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July 24 , 2008

The Difficult Child and the Problem of Discipline


Originally published in 1940, this book was addressed to students of the psychology of childhood and to parents and teachers who were trying to get from psychology some light on problems of discipline and of the difficult child. It includes critical discussions of some ideas which were gaining widespread attention at the time and which masqueraded as sound psychology, but which seem to be both untrue and harmful.

Topics dealt with include: fads and fallacies about discipline, repression and the inferiority complex, the supposed significance of sex in early childhood, early signs of abnormality, inborn individual differences, heredity and environment, are there "no problem children, only problem parents"?, is character determined by the early years?, the nursery school and the child guidance clinic, home discipline and the cooperation of parents, fallacies about corporal punishment.

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