By Donald W. Winnicott
A set of essays and writings on baby care via the prestigious past due pediatrician and baby psychiatrist sheds new mild on such subject matters as early little one improvement, relations dynamics, autism, adoption, and the character of treatment with teenagers.
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Extra info for Thinking About Children
People say she becomes a vegetable, but really she becomes interested in a narrowed world and so is able to believe in the intensity of the children's feelings. If she cannot narrow her world when she has little children, you will find she has more or less difficulty in believing in the little child's feelings and difficulty--in feeling how bad it is to fret when you are 2, and how terrific it is to love, and to hate, and how frightening to be afraid. I may say here that I am enunciating nothing new, but in all ages there are the few who believe in the little child's feelings, and the majority who deny or sentimentalize.
He tells us Juliet's mother was about 13 and the nurse 14, and the nurse's child died and she wet-nursed Juliet. He thereby gives us to understand that the nurse had a great deal of sweetness in her and knew the difference between wet-nursing someone else's child and her own. And Juliet had something like an adopted child's difficulties. The nurse could not wean her until she was nearly 3 and then only because Juliet had a rather fresh conversation with the nurse's husband the day before. The husband had made remarks when the child fell down.
It seems that one can say there is some degree of failure which must be very common, and then, sometimes, one has a complete failure. Here is a splitting of the personality at a very early level, which is one of the meanings of the word schizophrenia. Here a child has two relations to external reality. In one there is compliance, the actual taking on a compliant basis, and then a purely imaginary experience with an imagined reality. In the extreme case, there is very little contact taking place, the child has nothing to imagine with except what is in himself, which is just a matter of something rather like thumbsucking or rocking movements, something very poverty-stricken.