to frame his gestures to a reverent and dutiful behavior toward others; he is to rise up to elders and betters when they pass between, and to bend the knee in token of humility and subjection and above all to keep silence while their betters are in place, until spoken to."

By the 1920's and 1930's, we found such a "wisdom" (Sophia) impossible and we certainly did not find it loveable. We were rather enthused over what, for instance, Kahlil Gibran, the Syrian-American poet, has said of children (The Prophet, Alfred A Knopf, 1923):

"And he said:
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and
daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot
visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like
you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as arrows are sent
forth."

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of authors and lecturers began to tell parents they should not try to influence their children, that the children belonged to another generation, that children belonged in the company of their age-peers, etc..

Men and women who were born in the 1915-1925 period, when they looked back at their own parents who had been born mostly toward the end of the 19th. century, in the period of our first quotation, were most unenthusiastic. According to a report on a Summer Seminar in Adlerian Psychology, printed in the Individual Psychology Bulletin (Second quarter 1943): "As a result of the group work we experienced this week, certain facts were imprinted indelibly on our minds. For one thing, the best-intentioned parents, if ignorant of psychological principles or unable to apply them, cause their children myriad problems and make life very hard for them. After all the confession at the Seminar, it seemed as if parents were a menace rather than a help to their young."

When these same people became parents, somewhere in the 1940's, did they do any better with not influencing their children? On television and magazines, we see their college-age sons and daughters dancing the twist, in discotheques, over-running beach and mountain resorts, causing destruction, and misbehaving in more ways than one. We also read about their receiving members of the other sex in their dormitories and keeping them there late in the night, or sleeping out themselves. We wonder whether their parents did right in letting the peers take over as educators and influencers. Much of this abandonment of parental guidance resulted from a lack in the parents of what I call “the courage to be different” in a society where nonconformity is a drawback. They lacked “the courage to make their children different.”

True enough, children who are different will not have it easy. They may not be popular, they may be considered grinds, bookworms, brain boys, smart pants, sour pusses, wet blankets, prudes, squares, drags, or whatever the terms of the campus and the period may be, but they are much more likely to be useful to humanity than the B.M.O.C'S (the Big Men on Campus), the B.T.O.'s (the Big Time Operators, who have a car, money and social poise), the club members, the hep guys, the smart set, the sophisticates. And, such different sons and daughters are likely to be closer to their parents than the peer-minded, the date-minded, the amusement-maniacs and others who were not brought up according to the do's of the Ten Commandments of Constructive Education.

At times, “different children” may reproach their parents for being different, or at least feel and think to themselves that the differentness of their parents causes them (the children) undue difficulties. When they want to go to college, even after securing a scholarship, they may have considerable difficulties in maintaining themselves. Few want to take the logical way out and live at home while studying at a nearby college or university. "All" the "peers" go off to distant campuses, to "get away from home." Whether such feelings come up or not largely depends on the attitude toward the parents that the parents have developed in their children (a facet of the attitude toward others).

The wife of the editor of the German language International Journal for Individual Psychology, when she was expecting her first child, asked Dr. Alfred Adler when education of the child should begin.

Adler said: "Half an hour after birth." He allowed for a half-hour for cleaning up the child, that was all. The "formative education" that parents give should actually begin about that soon. Children get and retain impressions of the behavior of the adults around them remarkably early.

Teachers should be, and probably are, grateful to the parents of every constructively educated child who comes into their classes. They can continue building on a fine foundation. Also, children with a constructive, formative education are unlikely to ever need the school psychologist, or a psychiatrist.

Parents should keep a simple truth in mind: Children whose parents have been psycho-artists, will not need a psychiatrist. May you all become, if you are not yet, psycho-artists.

Index

A above.............................................................................................10, 12, 15, 18, 30, 58, 65, 83, 98 abuse............................................................................................................................................52 accusation........................................................................................................................................

accuse..........................................................................................................................20, 52, 54
acquisition....................................................................................................................................19
activity..............................................................................................................................37, 44, 74
activity.............................................................................................................................................

active......................................................................................................................................13
affect............................................................................................................................................46
affection...................................................................................................................................7, 76
alcohol.........................................................................................................................................19
ambition.......................................................................................................................................39
as if...........................................................................................................17, 18, 28, 33, 77, 79, 99
assumption.......................................................................................................................................

assumptions..............................................................................................................................6 attention...........................................................14, 27, 28, 39, 46, 58, 59, 60, 61, 68, 83, 85, 91, 92 attitude. 2, 3, 7, 14, 19, 20, 27, 28, 30, 31, 35, 36, 37, 38, 42, 43, 45, 56, 57, 58, 62, 63, 66, 74, 77,

86, 96, 97, 99 avoiding............................................................................................................................42, 62, 73 awkward...........................................................................................................................................

awkwardness...........................................................................................................................15 B becoming......................................................................................................................4, 11, 39, 43 being....20, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34, 46, 49, 52, 53, 54, 58, 59, 63, 74, 76, 77, 79, 80, 81, 82, 84, 88, 89,

91, 92, 96, 99 belief................................................................................................................................75, 76, 83 belonging.....................................................................................................................................11

below......................................................................................................................................23, 68 body.............................................................................................................................................47 C

case....................................................................................33, 62, 63, 66, 68, 69, 74, 85, 86, 90, 92
case..................................................................................................................................................

cases....................................................................................................14, 27, 38, 68, 71, 85, 86 change..................................................13, 19, 25, 26, 28, 30, 33, 37, 62, 73, 75, 76, 77, 83, 84, 85 character..........................................................................................8, 19, 43, 56, 57, 60, 68, 69, 70 child. 2, 4, 5, 9, 11, 13, 22, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33, 36, 38, 41, 44, 66, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 85, 88,

89, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100

children.2, 6, 9, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 37, 42, 43, 62, 73,

74, 75, 76, 81, 85, 88, 90, 92, 94, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100 child guidance..............................................................................................................................26 clean.............................................................................................................................................60

cleaning.................................................................................................................................100
collective................................................................................................................................19, 26
community......................................................................................................11, 13, 49, 53, 55, 76
comparison...............................................................................................................................2, 41
compensation...................................................................................................................................

compensatory....................................................................................................................16, 57
complex........................................................................................................................................68
concentrate.......................................................................................................................................

concentration.....................................................................................................................78, 92
concept.............................................................................................................................12, 26, 43
conflict.........................................................................................................................................92
conscious......................................................................................................................................62
constitution...................................................................................................................................89
contact......................................................................................................................................2, 39
contempt.....................................................................................................................55, 56, 57, 58

cooperate..............................................................................................................48, 52, 59, 76, 88
courage...................................................................................................................................95, 99
courage.............................................................................................................................................

courageous..................................................................................................................11, 56, 90
creative.................................................................................................................19, 45, 69, 70, 76
cry13, 14
cure..........................................................................................................................................3, 40
curse.............................................................................................................................................47

D
de Vries..................................................................................................................................87, 88
death.............................................................................................................................7, 38, 43, 69
defeat...........................................................................................................................................38
democracy....................................................................................................................................35

democratic..............................................................................................................................42
dependence...................................................................................................................................39
depth............................................................................................................................................34
destruction..............................................................................................................................35, 99
development.......................................................................................................................7, 44, 71
difficulty........................................................................................17, 42, 63, 65, 66, 67, 76, 90, 92

difficulties.....9, 16, 17, 31, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 49, 60, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71,

73, 74, 90, 95, 99 discipline......................................................................................................................................74 discouraged.....................................................................................................16, 18, 19, 62, 63, 90

discouragement.....................................................................................................19, 63, 67, 93
disease....................................................................................................................................37, 40
disposition....................................................................................................................................95
distance..................................................................................................................................45, 96
distrust.........................................................................................................................................48
doubt......................................................................................................................................58, 86
doubt................................................................................................................................................

doubtful...................................................................................................................................47
dream..................................................................................................................8, 9, 13, 75, 77, 93
dreams..........................................................................................................................5, 75, 77, 98

E economy.................................................................................................................................43, 44

economic.....................................................................................................................43, 71, 89
education......................................11, 19, 26, 33, 35, 36, 43, 44, 46, 66, 71, 76, 88, 90, 96, 99, 100
education..........................................................................................................................................

educator..................................................................................................................................70

educators...............................................................................................................70, 88, 92, 99
enemy...........................................................................................................................................77

enemies...................................................................................................................................79
energy.......................................................................................................................................7, 57
environment.....................................................................................................................14, 34, 85
envy.............................................................................................................................................58
equal.................................................................................................................................21, 78, 92

equality...................................................................................................................................93
error.............................................................................................................................................85
escape...........................................................................................................................................16
ethics............................................................................................................................................52
examination.............................................................................11, 27, 36, 41, 60, 61, 65, 66, 67, 68
examination......................................................................................................................................

examinations............................................................................10, 14, 15, 33, 48, 49, 55, 62, 65
excuse..........................................................................................................................................54
expectation.......................................................................................................................................

expecting.................................................................................................................................99
experience...........................................................................................................1, 2, 27, 32, 45, 61
F
failure........................................................................................................15, 36, 37, 41, 44, 62, 85
failure...............................................................................................................................................

failures........................................................................................................................60, 64, 65
family.........................................3, 4, 5, 6, 16, 30, 33, 37, 65, 67, 73, 77, 84, 85, 88, 89, 90, 92, 94
family constellation................................................................................................................33, 89
fate.................................................................................................................................................4
father. .6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 30, 31, 34, 37, 38, 39, 54, 63, 65, 66, 67,

69, 75, 78, 90, 92, 93, 94 fear...................................................................................................................................15, 62, 96 feeling................................................................4, 25, 31, 33, 42, 44, 46, 47, 60, 64, 69, 70, 76, 91 feeling..............................................................................................................................................

feeling of community............................................................................................31, 33, 42, 70

feeling of inferiority..........................................................................................................64, 69
female............................................................................................................................................9

feminine............................................................................................................................20, 96
forget............................................................................................................................6, 31, 74, 83
form.......................................................................................2, 9, 32, 40, 43, 46, 63, 67, 71, 73, 96
freedom....................................................................................................................................2, 47
friendship.....................................................................................................................................79
future.........................................................................................................11, 15, 29, 37, 41, 42, 71

G
glance...........................................................................................................................................42
God...........................................................................................................12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 93, 98
group............................................3, 9, 26, 46, 48, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 59, 61, 67, 69, 71, 74, 75, 99
guidance.................................................................................................................................12, 99

H habit.................................................................................................................................12, 19, 29 happy....................................................................................................................5, 6, 9, 11, 19, 59

happiness.....................................................................................................................40, 71, 84
hate...................................................................................................................................31, 51, 68
heart.......................................................................................................................................34, 67
hero............................................................................................................................22, 23, 26, 65
horizontal.....................................................................................................................................67
hostility.....................................................................................................26, 29, 46, 55, 56, 60, 96
hostility............................................................................................................................................

hostile......................................................................................................................4, 23, 58, 86
human.......................................................................................................27, 31, 35, 37, 44, 69, 71
human nature................................................................................................................................69
humane...............................................................................................................................3, 63, 64
humility........................................................................................................................................98

I idea.........................................................................................................................2, 33, 39, 61, 94 independence..........................................................................................................................39, 90

independent...........................................................................................................13, 15, 27, 94
Individual Psychology................................................................................................34, 72, 98, 99
infantile..................................................................................................................................90, 94
inferiority.........................................................................................................................58, 65, 69

inferiority feeling........................................................................................................58, 65, 69
insecurity................................................................................................................................12, 16
insight..........................................................................................................................................85
intelligence.................................................................................................................33, 34, 58, 60

intelligent..........................................................................................................................18, 64
intention........................................................................................................................6, 11, 16, 17
intention...........................................................................................................................................

intentions................................................................................................................................16
interest...................................................................................3, 5, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 44, 77, 92
intolerance........................................................................................................................................

intolerant.................................................................................................................................96 J jealousy............................................................................................................................................

jealous.......................................................................................................................................5
joke..............................................................................................................................................20

jokes........................................................................................................................................51

joking......................................................................................................................................59 joy40

language.................................................................................................................................37, 99
law.........................................................................................................................................65, 70
law...................................................................................................................................................

laws...................................................................................................................................36, 39
laziness.............................................................................................................................................

lazy.........................................................................................................................................43
life problems................................................................................................................................96
logic.......................................................................................................................................61, 62
love....................................................................................................................................7, 28, 98
lying.............................................................................................................................................67

M
maladjustment..............................................................................................................................19
male........................................................................................................................................15, 94
marriage.......................................................................................................................................39
marry............................................................................................................................................96
masculinity.......................................................................................................................................

masculine..........................................................................................................................20, 30
mathematics.......................................................................10, 41, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 67, 68, 71
mature............................................................................................................................................8
May, Karl...................................................................................................................................100
mind......................................................................................................3, 7, 30, 39, 67, 73, 96, 100
misbehavior..................................................................................................................................86
morality........................................................................................................................................47
mother....5, 6, 8, 9, 13, 14, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 38, 47, 63, 66, 69, 70, 74, 76, 77, 78, 80, 81, 82,

83, 84, 91, 92, 93, 95, 96 motivation..............................................................................................................................74, 75 motives.........................................................................................................................................92 movement...............................................................................................................................34, 86

N
nation...........................................................................................................................................22
national...................................................................................................................................35, 44
need.............................................................2, 3, 25, 27, 43, 47, 48, 65, 70, 71, 75, 76, 92, 96, 100
neglect....................................................................................................................................47, 94
normal...................................................................................................................11, 12, 57, 58, 85

O
objective.................................................................................................................................11, 26
obstinacy......................................................................................................................................74
only child.....................................................................................................................................89
opinion..........................................................................................................2, 6, 20, 22, 51, 56, 68
optimism......................................................................................................................................56
optimistic.....................................................................................................................................59

P pain..............................................................................................................................................27 pampering......................................................................................................................................5

pampered.....................................................................................................................4, 5, 6, 70
paralysis.................................................................................................................................90, 94
parent...............................................................................................................................................

parents 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12, 16, 24, 25, 28, 34, 37, 39, 42, 43, 54, 56, 60, 63, 69, 73, 77, 85, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 96, 98, 99, 100 passivity...........................................................................................................................................

passive....................................................................................................................................92
patient..........................................................................................................................................40
peace............................................................................................................................................55
perception....................................................................................................................................46
personality......................................2, 4, 7, 19, 31, 32, 35, 36, 41, 42, 43, 44, 47, 76, 77, 89, 94, 96

perspective.....................................................................................................................................2
philosophy................................................................................................................................6, 73
physician...............................................................................................................3, 5, 7, 38, 39, 43
play..............................................................................20, 21, 41, 42, 51, 55, 57, 59, 60, 64, 70, 80
pleasure.....................................................................................................3, 7, 9, 13, 27, 66, 69, 86
poet..............................................................................................................................................98
politics....................................................................................................................................43, 58
possession....................................................................................................................................98
poverty.......................................................................................................................41, 44, 48, 58
power............................................................................................................................7, 44, 71, 98
practical............................................................................................................................12, 27, 44
praise............................................................................................................................................64
pregnant.......................................................................................................................................93
prejudice......................................................................................................................................95
preparation.............................................................................................................................41, 92
prestige.........................................................................................................................................39
pride.................................................................................................................................46, 68, 77
problem............................................................................................................................61, 65, 75
profession......................................................................3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 15, 17, 37, 39, 40, 41, 70
proof.................................................................................................................................30, 33, 34
prosperity.....................................................................................................................................71
psychic........................................................................................................7, 38, 39, 45, 51, 64, 71
psychology......................................................................................................26, 34, 35, 37, 69, 92

psychological..........................2, 7, 11, 18, 26, 27, 29, 33, 37, 69, 70, 71, 76, 77, 90, 96, 97, 99
punishment.................................................................................................................24, 25, 26, 30
purpose...................................................................................................................................27, 92

R
readiness......................................................................................................................................56
reality.....................................................................................................................................17, 36
reason........................................................................................................13, 18, 30, 31, 41, 42, 86
reasoning........................................................................................................................................7
recollection...................................................................................................................................66
resentment....................................................................................................................................58
resistance......................................................................................................................................52
responsibility..........................................................................................................................55, 88
responsibility....................................................................................................................................

responsible..............................................................................................................................85
role...............................................................................................................................................88
rule...................................................................................................................................................

rules........................................................................................................................................47 S school. 1, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34,

36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 46, 51, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 70,

74, 79, 80, 81, 84, 91, 92, 93, 95, 100 science.........................................................................................................................................40 second child...........................................................................................................................33, 89 self...................................................................................................................................................

self-confidence. .12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 31, 33, 35, 37, 38, 41, 42, 56, 62, 64, 65, 67, 70, 71, 95
sensitive.................................................................................................................................74, 95
sex..............................................................................................................................30, 58, 96, 99
shame...........................................................................................................................................51
shock............................................................................................................................................47
sibling rivalry...............................................................................................................................92
significance.....................................................................................4, 10, 27, 34, 84, 86, 90, 91, 92
significant...............................................................................................................................70, 83
silence..........................................................................................................................................98
sleep.......................................................................................................................................74, 76
sleep;sleeping...............................................................................................................................99
smoking............................................................................................................................40, 56, 67
social........................................3, 4, 7, 19, 22, 23, 26, 39, 40, 43, 44, 47, 58, 64, 65, 70, 89, 90, 99

social usefulness.....................................................................................................................26, 90
socially useful..............................................................................................................................35
society........................................................................................................................10, 19, 64, 99
soul..............................................................................................................................................51
staggering.....................................................................................................................................36
stomach........................................................................................................................................58
stress............................................................................................................................................60
striving..................................................................................................9, 56, 66, 71, 73, 90, 92, 96
striving.............................................................................................................................................

striving for significance..........................................................................................................92
stupid...........................................................................................................................................49
style of life........................................................................................2, 5, 19, 31, 32, 33, 43, 44, 66
success............................................................................................................12, 37, 47, 69, 85, 86
suffering.......................................................................................................................7, 30, 40, 44
suggestion..............................................................................................................................29, 88
superiority...........................................................................................34, 39, 46, 52, 53, 58, 71, 94
superiority........................................................................................................................................

superior...................................................................................................................7, 52, 56, 64
syle....................................................................................................2, 5, 19, 31, 32, 33, 43, 44, 66
symptom......................................................................................................................................73
symptoms.........................................................................................................................19, 69, 76

T teacher...................................................................................6, 7, 10, 15, 20, 33, 34, 36, 55, 63, 67

teachers..................................................................15, 19, 20, 26, 34, 35, 37, 42, 69, 73, 74, 93
tension..........................................................................................................................................84
the question......................................................................................................................16, 40, 83
thinking.............................................................................................5, 6, 11, 19, 39, 40, 52, 56, 91
thought.........................................................4, 11, 18, 28, 31, 38, 39, 58, 62, 64, 68, 74, 86, 94, 96
time. .2, 4, 5, 9, 13, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 30, 34, 38, 42, 44, 47, 49, 55, 58, 63, 69, 70, 74,

78, 83, 84, 86, 91, 93, 96 training.................................................................................................................26, 27, 34, 75, 97 trait.........................................................................................................................2, 48, 49, 60, 96 trait...................................................................................................................................................

traits.....................................................................................2, 35, 41, 44, 45, 46, 59, 60, 77, 96
treatment......................................................................................................................................73
truth..........................................................................................................................25, 26, 96, 100
truth;truthfulness..........................................................................................................................96

U
understanding..........................................................................................2, 7, 30, 65, 67, 69, 85, 86
unhappy........................................................................................................................................96
uniqueness......................................................................................................................................2
unity.......................................................................................................................................19, 46
universe........................................................................................................................................96

V value..............................................................................................11, 35, 36, 40, 44, 53, 55, 69, 74

values......................................................................................................................................85 vertical...................................................................................................................................10, 22 W war..................................................................................................................22, 23, 29, 39, 75, 77 wisdom.........................................................................................................................................98 wish..............................................................................................................................................23 woman..................................................................................................................15, 47, 86, 93, 96 work.....2, 3, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 26, 27, 33, 34, 37, 39, 40, 43, 44, 48, 49, 55, 61, 62, 65, 68,

69, 74, 75, 81, 82, 84, 85, 96, 97, 99

world.......................................................................9, 26, 31, 32, 33, 39, 44, 69, 71, 81, 92, 93, 94
Y
younger......................................................................4, 9, 14, 19, 27, 58, 62, 65, 66, 76, 78, 79, 80
youngest.................................................................................................................6, 65, 66, 89, 93
youngest...........................................................................................................................................

youngest child.....................................................................................................................6, 65

Appendix A:

Adlerian Child Guidance Principles For Teachers 1

Mutual respect based on the assumption of equality is the inalienable right of all human beings. Teachers who show respect for students, while winning their respect for them, teach students to respect themselves and others.

Encouragement implies faith in and respect for children as they are. Students usually misbehave when they are discouraged and believe they cannot succeed by useful, positive means.

Feelings of "security" are highly subjective and not necessarily related to the actual situation. Real security cannot be found from the outside; we can encourage children, but they build their own self-esteem through the conquest of difficulties.

Reward and punishment are outdated. Students soon consider a reward their right and demand a reward for everything. They consider that punishment gives them the right to punish in turn, and the retaliation of students is usually more effective than the punishment inflicted by teachers. Students often retaliate by fighting, neglecting schoolwork, or otherwise misbehaving in ways that are the most disturbing to teachers.

Natural and logical consequences are techniques which allow the student to experience the actual result of his own behavior.

  • Natural consequences are the direct result of the student's behavior. More relevant to parents. (i.e. Let children who “forget” to take their lunch feel hungry.)

  • Logical consequences are established by the teacher, and are a direct and logical, not arbitrarily imposed, consequence of the transgression. (i.e. The tardy student misses the opening activity.)

  • Natural consequences are usually effective.

  • Logical consequences can be applied only if there is no power contest; otherwise they degenerate into punitive retaliation.

Acting instead of talking is more effective in conflict situations. Talking provides an opportunity for arguments in which students can defeat teachers. If teachers maintain a calm, patient attitude, they can, through quiet action, accomplish positive results.

1 These principles are amplified in Children: The Challenge, by Rudolf Dreikurs and Vicki Solz.

Appendix B:

Children's Life Tests 1

by Alfred Adler

Edited by Edward Hoffman, Ph.D. 2

Introduction: Among Adler's contributions to modern counseling was his emphasis on understanding children within the social context of their particular families. In this brief, unpublished article written in the early 1930's, Adler presents this important concept.

We can never tell whether a child has been rightly prepared for life until he or she is faced with a difficulty. This is true even regarding a small baby. As long as individuals, young or old, are not challenged--put through a test, we might say--we know practically nothing about their prior emotional-social training and present capability. Therefore, life-tests are always necessary if we are to understand children.

All families have rules of their own. Most of these rules are relatively flexible, of course, and vary greatly from family to family. In some respects, though, these rules or principles are all the same. For example, one child in a family can never occupy the same social space as another member, even an identical twin. Thus, no two children are ever raised in precisely the same environment.

Among the many social circumstances that confront children, and to which they must adapt, are the traditions and beliefs of their parents. We see quite a different home portrait if their child-raising outlook is dominated by either severity and authoritarianism, or kindness and camaraderie. The corresponding parental demands are altogether different, and their children's social beliefs and attitudes will likewise necessarily become different.

An important principle: the stricter the parents' rules and principles, the more occasions exist for the children's transgressions. It is the same as in national or public life. Harsh and unnecessary laws increase the number of law-breakers. In their growth and development, children are by no means chiefly concerned with following parental rules and accepting parental demands. Rather, most youngsters are typically more concerned with their own growing minds and bodies. Their

1 Permission to publish granted by Kurt Adler, M.D., Ph.D.
2 Edward Hoffman, Ph.D. is author of The Drive for Self: Alfred Adler and
The Founding of Individual Psychology (Addison Wesley), and Future Visions:
the Unpublished Papers of Abraham Maslow (Sage Publications). Permission
to publish granted by Kurt Adler, M.D., Ph.D.

development is mainly directed toward enhancing the ability to cope with new situations. All children seek to perfect themselves so that they will never feel wholly defeated by their environment.

This emotional tendency has many names. The well-known philosopher John Dewey calls it the striving for security. Others call it the striving for self-preservation. We can refer to it as the striving for wholeness or superiority. This striving always involves an effort to improve one's position in life, but it has a million variations. This striving differs with every child, and especially in what or she actually means by feeling superior, better, safer, and more whole. All children differ in the spheres they choose for this striving, in their fields of activity, and in the means by which they feel they can accomplish their goals. Children especially differ in their degree of interest in other people.

We also find that every child's intelligence, social sensitivity, and courage is different. Every child places a different value on various concrete things, situations, and actions. Physically, biologically, and neurologically too, every child differs in degrees of efficiency and strength.

Through standardized intelligence testing and other measures, we can determine differences in children's cognitive and language abilities. Such tests reveal differing kinds of early training, experience, and innate influences, and are quite indispensable. If we are to discover children's differing cognitive, emotional, and social capabilities, we cannot avoid tests of one sort or another. Through scientific inquiry, we can gain a picture of each child's present developmental state.

However, we must also be aware that we can never predict from this picture the limits of a particular child's future growth. The striving for perfection is life-long, and it can always be utilized to correct an individual's emotional-social mistakes and direct one's daily activity in a more useful way.

The conscientious observer will therefore do well to look for the specific hindrances that may be lurking in a child's family, as well as for the youngster's own mistaken attitudes blocking his or her greater achievement. Whether standardized or offered by the events of life itself, tests show whether a child has successfully confronted difficulties. But to know such information is not sufficient for educators. We must then help the child to overcome these difficulties.

Appendix C:
Training for Courage

By Dr. Alfred Adler

Introduction: 1 Everyone who has heard of the inferiority complex has been influenced by the work of Dr. Alfred Adler, founder of the school for Individual Psychology. Dr. Adler came to psychology with the well-rounded equipment of a general practitioner of medicine. His works have always been marked by their combination of science and common sense. Thus, he was unable to accept the views of those modern psychologists who claim that the only human problem is the problem of sex. He saw around him three main problems, or groups of problems, which confront every human being: the problems of occupation, of relationships to others, and of love and marriage. Failures in life occur only among people who lack the courage to face these problems. When individuals are discouraged and afraid of defeat, they still continue striving for significance or for the appearance of success. They still want to prove how strong they are. Now, however, they want to prove it to themselves, or they try to show their importance by becoming nuisances. They turn away from reality, from usefulness to others and co-operation. The neurotic is really a coward who draws attention to his difficulties. The criminal is a coward who pretends to be a hero. Both of them fear defeat if they face the common, everyday problems of life.

However, we cannot blame these individuals for their failures. Dr. Adler has shown that the way a man will face life is already established, in its main features, by the time he is five years old. Mistakes can be corrected afterwards; the neurotic and the criminal can become courageous and responsible fellowmen; but a change can take place only if they understand where and how the mistake occurred. Three types of children are particularly tempted to fail in courage. First, children with imperfect organs, unless someone directs their interest to other people, will often be preoccupied with guarding themselves against dangers; they will think only of themselves. Second, spoiled or pampered children have never learned to face difficulties by themselves. Third, neglected children have been forced to face more than the usual hardships. They fail in courage because they never learn that they could succeed in gaining love, friendship, and occupational success.

1 The introduction was provided by an unknown presenter. The date of this lecture is unknown.

Training in courage and cooperation provides the remedy against all failures. This is why Dr. Adler has a special interest in education. Hundreds of schools are using his findings and his approach to training children. In Vienna alone, at twenty-seven Advisory Councils of Individual Psychologists, teachers and parents may discuss their problems with experts and learn how to help the children in their care. A few years ago, Dr. Adler came for the first time to this country. Since then, he has been invited every year to lecture, to establish clinics and councils, and to train teachers and students in Individual Psychology. He has helped many thousands of people to solve their personal problems, and to learn to help others, too.

If anyone wished to make sure that his child would grow up to be a failure in life, the way would be perfectly simple. He would need to do only two things: systematically discourage the child, and keep him isolated from other children. The methods of discouragement are many. Punish the child, and he will discover that you are very strong and he is very weak. He will not give up trying to show his importance, but he will feel that he is bound to fail. If he asks questions, tell him "You will understand that when you are older." This will again show him that you do not regard him as an equal. He will stop asking questions and become stupid. Always appear anxious for his health and warn him about the dangers of going out alone or doing anything for himself. He will then believe that life is much too difficult for him, will become hesitating and timid, and will always look for an easy way out. He will not cease to struggle; for no human being stops struggling as long as he is alive. He will struggle, however, in useless ways, and he will struggle without courage.

Keep him away from other children, and he will never learn how to fit in with other people. He will go through life without knowing that friendship and cooperation are possible. He will never feel at home in society. When he faces the problems of adult life, he will be helpless. All problems are social problems; they all involve other people as well as ourselves, and they can be solved only if we are interested in others. This rule has no exceptions. If we have not been trained to help others and be helped by them, we will not find a way to face life successfully. For example, consider the problem of marriage: Can anyone possibly succeed in marriage if he has not learned to cooperate?

Can he possibly succeed, if he has not learned to be more interested in someone else than in himself? We must remember that, although social feeling may be inborn in every one of us, it still needs to be trained and developed. At every point in the training of a child, his social feeling may be blocked; he may be turned away from interest in the world around him and the people around him. Every failure can be attributed to a block in the development of social feeling.

But none of us wishes our children to be failures. We can see plenty of evidence that discouraged individuals are badly equipped for life without experimenting with deliberate discouragement. Let us draw out from these considerations some positive guidance for the training of responsible, useful, and successful human beings. First, perhaps, we should define more precisely what we mean by courage. Real courage is always useful courage, courage in meeting the common problems of life. It is not the same thing as heroism, although heroism itself is perhaps no more than the application of common courage in unusual difficulties. But what I wish to make clear is this: We should not call a man courageous who arranges tests of his courage to see how much he can endure. Clearly, such a man tries to prove to himself that he is a hero because he fears that he is a coward; he lacks confidence, and we suspect that he avoids the real problems and difficulties of his situation. Many people make up these fictitious tests of their strength: How much pain can I bear, would I be frightened if I were in great danger, can I establish an endurance record? All of them are trying to conceal cowardice.

If a man went through life with undiminished courage, he would never evade the problems of occupation, friendship, or love. He would make mistakes, of course, for we learn by our mistakes; but his mistakes would be small, and he would never make the same mistake twice. One of the highest expressions of courage is the courage to be imperfect, the courage to risk failure and to be proved wrong. He would be a good worker, because he would have learned to do things for himself. By practice he would gain the skill to do the right thing at the right time, and he would have behind him a succession of real achievements. He would work with an objective, and what he began he would complete. He would be a good friend, because he would not be afraid of offending others, but would be interested in their welfare and would contribute to their lives, of his own initiative, what he had discovered to be useful and appropriate. He would never wait for the approval of other people. Why should he be reserved, hesitating, introverted? This would be plain cowardice. He would be a true partner in love, because he would not need to convince himself of his own worth at someone else's expense, he would not fear to lose the love of his partner, and he would have learned that the only way to secure love is to enrich and ease the life of another person.

Defeat and difficulty would be merely a stimulus to increase his efforts and skill. He would never pity himself or make claims for special consideration. He would be occupied, not with himself, but with the tasks before him. The only reason for a man's being occupied with himself is the fear of defeat; if introverts were sure of success, they would be changed in a minute and would immediately begin to solve the real problems of life. The interest of a courageous man would be engaged at all points of life; it would never shrink through the fear, "This is beyond me," and in all his problems he would be dealing, as far as he could, with the whole situation. No doubt, if he were called on to face unusual circumstances, he would meet them with unusual courage, but it would really be the same courage that he had trained himself to apply to ordinary circumstance and ordinary decisions.

In real life, we do not find anyone who has kept his courage undiminished. To some degree, we have all set limits to ourselves and have excused ourselves from making full use of our efforts. The degree of our courage, however, and the consequent degree of our ability to cooperate, is the index of our psychic health. The true way to solve any problem is always to apply more courage and more cooperation. Any failure in courage can only make the situation more difficult. Most important, Individual Psychology provides us with a way to encourage those who shrink before the difficulties of life, and to develop and train the courage of children so that they are not soured by reverses in early life.

If educators could agree on their objectives, they would greatly benefit the future of mankind. At present, the development of the child is left too much to private theories and prejudices. Before the goal of education was fixed, we should review all ideas that seem promising. Already, however, we might agree on a few points which, because they are incontestable, or at least, because they are in harmony with common sense, have a prescriptive place in the goal of education. Three requirements seem most worthy of our attention. First, the ideal in education must be applicable to everybody. Second, it must be clear and intelligible. Third, it must assure usefulness to the community.

Let me take these requirements one by one. The ideal in education must be applicable to everybody. By "everybody," I mean, anyone capable of receiving any education at all; we must include those who seem condemned, in our present state of knowledge, to be mental cripples throughout life. We must eliminate all institutions which separate children, as if some of them were to be made into masters and the others into slaves. We must also prefer methods which facilitate progress for all children, even those who seem less gifted, to methods which serve the education of gifted children only. We should no longer desire to discover concealed special talents, nor should we overestimate obvious abilities, but our aim should be to awaken the capabilities of all children. At present, the possibilities of developing the mental, physical, and moral abilities of every child are still underestimated. No one can succeed in widening these limits unless he frees himself from the superstition that they are fixed and constant. Therefore, the educator should select those methods which are best adapted to encourage the efforts of his students and increase their courage, rather than restrict them and keep them within special boundaries.

The ideal must be clear and intelligible. We cannot decide by consulting our own feelings or the force of tradition. An agreement could take place only with this understanding. Whether the ideal was really understood would show in the independence and self-confidence of teachers and students in their work. They must be able to fit the aim of education into the knowledge they have gained from their own experiences. Here I should like to recommend the findings of Individual Psychology as the best guide in understanding their tasks. Individual Psychology sees a human life as a creative effort, the aim being to make approximately right solutions to the three problems of life: occupation, friendship, and the other sex. Because it is a creative effort, only the courageous individual can devote himself wholeheartedly to his tasks.

The educational ideal must assure usefulness to the community. Every action that does not benefit the community can only diminish the individual's feeling of worth, and hence his confidence and courage. A useless action gives him a feeling of inferiority, and puts him in conflict with others. New difficulties and punishments follow automatically whenever we violate the logic of social living. If a man's actions are useless, he will feel that he lives in a hostile country. He will try to secure a feeling of importance and significance by all sorts of lies, excuses, tricks and self-justifications; but these will merely make his life still harder. So long as a child trusts himself to gain importance on the useful side of life, he will retain and develop his courage. For Individual Psychology, the recognition of this truth is the first step in awakening courage: "I can be courageous only if I feel worthwhile; I can feel worthwhile only if my actions are useful to the community."

These three requirements form a unity, and may well serve as the basis for discussions of the aims of education. Each one of them shows the central necessity for training in courage. If additional evidence is necessary, I need point only to those results of a mistaken education which are the most troublesome to the educator. These are the problem-children, the neurotics (who are well called "nervous"), drunkards, candidates for suicide, prostitutes, and criminals. All these people have lost their courage to succeed on the useful side of life. We can easily understand how they have all felt, rightly or wrongly, that they were excluded from the ideal of education, that our educational methods did not apply to them. In every case, we could show this from their life history. They can be won back only if they gain the courage to strive for significance on the side of common sense and the feeling of fellowship, not in opposition to it.

Now let me recall some of the practical ways in which parents and teachers may help to build up and develop the courage of their children. First, they must never regard their own greater strength or wider experience as enabling them to dictate to the child. If a child obeys because he is forced to obey, his courage is already broken. Parents and teachers should regard children as their equals, and their own knowledge, not as proving a personal superiority, but merely as showing that they have had a longer time in which to learn. The more parents and teachers demonstrate this consciousness of real human equality, and the less they behave as infallible authorities, the more likely are the children entrusted to them to grow up into courageous, independent adults. Here comes the second point. From the first day of life, children should be trained to be as independent as their age allows. The more things a child can do for himself, the greater his adaptability and self-confidence will be. Nothing discourages a child more than feeling that he must always be helped, that he cannot do his work by himself or play his games by himself.

Of course, if adults are always anxious about their children, they will teach them to expect that the world is a very dangerous place and to be alive is a very great hardship. Anxiety is never useful; we can face real dangers and difficulties better if we are calm and thoughtful. The only child, in particular, often suffers from the anxiety of his parents, because they usually place all their ambitions and hopes on his shoulders. They overburden him with expectations; they wish to guard and preserve him, and they cannot bear to let him run risks. Furthermore, sometimes parents decide to have only one child because they fear the economic difficulties of having more than one. They were already pessimistic and cowardly in their view of life and their interpretation of their own capacities, and they show a similar cowardice in considering the fate of their child.

A child needs the society of children of his own age and skill level, for with his fellow children he can best learn companionship and cooperation. He will be comparing himself with individuals who are not separated from him by greater age and experience. Moreover, courage can be trained only in fellowship. No one ever succeeded in making himself courageous by thinking about courage, or by retiring to his room and determining to be courageous. Courage can be learned only in practice, and the foundation for all courage is social courage, courage in our relationships with others.

Finally, courage and cooperation can be learned only from those who are themselves courageous and cooperative. Those who can face the problems of their own lives without seeking an easy way out, who feel at home in the human race and well-equipped to continue the creative effort of living, can best train others in courage.

Editor's note: This manuscript, presumably unpublished, was included among many others in the Library of Congress.

Appendix D:
The Lazy Child

Alfred Adler

What are the motives of the lazy child? First, we will exclude children with organic deficiencies, such as those who suffer from anemia, tuberculosis, deficiencies of the thyroid gland, or other conditions. We will also exclude those children whose laziness represents a direct attack on their parents and teachers. Laziness can sometimes be a form of revenge. It is a very good weapon for disappointing others and causing them trouble.

In all other cases, we should look for a fear of defeat in work, sports, or school activities. A fear of defeat always leads to a lack of interest. When a child thinks he can solve a problem, he is interested in it. Interest in a subject is the strongest stimulus to master it. If he is interested, he will like to learn. But where he fears that he cannot succeed, he will gradually distract his interest from the subject.

Everyone understands the word, "success," differently. Sometimes, we are astonished to find out what a child regards as a defeat. Many people think it a defeat if they are not ahead of all others. Even if they are successful, they consider it a defeat if someone does still better.

But where does the striving for superiority and completeness show itself in laziness? A lazy child never experiences the feeling of defeat because he never faces a test. He excludes the problem before him, and postpones the decision whether he could compete with others. Moreover, everybody else is sure that if only he were less lazy, he could overcome his difficulties. He takes refuge in the satisfying thought, "If only I were not lazy, I could do everything." Whenever he fails, he can diminish the fact of his failure and keep his self-esteem. He can say, "It is only laziness, not lack of ability."

Sometimes teachers will say to a lazy student, "If only you would work harder, you could be the most brilliant student in the class." If he can keep such a reputation without working, why should he do any work? Perhaps if he stopped being lazy, his reputation for concealed brilliance would come to an end. He would be judged on his actual accomplishments, not on what he might have done.

His laziness has another personal advantage. If he does the least bit of work, he receives praise for it. From a more industrious child, it would never even have been noticed. One lazy boy was asked by his teacher why he did no work. "I know I'm the laziest boy in the class," he answered, "but you are always paying attention to me. The boy next to me is the best student among us, but you never even give him a look."

A lazy child considers only his own interest. He does not try to contribute. He looks for an "easy way out." He occupies the attention of others and makes them help and support him. In all this behavior, we can see the egotistic attitude of the lazy child.

We can hardly blame him, however. A healthy child is not naturally lazy. He has been artificially made lazy. Because of the pampering attitude of his parents, he has trained himself from babyhood to expect everything from the efforts of others.

Editor's note: We do not know the origin of this article. It was included among many, presumably unpublished, manuscripts in the Library of Congress.

Appendix E: The Challenge of Kindergarten

Toward a Better Understanding of
Parent-Teacher-Child Relationships

By Theodore E. Grubbe, Ph.D. 1

Introduction

Much has been written and much has been said about the uniqueness and special considerations of the Kindergarten. The material is generally good, often giving the Kindergarten teacher ideas, clues, and specifics about how to improve the program. However, concepts relating to giving the teacher an understanding of the Kindergartner's behavior often leave much to be desired, or are so complicated that they make real understanding difficult. Behavior is complex, and no one is absolutely certain of anything in spite of the many scholarly researches continually carried on and reported in professional literature. Although we are progressing, we have yet to find the ultimate, absolute answer. Interestingly, the more recent researches and theories advanced tend to favor a social approach to understanding the "why" of behavior.

Having sampled the smorgasbord of behavior and learning theories with their many contradictory recipes, I have chosen an approach first introduced in the early 1900's, which is finally receiving recognition from many independent, unrelated sources. Early in his career as a psychologist, Alfred Adler, M.D. (1870-1937) rejected the idea that behavior was pre-determined, politely informing his colleague, Dr. Sigmund Freud, of his new ideas. Dr. Freud did not appreciate Dr. Adler's ideas, and according to people who were around at the time, Dr. Freud firmly suggested that Dr. Adler not bother the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association with such far-fetched concepts. Freud continued with his work, as did Adler. The two men share some similarities, but perhaps the major difference is that Adler felt that behavior was purposive and goal-directed, while Freud postulated that people could not help what they did because of the unconscious which dictates to the individual, making the individual act the way he did. Both agreed that early training influenced the individual, and that the relationship of the child to his parents was important, but they parted company at this point.

1 Dr. Grubbe, a District Psychologist at the Castro Valley Elementary

School District in California, presented this paper in September, 1963.

He granted the editor permission to reproduce it.

The concepts presented in this paper are based on Adler's idea that behavior is purposive and goal-directed. To those with little or no psychology background, the ideas appear to be more common sense than anything else. To those who have read and studied psychology, the concepts may be contradictory to the beliefs held. I hope that at least the Kindergarten teachers and others may gain some understanding of the challenges that the 5-year-old faces.

The first portion of the paper describes some behavior characteristics of the 5-year-old, based on research. The purpose is to distinguish between behavior that might be considered normal and behavior which has a purpose other than usefully contributing to the group. For example, the attention span of the 5-year-old is somewhat short, and expecting him to stay at a task too long could create problems based on his physical endurance rather than on an adjustment problem. Most Kindergarten teachers are well aware of the characteristics of the 5year-old; however, perhaps the parents who read this paper may not be.

The second part of the paper deals with the psychological dynamics that occur with the Kindergarten child. By no means complete, they hopefully provide some basis for understanding. The bibliography is included for those interested in more detail about the dynamics of purposive behavior.

Significant Characteristics Which Affect Content and Materials
Selection 2

    • Physical Characteristics:

      • Incessant physical activity

      • Predominant use of large muscles

      • Inept with small muscles

      • Rapid growth of heart; rapid pulse

      • Little immunity to communicable disease

    • Social Development:

      • Cooperates with limited number of children

      • Inept in social relations

      • Racial and group consciousness evident

      • Spontaneous, imitative play

      • Egocentric, selfish, competitive

    • Interests:

      • Predominance of short, specific, transitory interests

      • Selfish, egocentric interests

  • Mental Development:

• Use of materials largely manipulative and experimental

2 From Unit Teaching in the Elementary School, pp. 38-43, by Hanna, Potter, and Hagman.

  • Understanding developed through active participation and firsthand experience

  • Difficulty in differentiating between fantasy and reality

  • Time-space concept slow to develop

  • Meaning of words limited to child's own experiences

  • Use of language to meet social situations

The Psychological Challenge of the Kindergarten Student

When he enters school, the child faces one of his earliest and severest tests. Because the school is a new situation for him, it reveals how well the child has been prepared to face new situations and particularly how well he has been prepared to meet new people.

This paper addresses not so much the beginning student who has developed a feeling of worthwhileness and copes effectively with new challenges, as it does the discouraged student who enters school. When the child starts to lose faith in himself, discouragement has begun. The discouraged child quickly makes himself known by his behavior. Avoiding useful roads and normal tasks, he continually searches for another outlet, a road to freedom and early success. He chooses the path that always attracts the discouraged individual: the path of quickest psychological success. On the first day of school, we can notice such indications as crying, reluctance to leave the mother, temper displays, over-reacting to stimuli, stubbornness, fighting, bullying other students, and so on. All of the above types of behavior, and others not mentioned, demonstrate the discouraged child taking the path of easy success. The success takes the form of gaining attention of some sort from either the mother or the teacher, manipulating the adults to become involved with him, either through pleading, coaxing, displaying anger or sorrow, or some type of involving behavior. This contrasts significantly with the courageous student who relies on himself and accepts responsibility.

Neither the Kindergarten teacher nor anyone else can change what has happened in the past; however, if the Kindergarten teacher has developed an understanding of children's behavior, she will be in a position to help the child develop a better feeling of social usefulness. Ideally, the Kindergarten should serve as a mediator between home and the wide world of reality. It should not be a place merely for academic learning, but a place where the knowledge and art of living should be taught. Through an understanding of the dynamics of behavior in children, the Kindergarten teacher can redirect the discouraged misbehavior of children to a more useful, positive direction. In fact, the Kindergarten teacher can do more to influence a child's development in a positive direction than any other person in the entire school system. In effect, this places a grave responsibility on the teacher and her importance cannot be minimized. Conversely, the Kindergarten teacher with a lack of understanding can further increase the discouragement of a child to a point where the problem could possibly continue throughout his school and adult life. We must recognize that for some children, little can be done to help because of impossible home situations; however, the vast majority of children with intense feelings of inferiority and inadequacy can be helped to function more positively.

The following premises give the Kindergarten teacher a basic understanding of children's behavior. The more competent, experienced teacher may find the concepts merely reinforce her own ideas, while the newer teacher may find them helpful in providing her with a foundation from which to work. To some, the psychological basis for the ideas may seem foreign, as they do differ to some extent from the theories of psychological behavior more commonly taught in many universities and colleges.

All Behavior is Purposive. Every action of the child has a purpose. His basic purpose is to find his place in the group. The child who has developed a feeling of worthwhileness and equality, who has been prepared to meet the challenges of life, and who has learned to accept responsibility finds his place in the group, meets the requirements of the group, and makes his own useful contribution to the group. The discouraged or misbehaving child tries in his own mistaken way to feel important. This may be the child who has never been allowed to take care of himself to any extent because his mother thought he was too little, or his mother found it easier (and perhaps faster) to do things for the child which normally he should have done for himself. The child may then lack the feeling that he can contribute usefully to the family and the school, with the result that he may feel important only when he gets the authority angry, annoyed, or involved with his misbehavior.

An Understanding of the Goal or Purpose of the Child's Misbehavior is a Basic Prerequisite for Effective, Positive Changes in Behavior. Although by five years the general personality pattern of the individual is fairly well established, we can often and easily redirect misbehavior into constructive behavior. To effect changes, however, the authority must be aware of the purpose or goal of the misbehavior, and also have the maturity to remain reasonably objective in an emotional crisis, but still maintain a friendly interest in the child. By five years of age, the Kindergarten child has developed a sense of sophistication in terms of his awareness of adult reactions to his misbehavior. While not consciously aware of the purpose of his misbehavior, he is generally aware that what he does creates a type of reaction from the adult authority. For example, the child who "talks back" or "sasses the teacher" is well aware that he may get his mouth washed out with soap, get a spanking, or something else equally as uncomfortable physically; however, more importantly, he successfully provokes the authority, controlling and manipulating her emotions. The young child probably knows the vulnerable, weak points of his parents and teacher far better than they know them themselves.

By the time the child reaches Kindergarten, he has developed many tools and techniques which provide a short cut to recognition and a negative type of status. In the process, the Kindergarten teacher becomes his next "victim." However, if the teacher possesses wisdom, maturity, and skill, she can slow down or alter the process, and in most instances, redirect the child's ambition to misbehave to an ambition to contribute usefully to the group or class and society. If no effective changes result from the Kindergarten program, the first grade teacher has a more difficult job in achieving positive changes. The child will have gained more strength from learning the success of his misbehavior, which will continue, developing in intensity as time goes by.

The authorities (parent or teacher) can often discover the purpose or goal of the misbehavior by their own reaction to it. For example, if the Kindergarten teacher finds herself becoming continually impatient and annoyed at the child who persists in being the last one out of the room, is slow to put his coat on, can never find the right thing at the right time, she can be reasonably certain that the child's goal is precisely that: to make her impatient and annoyed. If the teacher (or the parent) reacts in the way she feels, she strengthens the success of the misbehavior. We often find teachers and parents continually reminding children to "hurry up" or expressing impatience at their slowness. If the teacher took time to discuss the matter with the parents, she would probably learn that the child behaves the same way at home. So what then, is the role of the teacher and the parent?

When the child misbehaves, we should not react to our first impulse or act on it. By reacting, we tend to intensify the behavior problem rather than correct it. When we act on our impulse, i.e. with the emotion we feel at the moment, we fulfill the child's expectations. The child expects us to get angry, and if we do, he has won. He may not like the reprimand he gets; however, he has manipulated us into it. Contrary to what we may think, he is in charge --from the moment we respond according to our emotional impulse, up to and during whatever reprimand or punishment we give. A simplified rule of thumb is that we should do nothing, or at least react in some way opposite from the way we feel. This will negate the effect of the success of the misbehavior and place us in a better position to effectively arrange with the child what to do about the situation.

Natural Consequences is a method which allows the child to realistically experience the result of his own behavior. For example, the child who dawdles in the classroom in putting away his materials

may find that the class has gone on to some other activity and he is left out; or the child who plays around and forgets to come to dinner after being called will discover no food is left. The usual first impulse of the parent or teacher is to hurry the child, and use personal authority to get him to come. If the first impulse is followed, the responsibility of the child's actions becomes that of the authority rather than of the child where it truly belongs. Continued involvement by the authority merely tends to make the child more dependent and less able to assume responsibility for his own behavior. If the child's misbehavior may lead to real danger, then we need to protect him from the situation, but only when real danger is suggested.

The Kindergarten teacher usually is the child's first consistent outside authority. Often she may wish the children to obtain some item from home to assist in the program. Perhaps one of the father's old shirts is necessary for protection from easel paints. The pattern of dependency can be either increased or redirected to helping the child assume responsibility for his behavior at this stage. For example, if the mother or father persists in checking up and making sure that the child has all the necessary items, he will normally lose the incentive to remember on his own. However, if the parents allow the child to be responsible for bringing the required item(s) to school, and the child forgets (even though the parents are well aware of the need for the item), the natural consequence of his forgetting is that he cannot participate in the activity requiring the item. In other words, we should not do for the child what he can do for himself. Only those children allowed to experience the natural, real-world consequences of their actions learn responsibility.

The Kindergarten is the beginning. If parents do not let the child assume responsibilities which are his (and which he is able to assume), the pattern usually continues in the first grade with parents checking up on homework and other things which essentially are the child's problems. In the upper grades, where increased homework and other outside requirements are a necessary part of the curriculum, we often find students who rely primarily on coercion from their parents in order to get their work done. By this time, parental "interference" has frequently inhibited the child's natural desire, and ability, to learn. Adults then tend to describe these students as "reluctant learners." Aside from not doing homework, they may also have problems in reading and other academic areas. Although this pattern is by no means the only cause of learning problems, it does occur often enough that we should consider it highly important.

Time Must be Taken to Train the Child. The child needs to learn essential habits, manners, and skills. The Kindergarten teacher must take time to teach children the rules and regulations that are part of belonging to the group. Training should occur at regular, calm times until children learn the particular skill or lesson. It should not be done during times of conflict or stress. For example, the Kindergarten should have regular lessons on how the children line up for recess, playtime, or fire drill, etc. Once the teacher is convinced the children know what is expected of them, she can use natural or logical consequences. The children may be lining up for a play activity outside when general chaos breaks loose. Perhaps the teacher's first impulse is to strongly reprimand the children, give them a long lecture on the rules, and generally set down the law. This action on the teacher's part may calm down the children, and they may line up properly at the time, but what have they learned? Rather, the teacher would do better not to act on her first impulse, but firmly and quickly, with little emotion as possible, get the children back to their seats and continue with another, entirely unrelated, non-play activity. The result: the children were not able to manipulate the teacher's emotions or make their purposive behavior successful and lost out on a play activity which presumably they would have enjoyed.

Authority Deafness. The child who is used to lectures, constantly being reminded about things, being told over and over to do things, and ultimately made to do something, often develops a symptom of deafness which has no medical basis. The child may be "mother deaf" at home and very easily could become "teacher deaf" at school, if the teacher responds to the child's behavior in a way he expects and has learned that authorities do. Whenever possible, say things only once. If the child does not pay attention to the statement that only those with clean desks may use the play equipment, the consequence is that he does not use the play equipment. Often, the child will suddenly become aware of what he is missing; then, perhaps he may use another tool, such as tearful sobbing, "the teacher hates me and is mean," etc. to gain what he wants. The teacher should react with firmness and perhaps a mild interest in his situation, pointing out to him that she is sorry, but that is the way it is. (As a representative of the "outside world," at that point she has helped the child learn that his actions have real, sometimes unpleasant consequences. But unless she remains emotionally neutral in the situation, the child's focus will be on her behavior, not on the consequence of his behavior.)

In moments of real conflict, action is far more effective than talking. Arguments can develop from talking and the child can easily defeat the authority if this occurs. Never explain to a child what he already knows. If a knock-down, drag-out fight occurs in the classroom (or on the playground) and it must be stopped (school rules), the teacher should act firmly and quickly, but not with emotional, uncontrollable anger at the children's behavior.

The Dignity of the Child. The Kindergarten teacher and parents who treat the child as an equal, but with different responsibilities, increase the opportunity for the child's growth in a positive direction.

Equality, in this sense, does not mean that the authorities are equal to the child in terms of skills, maturity, knowledge, experience, or responsibilities; rather, it implies that each individual is worthy of respect in his own right. As an example, if the building principal of a school thinks that he is a better person because of his position and training, he minimizes the effectiveness of his leadership. Ideally, the building principal should feel equal to the teachers as a person; however, his role and responsibilities are different. He must, as part of his position, evaluate the teaching staff and the teaching. He must make administrative decisions and on occasion provide didactic leadership. He makes judgments as to whether teachers are effective in their work, etc. All of this does not make the principal a better or superior person. The medical doctor presumably knows considerably more about medicine than does his patient, but this, again, does not make him a superior person; his knowledge is superior. The Kindergarten teacher has the responsibility of educating the children in her class. She must teach skills, habits, and the requirements for being part of a group. She must evaluate and discipline. She must see that rules and regulations are followed; but if she treats her students as inferiors, she inhibits their learning.

Accept the Child As He Is. The child who discovers that his misbehavior does not get him what he desires will need attention and affection in other ways. Doing things together for fun or enjoyment is extremely important. Children need affection, attention, and a sense of being accepted and liked as a plant needs water. They need encouragement. Through encouragement, the child develops the courage to grow and mature, to become a useful, contributing member of the group. He will have the courage to try new things.

Motivation. The human infant is the only being on the face of the earth whose mind develops faster than his body. He becomes aware that others can do things that he cannot do. This awareness of his own inferiority becomes the basis for motivation. The child becomes aware that his older siblings walk about and do things. The child becomes motivated to do the same, and eventually accomplishes this goal. Finding that communication is essential, he wants to talk. This is true for the child who, through acceptance, love, and affection, has developed courage to meet new challenges. An example of a child who lacks courage perhaps is a child who does not learn to talk, although mentally and physically he should be able to. An examination of the dynamics operating might reveal parents who have thwarted normal growth through pampering and over-indulgence. Perhaps they have done things for him that he should have done for himself. Perhaps they have never let the child learn to speak for himself, but anticipated his needs and wants, denying him the thrill of attempting a new endeavor.

The child with self-assurance in Kindergarten basically wants to learn new things. He wants to know how to use scissors and to learn how to cut. He wants to know how to use the various equipment. He may make mistakes, but if he has courage, it motivates him to make continual improvement, and he progresses. The motivation to learn to read is inherent in the child with courage and a feeling of worthwhileness.

The dynamic force behind motivation is the sense of inferiority. Because of his inferiority in communication, man has developed such devices as radio and television. The same force lies behind the desire to reach outer space. The Kindergarten student has the same force behind him, creating the motivation to achieve new heights, so to speak.

General and Specific Considerations

We have explored some concepts that offer a framework of understanding and helping the Kindergarten student grow. Although the emphasis has been on the misbehaving child, the same general principles apply to all children. In this short paper, I can present merely the highlights of this approach. The bibliography offers reading which will fill in many of the missing areas and perhaps clarify points or concepts which may appear hazy because of oversimplification.

The following are specific examples of misbehavior commonly found in the Kindergarten student. Suggested action, based on the previously discussed concepts, accompanies each example. At the root of these misbehaviors, we frequently find discouragement, but may also confront a pampered child, a power-hungry child, or a hurt, revengeful, or fearful child. For more information about understanding the child's goal-directed behavior, refer to the bibliography.

The Crying Child on the First Day of School, Who Does Not Want to Go to School

Most Kindergarten teachers have experienced this situation. Usually, the child clings to the mother, sobbing quite profusely, while the mother looks embarrassed, pointing out to the child how nice school is, etc. The teacher usually tries to reassure the child, emphasizing how wonderful the class is, etc.

Comment: With the expressed symptoms, the child has obviously involved one, or perhaps both adults, in manipulative behavior. The more the mother coaxes and pleads, the more the child resists. Depending on the intensity of the mother's involvement with the child, she should not respond to his tear's or any of his behavior, but rather take him by the hand firmly, and unemotionally bring him to the class. Talking, pleading, etc., will do little or no good, because this is what the child wants and expects. If the intensity of involvement is such that a scene or open warfare would develop from the above suggested action, then the teacher should calmly but firmly send the mother (or father) home with the child, and arrange to discuss the problem with the parents at a later time. At the conference, the focus would be discussing the purpose of the child's behavior and perhaps giving the parents some encouragement in how to let the child develop more courage.

The important thing to remember in situations like this one is for the teacher to keep her mind on the major problem: getting the child into school or the classroom. Side issues of crying, rudeness, sassiness, etc., have little relevance to the real issue other than that the child is running through a repertoire: techniques to get what he wants by resisting what the authority wants. Quite possibly, if the teacher can convey to the parents of the child who is sent home that they should say nothing more about the incident, (not plead, talk, or discuss the situation in any form at home), the child may want to come on his own the following day.

The Kindergarten Child Who After Several Weeks of Attendance Decides That He is Not Coming to School Anymore

He refuses to dress; strongly resists attempts on the parents' part to go to school; uses many reasons for not going, such as: he hates school, the teacher is unfair, he hates to learn, the other children don't like him, the teacher doesn't like him, and so on.

Comment: The child's expressed reasons for not wanting to go to school will coincide fairly well with the parents' conscious, verbalized reasons why he should go to school, or with clues that may not be so overtly expressed, but still picked up by the child. Parents do well to remember that the child is probably more aware of their vulnerable areas than they are themselves. The school teacher's child might use the excuse or reason that he does not want to learn and that education is unimportant (in his own terminology), as might the doctor's child find that school has certain undesirable germs that would necessitate avoidance of the situation. If the parent or teacher responds to the "trap" that is set, they have lost.

The child has little interest in the long-range goals of education; rather, he is more concerned with the immediate response of the authority. If he can maneuver the authority into a bargaining situation, he "has the world by the tail." A new toy might bring cooperation for a day or so, but very shortly the new toy (or bribe) might approach the national debt on a family level. Suppose the parents couldn't care less whether the child went back to school or not? In other words, suppose the problem were given back to THE CHILD? If one parent normally stays home, then the child can stay home, but the parent must pay no attention to him; the parent must go about normal activities, as if the child "isn't even there." If both parents normally work outside the home, and if finances allow, then the child needs to be taken to a babysitter or child care center. If the previous options are not available, then the parent needs to discuss with the school the possibility of leaving a reluctant child with the teacher and walking away, letting the school personnel handle the situation, if they are willing. The key is to neutralize the potential emotional impact of the child's behavior on the parent, i.e. to deny the child his "victory" of provoking frustration, worry, or anger in the parents. The purpose of not wanting to go to school is not to resist school attendance, but rather to demonstrate his power over the authorities. The easy way to gain success is to create a problem in which he holds the power. Unless the child is truly disturbed, or his need to control the situation is so great that it overshadows his basic need for socialization, he will be back in school very quickly, providing he does succeed with his manipulative behavior.

Because of the power the child potentially has in such situations, the unsure parent or educator can become an easy mark. Often, a parent readily gives in because she feels that if the child goes not go to school, it certainly demonstrates how poor a parent she is. The vulnerable teacher can quickly conclude that she must demonstrate how desirable it is for the child to be in her class. Obviously, adults can physically force a child to come to school. The mother can "drag" and "pull;" the teacher can "hold" and "force;" and Daddy can issue ultimatums. Who wins?

The Child Who Won't Talk

Comment: A child with this symptom lacks courage to actively participate in socially acceptable activities. The purpose of this symptom may be to avoid a possible failure. If he says something, he might be wrong; but if he says nothing, he can't be wrong. Making the child talk or applying pressure to get a response only increases the strength of the child's mistaken goal. However, allowing his lack of talking to be neutralized within the group renders it meaningless. This situation might possibly lead to some positive, assertive expressions by the child --i.e., he might be prompted to speak up, if his lack of talking is not an issue. Such a child needs much encouragement, but does not need pressure or criticism about his asocial behavior. As his quest for significance is not being met through his provocative behavior, he might try experimenting with positive participation. If he does not want to talk, this is HIS problem, and through encouragement it can become his problem and possibly the strength can develop in him to do something about the problem. The strength will never develop when the child succeeds in gaining reinforcement for his lack of courage through parental and teacher authority attempting to get him to talk and expressing a feeling of sorrow about the "poor" child. Realistically, the Kindergarten teacher can accept the child for what he is at the time. If he doesn't want to talk,... "tough;" however, the teacher provides many opportunities with no qualifications for the child to speak, if he so desires. Encouraging opportunities, but not pressing opportunities. His not speaking means very little to those involved; the consequences or authority involvement are nothing if he says nothing; but on the other hand, he has everything to gain if he does speak. The teacher might ask, "Would you like red or green paper?" No response means no paper; a response would mean paper in the color of his choice. Such a program is not accomplished overnight; however, progress is most rewarding and evident if the teacher can consistently remember not to act on or reinforce the purpose of the particular symptom.

The Child Who Refuses to Cooperate

Comment: Stubbornness or resistance is often the child's way of showing off his power. We should never attempt to fight with children, for in reality, they are stronger.

The young child engaged in a power struggle does not assume responsibility for the consequences. He will use any tool at his disposal. Obviously, through greater physical strength, the authority can temporarily make the child yield to his will, but even in this situation the child has won and the next situation involving the child and the authority will be more difficult to handle. In the classroom situation, if the child refuses to cooperate, a consequence can be arranged which places insofar as possible, the responsibility of the child's misbehavior on the child himself. Power-mad children are immediately evident by their misbehavior. Their goal is to gain and maintain control over their environment. In school, it is perhaps to keep the teacher continually occupied with him, keep the teacher upset or distracted, take the teacher's time for his own personal gain, and so on. If the teacher can arrange for the child to be quickly removed from the classroom when his misbehavior obviously hinders the teaching situation, the child does not get what he wants. This is especially true when the adults involved feel as little emotion as possible; again, being emotionally neutral is crucial. The basic concept in this type of situation is NOT to become involved in the power struggle. Perhaps the child refuses to clean up a mess he has made, defiantly demanding that the teacher "make him." The teacher's best course would be to ignore the situation, but the consequence is that the child cannot participate in any other activity until he does his job.

The Child Who Continually Talks Out, Fools Around, Acts Silly, etc.

Comment: Normally, the purpose of such behavior is to gain attention. If the child gets attention for his misbehavior, he is temporarily satisfied, but will want more until it reaches the point that the only time he gets attention is when he misbehaves. Usually, reversing the situation can help him. He receives little or no attention when he misbehaves, but gets his fair share of positive attention when he follows the rules. (The general principle, acknowledge and reinforce the positive, not the negative, applies in almost all situations.

Concluding Statements

I have discussed some situations of children's misbehavior in terms of their purpose. I cannot list every possible type as the number would exceed that of infinity. The type of behavior is not as important as the purpose behind it, and in a broad sense, the purpose behind all misbehavior is that the individual tries mistaken ways to relieve his feelings of inferiority. The child with a real feeling of competence and self-confidence will meet the immediate challenges of life in socially useful, contributing ways. He will overcome his inferiority feelings about reading by learning to read. The discouraged child will find the quickest and easiest way to avoid a struggle. He might attempt to prove his fictional superiority by not learning to read and defeat all attempts on the part of authority to make him read.

The Kindergarten teacher should be aware and accepting of the fact that she usually does not create the discouragement in the child. Rather, this discouragement probably has occurred during the first four or five years of the child's life. However, the teacher can either increase the intensity of the discouragement by becoming a part of it, or can be very instrumental in helping the child gain a better feeling about himself through redirecting his goals to a more positive direction. The child can change, if his misbehavior is not reinforced by the adults' mistaken reactions, and he has the courage to try new, more socially acceptable ways. We must give children opportunities to develop courage. If the child loses hope, he will never want to try new challenges. He will retain his old ways and never want to give them up: withdrawing and avoidance, trying to overpower his environment, or whatever compensatory devices have worked for him; he will never change if he has given up hope. A child will face many difficult situations as he grows up, but he must never lose hope.

In a program of redirecting the child's misbehavior, the home situation may parallel the situation at school. What has happened and is happening at home, might still be reflected in the child's actions at school. If the parents are using considerable force, either physical or emotional, to make the child obey and conform, the Kindergarten teacher will face a student who expects and demands the same at school. Therefore, the teacher must be able to help parents understand the purpose of their child's behavior, and to explore alternatives for winning the child's cooperation. The same concepts previously discussed about school apply equally to the home situation. Children are not, themselves, consciously aware of the purpose of their misbehavior. If we can benevolently help them achieve awareness, their purpose may lose its impetus. For example, at school the teacher might casually ask the child, if he may possibly act the way he does in order to get attention from the teacher. At home, the mother might suggest to the child that his misbehavior could possibly be a way to get her annoyed, especially if she feels annoyed at what the child is doing. Never accuse or state bluntly your interpretation of the child's misbehavior, for undoubtedly he will deny it or become defensive. At best, it is a matter of curiosity on the part of the authority.

The family constellation can be a factor in the child's discouragement. He may, for example, be an only child; or he may be the oldest child dethroned by younger siblings. He may be a middle child competing to overcome his older sibling with a younger sibling pushing behind him. He may be the youngest and possibly has given up trying to compete with his older siblings; or he may be a boy with all-girl siblings; or a girl with all-boy siblings. Knowing the family constellation puts the teacher in a better position to understand the child and effectively help him.

Another factor which can contribute to discouragement is a child's exceptional beauty; such an appearance can be praised and exaggerated to the extent that the child feels the only contribution she has to make to society is her beauty. Physical problems, whether real or imagined, can also be factors. Because of some handicap, the parents may hamper and hinder the child's development by feeling sorry and becoming over-protective.

When the authorities (parents and teacher) have decided on a plan of action to re-direct the child's goals, they must recognize that the child will feel reluctant to give up something familiar to him. (This does not mean that he does not want to change, unless he has become so discouraged that he has given up all hope of succeeding in more useful ways. If this is the case, outside professional help should be obtained.) For example, if the child becomes aware (and he may immediately) that his behavior no longer gets him what he wants, i.e. "sassing" no longer upsets his parents, then he will intensify his misbehavior in an attempt to regain control. If the pampered, over-protected child becomes concerned when his mother no longer dresses him in the morning, then he will become more dependent in an effort to keep the old ways going. He may even develop symptoms of fatigue, and show extreme unsureness at doing things he had previously done to some extent in the past. During this transition period, the authorities must demonstrate great strength on their part and focus on the specific thing they are trying to do. The child in his clever way will do almost anything to retain the familiar. The more discouraged he is, the more reluctant he will be to give up his way of living. Normally, at the Kindergarten age, we may see rather dramatic changes within a day or so. Most changes occur within a week.

Occasionally, the Kindergarten teacher may face a child who is so discouraged that he would be considered emotionally disturbed. In such cases, little, if any, communication takes place between the child and the authority. The child may be so withdrawn that no stimuli has any effect; or he may be so "power-mad" that very little the authority attempts has an effect. In such cases, professional help is needed, often beginning with a referral to the school psychologist.

To develop courage, the child needs acceptance, warmth, and affection. He needs to feel accepted for what he is now, not for what he could be. He needs to be trusted, and in turn he learns to trust. He needs guidance and training. To follow the rules, he must be made aware of them. He must develop the courage to be imperfect so that he can learn and profit from his mistakes. Creativity is inherent in young children and this must not be stifled by making a child fit a mold. Children basically and inherently want to behave, learn, and contribute.

As this paper has made clear, the Kindergarten teacher plays perhaps one of the most important roles in the child's school life. The Kindergarten teacher certainly must know the methods and techniques of presenting materials and activities to her students, but more importantly, the teacher must understand children.

Editor's note:

Although Dr. Grubbe recommends confronting a child with an interpretation of his mistaken goal, as Classical Adlerians, we believe this strategy, suggested by Rudolf Dreikurs, is often counterproductive and has served as a substitute for winning and redirecting a child with warmth, affection, and optimism. Confronting a child with this interpretation frequently is too directive, even aggressive, and may yield merely a brief, temporary admission, but no genuine, ongoing change.

We caution the teacher and parent not to rely only on strategies or techniques, but to recognize that we must win a child emotionally, before he will accept what we offer intellectually. Insight into the child's mistaken goals is best uncovered gradually, gently, and creatively by a skillful, psychological professional.

As a final comment to teachers, we highly recommend the French documentary, "Etre et Avoir" ("To Be and To Have"), as the one-room schoolhouse teacher in the film illustrates many of the principles described in this paper.

Bibliography

Adler, Alfred. Educating Children for Connection, Cooperation, &
Contribution: Volume I: Individual Psychology in the Schools;
The Education of Children. Bellingham, Washington: Classical Adlerian
Translation Project, 2009.

Dreikurs, Rudolf; Bronia Bernice Grunwald; and Floy C. Pepper.

Maintaining Sanity in the Classroom: Illustrated Teaching Techniques. New York: Harper & Row, 1971.

Dreikurs, Rudolf, and Vicki Soltz. Children: The Challenge. New York: Hawthorn/Dutton, 1964.

Appendix F:
Impact of Teaching Styles on Students
by Henry T. Stein, Ph.D.

Teaching Styles

Appendix F: Impact of Teaching Styles on Students

TEACHING STYLE FICTIONAL IMAGE TEACHER'S ATTITUDE STUDENT'S RESPONSE
Democratic and Encouraging Student is seen as equal, cooperative, and doing his share. He is liked and accepted. Student is offered reasonable, progressive challenges and permitted to develop at his own pace. Accepts student's uniqueness. Provides warmth, respect, and feeling of equality. Encourages student to correct mistakes and develop capacities. Guides student to find significance in contribution. Feels security of acceptance and being liked. Experiences own strength by conquering difficulties. Achieves and contributes. Not afraid to try and fail. Sees world as safe and friendly, and learning as a joy. Progresses academically.
Over-Indulgent Student at receiving end of a cornucopia with services endlessly pouring out. Student is passive and unresponsive. Showers the student with praise and rewards, with little regard for the student's actual needs. Bored and indifferent, student loses initiative and spontaneity. Expects everything to come to him. Learns little, if anything. Passively waits.
Over-Submissive Student sits imperiously on a throne, placed there by teacher who bows low. Student is active, impulsive, and demanding. Submits to student's whims, demands, temper, and impulsiveness. Allows student to be the boss and becomes a servant. Cannot say no. Student insists on having his demands fulfilled. Has tantrums, ignores the rights of others, lacks any sense of limits. Learns little, if anything.
Over-Coercive Student is like a trained dog or stubborn donkey. Pushing--resistance cycle. Constantly directs and supervises, gives instructions and reminders. Overly strict, tends to drill. Shows little respect for student as an equal. a) Submission: submits to direction. Results in docile obedience and passivity. b) Active rebellion: overt defiance. Results in verbal refusal. c) Passive resistance: dawdling, daydreaming, forgetting. Results in covert, devious rebellion.
Punitive Galley slave being mercilessly tormented by galley master. Feels injustice, helplessness, and burns for revenge. Often combined with coercion. Punishment often considered necessary for discipline or training. Teacher may vent personal hostility and aggression on student. Longs for retaliation. May feel guilt and think of himself as bad. May lie to avoid punishment. May fear own impulses for revenge. Learns little, if anything.

The concepts in this chart are based on the ideas developed by Hugh Missildine in his book, Your Inner Child of the Past. Material has been added to reflect the Classical Adlerian perspective of a democratic teaching style.

Appendix G:
Dealing Effectively With Students' Mistaken Goals
by Henry T. Stein, Ph.D.

Appendix G: Dealing Effectively With Students' Mistaken Goals

STUDENT'S GOAL STUDENT'S BEHAVIOR CLUES ADULT'S FEELINGS STUDENT'S RESPONSE TO CORRECTION DEMOCRATIC TEACHER ACTION STRATEGY
Undue Attention "I will not be overlooked. I demand special attention, service, or sympathy. You must stay busy with me." Interrupts, pleases excessively, shows off, clowns around, questions constantly, has homework problems & bad habits. Noisy,"hyperactive," restless, mischievous. You feel annoyed, and think of the student as a nuisance who constantly interrupts your activities or takes up too much of your time unjustifiably. Student usually stops, but only for a short time, then repeats behavior. Cycle of behavior-correction can become habitual. Ignore attention-getting activity. Give no reinforcement for negative behavior. Provide student opportunities for positive attention. Only action helps, not words. Student needs to learn to feel good from accomplishment and contribution.
Power "You are not the boss over me. I will defeat you and do as I please." Aggressive, rebellious, insolent, refuses to do work, lies, disobeys, uses temper, tries to give orders, pouts, cries when he can't have his way (water power). You feel angry, defeated, and frustrated. May feel your authority is threatened. Misbehavior continues. May even become worse. Withdraw from power struggle. Set firm limits and take action without getting angry. You can choose your own course of action, and so can the student. Emotional neutrality essential during conflict.
Revenge "You hurt me and don't care about me. I will hurt you back where you are vulnerable." Violent, sullen. Verbal or physical hurting of adults, peers, animals, or self. You feel hurt. May regard student as mean, nasty, or evil, and want to hurt him back. Student switches to even more violent attack. Seeks to retaliate. This cycle may escalate dangerously if student and teacher are stubborn. Do not take attack personally or feel hurt. Try to be friendly and empathic, or at least neutral. Find out what is bothering the student. Let him express upset with words. Make student feel safe. Seek professional help for him.
Withdrawal "I can't win. I want to be left alone. Don't bother me." Does nothing or very little. If attempts something, gives up easily. Isolates self from others. Not a disruptive behavior problem. You feel helpless, like giving up. "What can I do with him/her?" May think of student as a dreamer or stupid. No response. Do not give up. Maintain faith in student. Find some point of connection/interest. Try to arrange small successes that will encourage him/her. Seek professional help, if necessary.
Escape From Reality "I must retreat into fantasy." Unresponsive, deeply depressed, sleeps most of the time, bizarre actions, irrational fears, hurts self, refuses to eat, alcohol/drug abuse. You are frightened or in despair. Contact with student is almost absent. No response, or irrational responses. Seek professional help for student immediately.