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a considerable extent are in opposition to the smaller laws of the community. The playground movement aims as much at providing for the continuance of suitable play traditions as it aims at furnishing the actual space, and the swings, see-saws, ladders, sand-piles with which children may play.
Boys no longer learn to use tools or other things by co-operating with their fathers. The work of man is becoming too specialized to permit of participation by the children. The work of the home is also being changed by machinery. Many things that were formerly done in the home are now done outside. Education, most of the industries, religious institutions, are extra-domestic affairs. The adequately supervised or led playground is the answer of the community to one of the present needs of children that has grown out of these changes in the home. In many communities the home is no longer and cannot be the center of the social life of the older children. Still it is necessary that the child shall have social
the young to swim, forcing them into the water, carrying them in on her back. Swimming is an acquired art to them.
We are told that birds do not learn to sing their proper songs unless they can hear the adults. Professor Ross, formerly of Princeton, once brought up some blackbirds from the egg which had never heard the special sounds made by blackbirds. They did, however, hear a bantam rooster from time to time and the noise made by the rooster was copied by them as faithfully as the nature of their throats would permit.
Boys have always gone in gangs, the older boys teaching the younger ones the special lore that belongs to this period of boy existence. This supervision of older children over younger, of mothers over their children, of fathers over boys, of the whole community over the young, is well nigh a universal fact. The community is relatively safe from moral disaster as long as the family remains intact, when the children and young people play and dance,
doing their play, as well as their work in the presence of the elders; but society is in danger whenever the young go off by themselves unsupervised, or when any part of the family leaves the rest to have its most vivid life alone.
Because of migration our American children do not have many of the great folk plays, festivals and games which are their natural right. It is our business to see that these. are restored to them. Whenever there is a playground in a locality abounding with children and some young man or woman is in charge of the playground, someone who knows the games that the children love and can act as a senior play leader, his ground will be swarming with children, while neighboring unsupervised spaces, equally available and attractive, are relatively unoccupied.
Girls Largely on the Streets. It is of serious moment to our communities that American girls are so largely on the streets for their social recreation in life and that American boys go in gangs which to
life and that he have it under good conditions. The supervised playground is the answer to this situation.
Spread of the Playground Movement. Ever since the time of Froebel and his philosophy, ever since the publication of his Education of Man, we have been seeing more and more ths significance of play in relation to physical, intellectual, social and ethical life. This is now becoming embodied, not only in great playgrounds costing millions of dollars, such as those of Chicago and New York, but also in great national associations such as the Centrallauschuss zur Foerderung der Volks—and Jugendsspiele in Deutschland, the Playground Association of America, and the great athletic associations of England.
No less than 137 American cities of 5,000 population and over are now maintaining playgrounds which are largely or entirely supported by public taxation. There are in the United States 72 cities having a population of 50,000 and over that are maintaining playgrounds supported by private
Medical Aid For Juvenile Offenders
What the Children's Society is Doing For New York
To save thousands of children to society, by taking ically and afterward trained properly something can be them when they are young and rectifying the ills or mis done to make him of value to the race and to the comfortunes that are primarily responsible for their shortcom munity in which he lives." ings, is the problem that the New York Society for the In the furtherance of this effort to reclaim unfortunate Prevention of Cruelty to Children is about to shoulder.
boys and girls, every child that is arrested in the city of For several months past the preliminary work that will New York is taken to the Children's Society, and, whether make this work possible has been quietly going on, and the offense be serious or trivial, an examination that is now for the first time the work has progressed far enough
complete as medical science can make it is conducted, for to justify the society in taking the public into its confi
the purpose of discovering whether or not the little one dence and to a certain extent letting the public know what
is mentally disturbed, and, if he is, whether that condition the object of this work is, and how it is possible to ac
is due to defects in heredity or in environment. complish the results that it is believed will be the outcome.
After the examination has indicated the nature of the In the public schools of New York alone, says the New
moral or physical defect that has landed him in the clutches York Times, there are said to be no less than 6,000 feeble
of the law, that child becomes a subject of observation minded children, who deserve to be and should be helped
on the part of the doctors and agents of the Children's to regain the mental and moral status, the loss of which on
Society. If his predicament is the result of an inherited their part can be traced in most cases to defects due to
disease, the plan is to treat him medically until the last heredity or environment, conditions for the existence of
trace of that disease has been' eradicated, and that accomwhich they cannot possibly be held responsible. This, in a
plished, to judiciously train and look after him until he benutshell, is the work that the Children's Society stands
comes his own master and is able to take his place in life ready to do for New York City.
as a useful member of society. Dr. M. G. Schlapp of the Cornell University Medical School has been creating for the society the foundation upon
Already within the past few months there have been which this far-reaching effort for the betterment of New
brought to the Children's Society a number of children, York can be started to a successful end. For several the examination of whom has proved that their shortcommonths Dr. Schlapp has been at work in the society's build ings were due to diseases they had inherited, which had uning on Fourth avenue, near Twenty-third street, and already,
dermined them mentally, 'eventually bringing them to the it is stated, it has been proved that in innumerable cases
bar as criminals. the unfortunate child, whose mental or physical shortcom These children were all treated medically and in every ings will lead him to crime unless those defects are elimi case the disease which they inherited was either checked nated, can be restored to decent, law-abiding society. or completely eradicated, and mind cleared, and the children
Crime in children, these investigations have shown, can placed where their training could be judiciously and carebe classed in two large groups.
fully supervised by competent men and women. Each of The first class is that of the child whose nervous sys these children at the present time gives every evidence of tem is perfectly normal but who, through no fault of its growing into a useful man or woman, and it must be rememown, has developed in a perfectly abnormal environment. bered that when they were taken in hand every one of them
The second class, and by far the more important, is was fast becoming an imbecile. that of the child who was born with an abnormal mind In a number of other cases the child's defect was traced
nervous system, and again this second class can be to the absence of the thyroid gland, the gland that supdivided into two others, viz., those children whose defects plies the thyroid fluid which oxydizes the tissues of the are traceable to heredity, and, secondly, those whose ab body. The absence of this fluid eventually leads to dementia, normal conditions are acquired, as, for instance, through and in a great many cases to crime. There is a way to injury at birth or as a result of disease, such as scarlet supply this fluid, and the children who have been treated at fever, etc.
the Children's Society responded in every case with an To the existence of these conditions in modern New
unmistakable clearing of the mental machinery, York life is due the increase in criminality among both But it is not only to save as many as possible of the adults and children. The increase in feeble mentality and children who have first to commit crime in order to get insanity is, of course, due to the same unhappy conditions. the benefit of the medical and personal oversight that the
“The whole thing,” said Dr. Schlapp the other day, "is Children's Society expects to provide, that the men and a disturbance of the working equilibrium of society. In women are working. They want to save every feebleother words, the organism is not right. The machine does minded child that can be saved in this city. To do this not work together in harmony as it should. It is an engine a system of registration is proposed. with the piston rod broken."
This system of registration would mean that every As a result of all these investigations the question is, feeble-minded person would have to be registered, and if a therefore, What can be done to diminish criminal tendencies child be possible of reclamation, that the reclamation must in the human race?
be made. The system would require the watching by the "We know," says Dr. Schlapp, "that if the child is taken state or city of every person so registered, and the moment early enough, in a great many instances that child can any among them showed the slightest criminal tendency, the be saved, or trained, so that he will not develop into a state would have to step in and take charge of, and if criminal. We know that if that same child is treated med necessary care for them outright.
This does not refer to those whose mental condition is defects are minor down to the one for those whose condiglaringly apparent, so to speak. There are institutions now tion is so serious as to necessitate a long period of medical where such as they are cared for. It is for the care of those treatment and observation. As the center of this chain of who when you talk with them may appear to be perfeclty institutions there would be one great observation station, or almost normal, but who at the final analysis prove preferably in New York, where the cases could be studied deficient, and apt at any time to prove a detriment or a and the children classified and then sent to the proper instidownright injury to society unless taken in hand and the tution. effort made to correct their deficiencies.
The Children's Society has in force now an elaborate Here is an actual case that recently came to the atten system of registration which requires the most thorough tion of the Children's Society.
examination, both by a system of questions and by a thorA boy, 10 years old, was arrested by the police at a ough physical and mental examination of every child brought seaside resort. He had stolen about $20 from his father. to the society. The examination requires a study not only He did not deny it, and when asked if he would do so of the child but of the parents and of the grandparents if again, answered, “Yes, if I get a chance."
possible. It brings out every mental or physical defect For several years the lad had been in the habit of that has existed in the family for generations back, if it is running away from home. The laymen would call him an possible to discover them, and the result is a family tree, incorrigible. Apparently he was mentally normal, yet he the circles in which tell of every ill, mental or physical, that had no feeling whatever for father, mother, or sister, or the child's ancestors were afflicted with, and the possible anybody else except himself. He was absolutely morally bearing it may have upon the condition of the little boy deficient. That boy needed, and he is getting, medical treat or girl who is the subject of the investigation. ment and observation, and the chances are that he will That this means that hundreds of boys and girls who are be saved. There are hundreds of childien just like this brought to the Children's Society for criminal offenses will one in New York, and many of them will be saved and be saved is beyond question, according to students of soremade into good men and women if the present plan of cial conditions who are familiar with the work that is being registration and watching is made possible.
done. The problem then is to save also the thousands of It is suggested that the state shall create institutions other children who are not brought to the society, but who for the care of these children and that there shall be many grow up and after their characters become fixed commit the such institutions, from the training school for those whose crime that lands them in a jail or an asylum.
The First American International Humane Conference
Juvenile Court Workers Should Endeavor to Attend
In our August number we announced the First American International Humane Conference, to be held under the auspices of the American Humane Association at Washington, D. C., October 10-15, 1910. For the benefit of those who may have overlooked the announcement, we again draw your
If the reader has been interested in the work of the Juvenile court to the extent of visiting other conferences, we trust this important series of meetings will not be overlooked.
The sessions of the conference will be devoted exclusively to subjects relating to children during October 10, 11 and 12. The remaining three days will be devoted to the consideration of subjects relating to animals. Those contemplating to visit this conference will thus doe well to endeavor to be on hand for the opening meetings, which are devoted to child work.
This plan of holding dual meetings to discuss both children and animals has been rendered necessary by the fact that 208 anti-cruelty societies in thsi country alone combine the two branches of work in one corporation, largely on account of local convenience and economic necessity. Many persons are also deeply interested in both subjects, and inasmuch as both sessions will be held entirely separate, it is believed the most exacting specialist on either side will have no just ground for criticism.
Every judge, probation officer, Juvenile court worker and philanthropist will do well to accept the cordial invitation of Dr. W. O. Stillman to the readers of THE JUVENILE COURT RECORD to attend the conference. We feel assured that the only regrets that may be expressed relative to the Humane Conference will be from those who neglected or were unable to attend. If you are interested, drop a card to the office of the American Humane Association, Albany, New York, and ask for further details, which will be gladly sent.
The work of the Juvenile court will be thoroughly discussed during the children's meetings, probably more so than at previous conferences interested in children's work. The representative authorities on Juvenile court work have promised to attend and read papers dealing with this important phase of philanthropy.
Papers may be presented or discussed in English, German and French. A qualified interpreter will be present at meetings. The official program of the conference will be ready shortly before the meeting. This will be mailed on application. Reports on humane activities in all parts of the world are expected from corresponding members of the American Humane Association in every civilized country.
It is expected that the delegates will be received at the White House by President Taft, and a reception wil lalso be given at one of the finest private residences in Washington. Souvenir badges will be ready for the meeting. The colors of the conference will be red, white and blue.
Washington is one of the show cities of the world. sts magnificent public buildings are well worth a long trip to see. It has become a place for national pilgrimages, and its memories of Washington and Lincoln make it sacred in the hearts of those who love patriotism and exalted public service. The city of Washington is splendidly and artistically laid out, and its streets and parks contain many monuments
of great interest. The most important of the latter is the giganic shaft erected in memory of General Washingon, not far from the White House.
The First International Humane Congress was held at Graz, in Austria, in 1895. In 1900 a similar one was held in Paris, France, and in 1903, Frankfort, Germany, entertained the Third International Humane Congres... The Swedes claimed the next one in 1906, at Helsingborg, Sweden. In 1909 England, which was the first home of the anti-cruelty movement, was the scene of an international humane gathering. All of these meetings were devoted exclusively to animals. The first law for the prevention of cruelty was passed by the British Parliament in 1822. The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty was organized in England in 1824, and subsequently became the present Royal Society for the Precention of Cruelty to Animals. The first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children was organized in New York City in 1874. The first American Humane Conference will be held in Washington during October 10-15. 1910. Local Washington Committee for International Conference.
Mr. Walter Stilson Hutchins, chairman; Mr. Chester A. Snow, Mr. J. B. T. Tupper, Mr. Crammond Kennedy, Rev. Wallace Radcliffe, Prof. E. M. Gallaudet, Mr. Nathaniel Wilson, Mr. Henry B. F. Macfarland, Mr. David R. McKee, Mr. Fred. W. Pratt, Mr. S. W. Woodward, Mr. T. V Powderly, Mrs. A. L. Barber, Mrs. J. B. Henderson, Mrs. Mary Howe Totten, Miss Mary A. Peet, Mr. Henry L. West, Mrs. A. W. Greeley, Mr. William C. Whittemore, Mr. John Joy Edson, Mr. R. Ross Perry, Mr. A. S. Worthington, Mr. Charles J. Bell, Mrs. C. A. Snow, Mrs. Thomas F. Bayard, Miss Harriet B. Loring, Mr. John B. Larner.
Show Off Children When parents are the proud possessors of a very bright and clever child there is always the risk that they may make of their offspring a self-conscious and priggish little person. It is natural enough that Tommy or Katie, as the case may be, should be inclined to "show off" when their attainments are made the subject of conversation. It is extremely bad for children, converting them into self-conscious little men and women instead of just natural "rough and tumble" boys and girls with a healthy liking for marbles or dolls, says Woman's Life. Many a child has been utterly ruined in disposition by a parent's openly shown pride, and the tendency to bring children forward unduly, and to make them the center of attraction before visitors is all too sadly on the increase. It is, of course, very hard for the mother and father of a bright child to realize that the small genius is bound to be less interesting to other people than to themselves, that friends do not visit them for the sole pleasure of hearing Katie recite or Tommy sing the latest popular song in his shrill treble. It may be amusing for a while, but "show off” children are apt, later on, to show scant liking for the more solid attainments, with the result that their slower, duller brothers and sisters leave them behind on the ladder of fame. Cultivate a child's talents by all means, but do not parade them in public before him. It may mean the ruin of a possibly fine career.
The Reciprocity of Smiles
-J. W. Foley, in Collier's.
Punishment of Children
BY MRS. T. P. MARSHALL
of the Club Woman's Argosy
Some of us realize that no matter how wise we are there are others who know a little more than we know. Suppose we had to live always with one of these wise ones and he always acted as if he were put on earth to protect us? This is the attitude often taken toward the child by its parents.
Life for some children seems to be a series of don'ts. The treatment is always negative. No wonder the little fellows grow restless and rebellious! Parents should study to gain an insight into the child's nature before they think of punishment for it. If the child is restless and noisy, try to give him employment. Try to reason with him and make him understand that he is trespassing on your right to be quiet at times and that he must learn self-control as he grows older. There are few children perhaps who do not need punishment in some form. We do him great injustice when we withhold it when needed, but the child's utter helplessness in our hands and his lack of experience should invariably be considered.
It is sometimes better to allow the child to learn by an experience; he will always remember it. A case in point: A dear little fellow was possessed long before he could speak or walk to creep up to the stove and put his hand on it. The mother was always there to say "don't" and to remove him from the stove. In a few moments he would creep back again. So one day when the stove was barely warm, the baby crept up to it and raised his little hand and looked at his mother, who said
nothing; he seemed surprised and crept a little nearer and put his hand on the stove, withdrawing it immediately but touched it again, as if to make sure, and when he discovered the heat he turned to his mother with astonishment in his big eyes, and put his head down on his arms and cried, but he never went near that stove again. Very young children understand much, truly, by the mouth of babes. The child does not understand why it should not have everything it wants, but that is no reason why it should have it. Reason with him if he is old enough, unless he is abnormal he will see the "why" as readily as a grown up.
A child's moral standard grows from a lower to higher plane by the attitude of adults towards his wrongdoing. The desire to "cure" a bad fault is the ideal attitude of the individual and society toward the youthful offender and it "blesseth him that gives and him that takes.”
Punishment should never be administered as punishment, but as a necessity when certain laws are disobeyed.
Try not to see too many faults in very young children, but once having "seen” we must not turn back until the child has so far as in him lies made restitution.
If after every other thing has failed and nothing remains to one except corporal punishment, then for heaven's sake do so "privily," don't coarsen the child's finer feelings and your own, by administering to him the same punishment you would give your mule and in the same public manner. The mule is an unreasoning creature, the child is not.