The child's soul is as complex as ours, full of contradictions, struggling tragically with the eternal: I desire to but can't; I know that I should but I won’t manage.
Quote No. 3
Abhorrent to well-to-do parents is the idea of their child becoming a manual worker. Rather let him grow up unhappy and demoralized. That is not love for the child but parents' selfishness, not the good of the individual but the ambition of the community, not a search for the right course but the grooves of social convention. (…)However, for the time being, we are witness to the struggle of the parents and the school against any exceptional, atypical, weak or unbalanced intelligence.
Not whether bright, but how bright.
Quote No. 4
One should be careful not to confuse good with easy.
The entire present-day upbringing is set on having an "easy" child; consistently, step by step, it strives to lull, squash and destroy all that goes into the making of the child's willpower and freedom, his backbone and the forcefulness of his demands and aims. Well-mannered, obedient, good-natured and "easy", with no thought given to the fact that inside he will be will-less, and helpless in the affairs of life.
Quote No. 5
We have given the child too much or something unfit to eat: too much milk, or a bad egg — he has vomited. We have presented him with an indigestible piece of information — he has failed to understand; useless advice — it went against his grain, he would not listen to it. It is by no means grandiloquence when I say: it is most fortunate for mankind that we are unable to force children to yield to educational influence and didactic assaults upon their common sense and sound human volition
Quote No. 6
Even if he does not trust at all, or trusts half-heartedly because he has been deceived repeatedly, he still follows the advice of adults in much the same way as an inexperienced employer has no alternative but to trust a dishonest but indispensable employee, as a paralytic must accept the assistance of others and put up with the whims of a heartlessnurse.
Quote No. 1
How to Love a Child. The Child in the Family, 1920
Each time you put aside a book to spin the thread of your own thoughts, it means that the book has served its purpose. Whenever you skim over the pages, seeking rules and ready prescriptions, frowning at their paucity — you should know that if you do find counsels and indications, that this has happened not only despite but even against the writer's will.
I do not know, and cannot possibly tell, how parents unknown to me can rear a child likewise unknown to me, under conditions unknown to me.
Quote No. 2
Instead of carefully watching the child in order to understand him, one picks a random example of a "clever child" and imposes demands upon one's own: here is a model you must copy — and be like him or her.
Quote No. 8
If I were a boy again, I’d want to remember and know everything that I know now. Only I wouldn’t want anyone to find out that I was already a grownup once.
Quote No. 9
Maybe children really aren’t so different from adults, only they live differently, and have different rules.
Quote No. 10
If I’m going to be a teacher again, I’ll never bother a child who has a worry. I’ll leave him alone to think; let him calm down and rest.
Quote No. 11
And they shake you yet, and push and hit. They hit you once or else yank you by the arm and it seems to them that it doesn’t hurt. They call hitting children punishment. When they’re beating a child with a strap, they hold him and wallop him like a criminal while the child’s struggling and yelling: “I won’t do it again, I won’t do it again.”
For such a beating—maybe it’s rare nowadays, but it still exists—they’ll take you to court in the future.
Grownups don’t want to understand that a child repays gentleness with gentleness, and that anger immediately awakens in him something like revenge or spite. As if the child were saying:
“This is what I’m like and I won’t be any different.”