I recently came across a 1951 article my late mother saved from the Charleston News and Courier. Titled “Agency Offers Pointers on How Parents Can Guide Their Child’s Emotional Development,” it is proof that parents and professionals of three generations ago possessed a wealth of common sense, a quality that has since become most uncommon.
The subject was war — the reader may remember that America was embroiled in yet another one at the time — and what parents could do to help their children cope with its realities. Keep them out of earshot when war was being discussed to prevent trauma to their fragile psyches? No. Adults should inform them of the dangers of war and the very real possibility (or so it was thought at the time) that an enemy could launch missiles at us. But wouldn’t that cause a child to become fearful? Yes, but fears are not necessarily bad things.
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