Character and the Conduct of Life: Practical Psychology for Everyman

By William McDougall | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIV
Parents and Children

Soyez ce que vous voulez faire devenir autrui.
Que votre être, non vos paroles, soit une prédication.

"L'EMPIRE de soi dans la tendresse, telle est la condition de l'autorité sur l'enfance. Que l'enfant ne découvre en nous aucune passion, aucune faiblesse dont il puisse user, qu'il se sente incapable de nous tromper ou de nous troubler, et il nous sentira supérieur à lui par nature, et notre douceur aura pour lui une valeur toute particulière, car elle lui inspirera du respect. L'enfant qui peut nous communiquer colère, impatience, agitation se sent plus fort que nous, et l'enfant ne respecte que la force. Sa mère doit se considérer comme le soleil de son enfant, astre immuable et toujours rayonnant, où la petite créature mobile, prompte aux larmes et aux éclats de rire, légère, inconstante, passionée, orageuse, vient se recharger de chaleur, d'électricité et de lumière, se calmer, se fortifier. La mère représente le bien, la providence, la loi, c'est à dire la Divinité sous sa forme accessible à l'enfance. Qu'elle soit passionnée et elle enseigne un Dieu, capricieux, despotique, ou mine

-236-

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