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Children - Social Habits As A Factor In Mental Growth

( Originally Published Early 1900's )

Man is a social animal. He lives with others of his kind and can live with them only as he is livable. The social atmosphere of a home helps or hinders here to a most amazing degree. The collective life of a family means much to a child, as he observes what his elders do with the state of mind with which he approaches new social attitudes. It has been observed that children who are brought up in homes where many persons come and go, and where the formal courtesies of society are carefully observed, develop mental instincts of social observation with much greater speed than others. Bashfulness usually means that a child either has been frightened or bullied into retirement, or that it has not had adequate social opportunity of the kind indicated. Observe the self-sufficiency and readiness of a street gamin in a big city with the shyness of a country child. Not that the city street gamin's ways are better, but notice how much readier he is. That is because he has knocked about and has been forced to think quickly. Now some homes encourage thinking on the part of their Raising Children, and others repress it. Some like to hear their children talk and others do not. It used to be said that children should be seen and not heard. That was only half the truth. Children should be heard as well as seen. But neither end of the proposition should be accented to the exclusion of the other.

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