The Intense Child
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
SHE is very appealing and yet she wears you out. If you are telling a story, you adore her. If you are putting her to bed, you don't.
The Intense Child is equally intense about everything. When she becomes the Intense Woman she will have gained a sense of values, it is to be hoped, and will save herself for the most important things. It is the sense of values that we can assist in cultivating in the Intense Child. We shall wisely encourage in her occasional indifference, and try to induce her to dream now and then.
We shall be careful what we let her see or hear, for every detail will be indelibly imprinted upon her. She who feels small things so keenly must have her emotions protected. Not for her the most exciting tale. Never for her a "movie." When I say she doesn't need them, I do not in-tend to say that one should try to make of every child an average child, but simply that we should protect our children from becoming ill-balanced.
The Intense Child is fortunate who has a calm and firm mother, requiring obedience, but never punishing hastily and in anger. This mother realizes how necessary are sleep and fresh air to a high-strung temperament, and she is very careful of the feelings that are so easily hurt. She knows that the Intense Child need not develop into the Sensitive Child, and she calls to her aid the sense of humor. Together they laugh at the time she cried when grandfather forgot to stop for her. How funny it was for grandfather to ride straight past the house and never look up ! When she goes visiting again she and her mother together tie a string on grandfather's finger, to help him remember, and he laughs as hard as they. Her mother shows her how silly it is to think all people who scowl are cross with you, when it may be they are just cross with themselves !
The Intense Child's mother does not want to crush out of her this intensity, for she realizes its worth. She knows that she will succeed in what she undertakes, and that, rightly guided, she will be a real force in the world.