chapter  5
9 Pages

THE FIVE-YEAR-OLD

In a court of law a learned judge is reported to have said, with reference to the case of a child of nearly five whose parents had split up: ‘Children of that age are notoriously resilient.’ I have no wish to criticize the judgement given in this case, but it is open to us to discuss the question: Are children of five years notoriously resilient? Resilience, it would seem to me, comes only with growth and maturity, and we may hold the view that there is no time in the development of a child at which it could be said that the child is resilient. Resilience would imply that we could expect compliance on the part of the child without danger to the growth of the child’s personality and to the establishment of the child’s character.