The Dependent Child: A Story of Changing Aims and Methods in the Care of Dependent Children

The Dependent Child: A Story of Changing Aims and Methods in the Care of Dependent Children

The Dependent Child: A Story of Changing Aims and Methods in the Care of Dependent Children

The Dependent Child: A Story of Changing Aims and Methods in the Care of Dependent Children

Excerpt

Tell men what they knew before; Paint the prospect from their door.

Emerson

The reader of this book is advised at the outset to think over some of the children whose parental and home relationships he knows. The greater the variety of relationships between children and their parents and homes of which the reader can think, the better his understanding of the dependent child will be. Possibly he may know children on four different levels of such relationships.

Having in mind certain actual children, how would you describe the level of home care on which, probably, the majority of these children live? They are, I assume, fed and clothed and sheltered at the expense of their parents. If they are sick the parents pay for the doctor and the nurse. Father and mother provide the dolls, toys, bicycles, automobiles, radio, movies, theaters and other means of having a good time that are offered by many American homes. If the children are scouts, or members of fraternities, sororities, and other clubs, Dad's pocketbook usually furnishes the money for dues and all the incidental expenses. Father also pays (at least indirectly in rents, extra prices for goods, etc.) his share of the taxes with which the public schools, the libraries and parks, the roads and bridges, the police, street cleaning and health departments are kept up. Should the children go to a private school, to college or to a summer camp, father and mother foot the bills. If this is the general level upon which most of the children live whom you have in mind, do the words independent or self-supporting describe fairly well their type of home? If so, we shall hereafter use the expression independent home level for this group of children. In these days of behavior clinics, mental hygiene special-

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