ABSTRACT

Of all the institutions that have come down to us from the past none is in the present day so disorganised and derailed as the family. Affection of parents for children and of children for parents is capable of being one of the greatest sources of happiness, but in fact at the present day the relations of parents and children are, in nine cases out of ten, a source of unhappiness to both parties, and in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred a source of unhappiness to at least one of the two parties. This failure of the family to provide the fundamental satisfaction which in principle it is capable of yielding is one of the most deep-seated causes of the discontent which is prevalent in our age. The adult who wishes to have a happy relation with his own children or to provide a happy life for them must reflect deeply upon parenthood, and, having reflected, must act wisely. The subject of the family is far too vast to be dealt with in this volume except in relation to our own special problem, namely the conquest of happiness. And even in relation to that problem we can deal with it only in so far as amelioration lies within the

power of each individual without alterations in the social structure.