Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing

By A. S. Neill | Go to book overview

About Psychology

Isn't it inevitable that every person will grow up to be a neurotic?

Self-regulation is the answer to the arresting questions arising out of Freud's discoveries. Every analyst must feel, even if dimly, that the hours spent in analyzing a patient would never have been necessary if the patient had been self-regulated as a baby. I say dimly, because we cannot be really sure of anything.

My daughter, reared in freedom, may have to go to an analyst one day and say: "Doctor, I need treatment. I am suffering from a father complex. I am fed up with being introduced as the daughter of A. S. Neill. People expect far too much of me; they seem to think I should be perfect. The old man is dead now, but I can't forgive him for parading me in his books. And now, do I lie down on this sofa?" . . . One never knows.

How does self-hate manifest itself?

In a child, self-hate is shown by antisocial behavior, quarreling, spitefulness, bad temper, destructiveness. All self-hate tends to be projected, that is, transferred to others.

The mother of an illegitimate child will condemn sexual looseness in others. The teacher who has tried for years to conquer masturbation will cane children. The old maid who has sublimated sex, that is, repressed it, will show her self-hate in scandal-mongering and bitterness. All hate is self-hate.

-375-

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Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page v
  • To Harold H. Hart vii
  • A Foreword by Erich Fromm ix
  • Contents xvii
  • A Word of Introduction xxiii
  • One - Summerhill School 1
  • The Idea of Summerhill 3
  • A Look at Summerhill 13
  • Summerhill Education Vs. Standard Education 24
  • What Happens to Summerhill Graduates 29
  • Private Lessons at Summerhill 35
  • Self-Government 45
  • Coeducation 56
  • Work 59
  • Play 62
  • Theater 66
  • Dancing and Music 71
  • Sports and Games 73
  • Report of the British Government Inspectors 75
  • Notes on His Majesty's Inspectors' Report 86
  • The Future of Summerhill 89
  • Two - Child Rearing 93
  • The Unfree Child 95
  • The Free Child 104
  • Love and Approval 117
  • Fear 124
  • Inferiority and Fantasy 133
  • Destructiveness 138
  • Lying 146
  • Responsibility 152
  • Obedience and Discipline 155
  • Rewards and Punishment 162
  • Defecation and Toilet Training 172
  • Food 177
  • Health and Sleep 182
  • Cleanliness and Clothing 184
  • Toys 188
  • Noise 190
  • Manners 192
  • Money 198
  • Humor 200
  • Three - Sex 203
  • Sex Attitudes 205
  • Sex Instruction 218
  • Masturbation 223
  • Nudity 229
  • Pornography 231
  • Homosexuality 234
  • Promiscuity, Illegitimacy, and Abortion 236
  • Four - Religion and Morals 239
  • Religion 241
  • Moral Instruction 247
  • Influencing the Child 255
  • Swearing and Cursing 259
  • Censorship 263
  • Five - Children's Problems 267
  • Cruelty and Sadism 269
  • Criminality 272
  • Stealing 276
  • Delinquency 282
  • Curing the Child 289
  • The Road to Happiness 294
  • Six - Parents' Problems 299
  • Love and Hate 301
  • Spoiling the Child 306
  • Power and Authority 309
  • Jealousy 317
  • Divorce 323
  • Parental Anxiety 325
  • Parental Awareness 331
  • Seven - Questions and Answers 341
  • In General 343
  • About Summerhill 348
  • About Child Rearing 355
  • About Sex 369
  • About Religion 373
  • About Psychology 375
  • About Learning 378
  • Index 380
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