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  • Dale V Wayman, PhD

Adler's Advice on Toy Buying and Pets

“As regards the selection of proper toys, a great deal could be said, but the principle is that we should select the type of toys that will stimulate the child to be co-operative and constructive in his occupations. One can well understand that games in which a child can work and build up things are more worthwhile than ready-made or finished toys, which require the child merely to fondle a doll or an imitation dog, etc."

“Incidentally, as regards animals, children should be instructed to regard an animal not as a toy or a game, but as a comrade of human beings. He should not be afraid of animals nor should he boss them or be cruel to them. Whenever children exhibit cruelty to animals one may suspect in them a desire to dominate and bully persons weaker than themselves. If there are animals, -- birds, dogs, and cats -- in the house, the children should be taught to regard them as living beings who feel and have pain in a way similar to human beings. Proper comradeship with animals may be regarded as a preparatory stage for social co-operation with human beings” (p. 201)."

* Alfred Adler (1870-1937), The Education of Children, 1930/1970, pp. 201. Excerpts by Carroll R. Thomas, Ph.D., December 15, 2012.

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