It seems to me that we have to draw the line in sibling rivalry whenever rivalry goes out of bounds into destructive behavior of aphysical or verbal kind. The principle needs to be this: Whatever the reasons for your feelings you will have to find civilized solutions.
There must be a solemn and terrible aloneness that comes over the child as he takes those first independent steps. All this is lost to memory and we can only reconstruct it through analogies in later life....To the child who takes his first steps and finds himself walking alone, this moment must bring the first sharp sense of the uniqueness and separateness of his body and his person, the discovery of the solitary self.
Parents who want a fresh point of view on their furniture are advised to drop down on all fours and accompany the nine or ten month old on his rounds. It is probably many years since you last studied the underside of a dining room chair. The ten month old will study this marvel with as much concentration and reverence as a tourist in the Cathedral of Chartres.
It can be fairly argued that the highest priority for mankind is to save itself from extinction. However, it can also be argued th at a society that neglects its children and robs them of their human potential can extinguish itself without an external enemy.
The experience of a sense of guilt for wrong-doing is necessary for the development of self-control. The guilt feelings will laterserve as a warning signal which the child can produce himself when an impulse to repeat the naughty act comes over him. When the child can produce his on warning signals, independent of the actual presence of the adult, he is on the way to developing a conscience.
The child begins life as a pleasure-seeking animal; his infantile personality is organized around his own appetites and his own body. In the course of his rearing the goal of exclusive pleasure seeking must be modified drastically, the fundamental urges must be subject to the dictates of conscience and society, urges must be capable of postponement and in some instances of renunciation completely.
It can be demonstrated that the child's contact with the real world is strengthened by his periodic excursions into fantasy. It becomes easier to tolerate the frustrations of the real world and to accede to the demands of reality if one can restore himself at intervals in a world where the deepest wishes can achieve imaginary gratification.
Language makes it possible for a child to incorporate his parents' verbal prohibitions, to make them part of himself....We don't speak of a conscience yet in the child who is just acquiring language, but we can see very clearly how language plays an indispensable role in the formation of conscience. In fact, the moral achievement of man, the whole complex of factors that go into the organization of conscience is very largely based upon language.
We find that even the parents who justify spanking to themselves are defensive and embarrassed about it....I suspect that deep inthe memory of every parent are the feelings that had attended his own childhood spankings, the feelings of humiliation, of helplessness, of submission through fear. The parent who finds himself spanking his own child cannot dispel the ghosts of his own childhood.
It no longer makes sense to speak of "feeding problems" or "sleep problems" or "negative behavior" is if they were distinct categories, but to speak of "problems of development" and to search for the meaning of feeding and sleep disturbances or behavior disorders in the developmental phase which has produced them.
We have good reason to believe that memories of early childhood do not persist in consciousness because of the absence or fragmentary character of language covering this period. Words serve as fixatives for mental images. . . . Even at the end of the second year of life when word tags exist for a number of objects in the child's life, these words are discrete and do not yet bind together the parts of an experience or organize them in a way that can produce a coherent memory.