Each year American parents spend millions of dollars for toys for the children. In a short time a large part of these toys are broken, and lie in the corner or the back yard. This is because of the destructive habits children have developed. These same habits have been formed because, since birth, toys have cost these children nothing.
Read alsoThe Riot at Cougar Paw
This early work by Robert E. Howard was originally published in 1935 and we are now republishing it with a brand new introductory biography. 'The Riot at Cougar Paw' is a story in the Breckinridge Elkins series about a cowboy in the wild west. Robert Ervin Howard was born in Peaster, Texas in 1906. During his youth, his family moved between a…
Children, like grown-ups, value things and form habits in proportion to the cost to them. They break up what costs them nothing, and cherish and keep repaired what they, themselves, have made or purchased with self-denial or self-earned money.
The breaking of toys is bad, but the effect upon the character of the child is infinitely worse. Destructive tendencies are developed, while constructive ability is allowed to lie dormant and inactive.
The remedy for this is to develop the constructive rather than the destructive in children by buying them working outfits and books of instruction with which they can make and repair things for themselves. In other words, buy tools, equipment and supplies rather than finished toys. Carlisle said, "Man without tools is nothing; man with tools is all." Education is to children what civilization is to the race.
What to buy for each particular child depends upon the age and tendencies of the child and is a matter parents must determine for themselves. The important test is, "Is it something that the child can use to make things for himself, for others and for the home?"
When purchasing tools it is an excellent plan to leave some part of the outfit for the children to make or to buy from money they themselves have earned. In other words, co-operate with the children instead of doing it all for them.
The writer speaks not only from the teacher's point of view, but from the parent's as well. The problems offered in this book are not only within the capabilities of the average child, but are all tested and proven as being worth-while and appealing strongly to the child's ideals and imagination.
LEON H. BAXTER.
St. Johnsbury, Vt.