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The child is father to the man as we hope for a world of men of good will. We must look to the conditions of the child's world to achieve it. So we search for the laws ways and means the sources of the capable spontaneously whole adult. It is not strange that the world of the disturbed child throws light on childhood in general. Although Father Francis Duffy chairman of the Department of Sociology at Duquesne University was not at first looking for this light when he started working with the disturbed child. He found however that it is not that the disturbed a delinquent child is completely removed from society. Rather that his position is more extreme and so its obviousness offers us a sharper clearer insight into the world of children to share the fruit of his research funded duffing into Cain University presents a series of recorded interviews with delinquent children followed by a short discussion in which the child and his problems are explored for insight. Here is Father Duffy to
preview the problems of this child who speaks in exploring the child's world. Father Duffy. In a previous program we discussed some of the complaints that disturbed and delinquent children register as we explored their world in retrospect. To carry this on a little further we could mention some additional complaints that children aimed at adults. Many adults follow their impulse to ridicule children. I suppose they feel that this is what is expected in the situation of parent child or adult child. If there's a child around let's make fun of them hold them up to ridicule. I wonder however if this really helps a child. I know it certainly never helped me at any point. I begin to wonder if it is really even intended to help. Children are critical in their evaluation of parents and adults for they say they nag too much. By now you know I guess they mean that they are repeatedly reminded of the duties that they have been reminded of
previously. Nagging does not produce conformity or obedience. The usual result is it provokes new attacks and nagging on the part of the original manager. The child ignores a nagger or he escapes by running. Children complain when their parents drink too much when they fight when they argue. Adults it's true may be able to argue and fight and recover almost immediately. The listening child however can easily be thrown into panic in retaliation. Such a child either fights or he cries or he retreats. When children run from the home they often establish strong and sometimes dangerous agencies with people on the bases of very bad or at least very weak bonds. They over trust the stranger. And this of course totally confuses the parent. Many children are visibly driven into degrees of frustration that they cannot handle by another poorly designed adult
trait that of teasing and faultfinding. It takes a real strong person to put up with fault finding fault finding never helps. All of this results in what a friend of mine has called a skinny self image. This manifests itself in the child's conversation that you have heard from time to time in a variety of ways so often the child will say I don't know. As though this were some kind of a conjunctive between two sentences. He would also rather pathetically invite one to agree with him by saying you know as though he's afraid of impending disapproval. Children with a skinny self concept or image are extremely sensitive in a whole variety of ways. They are allergic to criticism. Perhaps this reminds them unconsciously of the teasing ridicule disapproval and rejection that they have felt in the home. Another element in a child's life is his confusion in the area of decision making.
Often parents do not allow their children to make decisions they feel led in doing this they are helping to protect and defend the child against making mistakes. They do not make the child originate decisions they don't help them to make them. They don't show them how to make them. They don't encourage him to make them. Then when the child gets outside the home the parent is surprised and disappointed to find the child making unwise or even stupid decisions. One way to perpetuate this situation is to criticize and ridicule decisions that are made by children. Another element in the child's world is something which we commonly find in children. They find it difficult to accept their appearance and their age their sex their position in the family their place in the world. Often we find girls who want to be boys and boys who want to look older boys who are dissatisfied with their appearance or if they're the oldest They
get mad at the younger ones seem to get all the breaks. Parents can compound this when they determine in advance the sex of the child as they want it. The marriage partner selection device of their child the friends of the child going to have they want their child to go to college regardless of what he wants. They refused to allow their daughter to choose your own mate and I'm sure there's many a marriage that originates in response to parental objections if the parents didn't object the child wouldn't marry the girl and if you were about to share today is 16 years old she's a white girl catholic her father has abandoned the family the mother has remarried. Listen carefully as she tells about her idea of what parents should be like as we again explore the child's world. Your name is known only. And how old are you normally 16. Have you ever been here before. Yes three times and where you seen your girl all these three times.
I was singing for the juniors once the other seniors twice as my third time. Would you like to tell me what happened this last time. Only from home. You're living in your own home because last time I was well before I was down at the orphanage. Then later at the training school I ran away from there. Well when you went back to your own home back to training school I was released later and went home and they ran away. Were does a girl go when she runs away. Pride or no. Just any place any place they think of. Where were some of the only places that you went I went to my sister's house and you were picked up there. I turn myself in. The trick me they do are number 10 police station. You just walked into the police station by
yourself. See they called out my sister on Monday and they told her she saw me to have me get in touch with them. So I called them and they told me in order to have my case closed I should go down there and talk with them and I says if I talk to this one policeman he let me go look at my sister. So I went down there and my sister took me down. They brought me to juvenile court. How do you get along in school. What would how advanced are you I mean what grade you are now but the last kid I was in was 10 I was grown into a level that I could score to public or private school or public and what we're going to be seeing I was up in 10th grade up at the training school. We don't have different subjects in there. Everybody has the same thing or.
Something like home economics. You know we had eighth grade spelling in there because it was mostly girls knee. You're trouble and has been running away. Mostly Do you know whether you're running away from something bad or we're going to do something good or are we just running. I don't know if I can get along so I just pray and there was a time that when you do get along. With hung out with anyone I don't know I'm with my mother. Tell him no argument. I don't have time twice a day. My King back then we get off for a couple weeks. One day my stepfather had an argument so my mother started so we just started arguments arguing and so I left home and didn't go back. Your trouble started going when I sensed my mother brought us to the detention home the first time she brought us we didn't have any place to live.
How many children are there in the family. There's three sisters and two brothers and the oldest one living at home whereas the oldest do you find it much of the housework falls on you. Oh yeah because my mother works so I have to clean the house from there. Your stepfather What kind of person is he is he kind of unpleasant or pleasant. Well he was OK but lately he started getting creepy in there. Does he drink. A whole. Lot. And does your mother join joining you know my mother doesn't drink. She buys into bottles every day from the state store. That much used to take about everything that year and doesn't. And then goes down the line and down about alcohol and I have a bottle in the confident I'll drink to get rough when drinks are rough with you. Does he shouted. Does he go to sleep. Fall over what do you know. Every anything we do YOU know
about what he's drinking. Well sometimes when he's drinking you just pick up or walk around the house. He'll come back in about an hour. This makes it rather unpleasant for you. You don't know what to expect from him but he is nice though sometimes you know you get to know every little thing. Well this yelling at every little thing probably upset your mother pretty badly and then if she's like other people she takes it out on anybody else that's around like you she does and the thing upsets her at work. She'll come home and take it out on me. Yes and I guess she'll start yelling at me for anything that happens at home. She brings over problems and troubles home and she finds out all the. Ones there are a lot like saying if something happens at work and should be made about it. She'll come home and are like see these dishes and the saying goes something like glasses you know. So how it will for not have a wash and show how the recipe
you feel she nags you think she just keeps Nagin and Megan well maybe this is her way of telling you she doesn't like you or doesn't approve of you had one. Sometimes I wonder about because you like her and. Her but your stepfather this he like you. You know. He said he did you know he doesn't seem to show that he does. Other than saying it he thought sometimes he does foot better than she does. Because when I clean the house and then you tell me will it look good in their own mother. She come home and tell me it's a hot time in the house and I clean it twice a week. I used to scrub it house twice a week and I did. She'd say about trying it cleaned up. You're saying that you get hollered at if if the house isn't cleaned and you don't get credit if it is clean. You get it both ways. So I just don't clean it sometimes
because I had tired of her saying the same clean bedding clean I just forget about it. You feel in other words if you encourage your you might work a little harder. But since she discourages you you're you're pretty well determined not to do even that. Just who ordinarily would do when your own. First time you know an argument is about the house. My brothers and little sisters kept it up after I cleaned it so I got mad about it so I told my mother about it. My dad told her she should have more consideration in there and so for a couple of days she kept telling me everything was nice and then after that she went back to town again. Because most people do go back to that old selves. If you if you had a chance to tell people what kind of parents they should be what would you tell them what kind of parents would you like to have and you don't. I don't know. You don't must know.
Well I would like some parents that would give you there and show you that they love you and cheer you they they feel that you belong to them and if they're interested in you and they really want you. Because that means more in anything you would prefer to have close to a lot of them. How have any anyhow. I mean that does matter more than having all them clothes in there. I mean to me it does. You're saying then children need affection. What about attention do you think that they should sit down and listen to you. Try to see things hear your side of things without disapproval of everything you want to do or say or be. They should explain things to you instead of flying off the handle to do anything. You should sit out and ask you why you did it and. Give you a chance instead of just crying half I'm taking you to court. And if they were to sit down and listen you think you'd really talk your problems out with them or would you just
say I don't know or don't bother don't ask me what. I need to talk to them because my sister or I did something wrong at home. My sister used to talk it over with me when I ran away and my sister and I sat down and we talked about it and know that. This helped. Her. Another thing to children in addition to love and attention they also need some novelty from time to time to break up the routine monotony of being a child maybe this is one of the reasons why you ran away. Maybe. They will think about this again sometime. OK I will go back now. And now joining from Gadhafi to discuss the features of this child's world is his guest Professor Chester a jersey back of the sociology department. And you came university here our father Duffy And Professor just back. Today. We again have Professor Jersey back to discuss with us the case of
Mona Louis little 16 year old girl who was run away now for the third time. And the father. Is quite a drinker and the mother works and most of her salary strangely enough goes for providing this man with two bottles of whiskey per day. What do you think Professor juries act that this case revolves around someone of the broken home situation. Not only does it revolve around a broken home but it also seems to have many other factors. Which are related to family and home life. And maybe. We can have a take off today on the relationship home. And. Family and home life and relationship between members of the family to the problem of delinquency again before me maybe begin to discuss that aspect. Again it's worthwhile to note that you Mona Lisas typical somewhat of girl
delinquents or a runaway. And but her big problem seems to be home because consciously she's talking about. Who the father of the mother gets upset about her father's drinking and then she takes it out on her and the other children. She nags her and the others and this makes men only wonder whether she's loved. By her mother or not. Since her father drinks. He seems to be out of the picture. If he's in the picture it's a negative picture as such. And. Maybe here we can discuss such issues as the role of broken home and parental rejection of children and maybe the role of the moral parents. And maybe that type of home especially. As we can garner from such famous studies as the clerks and clerks who did their studies of. A thousand delinquents
comparing delinquents with non delinquents. I guess it must have been 500 delinquents and 500 non delinquents in Boston and maybe we can just systematically go through these starting with a broken home. I think you've already observed once before that we can speak of broken homes in variety of ways as it's usually used that means it's physically broken by such things like death and divorce and separation or poor man's divorce desertion. And there's no question that there's some kind of relationship between the amount of delinquency and broken homes. But maybe the one that is not too well brought out is. Somewhat the physically intact. Home. That actually is socially and psychologically broken. But you know you maybe you you might want to
comment on that type of home which is a little different and we can see broken home. Do you see a psychologically broken as an unhappy home a home which is physically intact but the people in it seem to be unhappy. And then the socially broken home would being one in which the purposes of the home are not carried out people don't perform their roles or the father is there but he's not in charge somebody else is in charge he's advocated that or there are no rules so that people don't have a limit set for them or the limits are so rigid that. It's impossible even for a monk to conform to those rules or the one in which there are no sanctions. Is that what you see so yes. Yes I wonder whether Also we couldn't include psychologically the idea of parental rejection of children I mean from your experience would you be able to. Tell us a little bit about maybe parental rejection of children what does it consist of maybe you observed in the cases that you've studied the cases that you are. Counseled as such because very often this is a
slightly difficult thing to spot but I think you spot it by. The way the child talks the way he acts the way he reacts. And so on and maybe we should stress this point that this is a very important point. That often. While the child may not be mistreated physically. He may be even given his needs economic needs for example. But yet you know socially. Maybe not only psychological thusly and socially rejected in a way. Well there is this tool that I think that the child and his relationship to the parent can be. Classified on several levels and first of all what does the child think that the parent or what does the child feel what the parent thinks about him. This is in the area of thought and it's not very productive. Then what is the parent's attitude towards the child as the child sees it. And then finally what is the action of the parent towards the child and this is what he sees quite visibly the others attitudes and thoughts are only
inferred from what the parent dies. What the child sees is what the parent does and very often the parent doesn't do very nice things. And then I think in our culture we have a way of excusing ourselves by protesting that why we said something we didn't mean it. I find these very often these children are that way they will say something and then they will reverse themselves. One child said I hate my father and I mean he says well I don't mean I hate him but at least I don't hate him in a mean way. And to me there's always something significant when people go back over what they have said. And. Reverse themselves or modify it or qualify it in some way these kids are always doing that on these tapes you will hear them repeatedly saying something and denying it immediately. So perhaps we could throw in the word. Relationship between mother father and child there. So you have the four levels and the what the parent thinks of the child. The attitude of the parent towards the child. What the parent says he feels is towards the child and then what the parent does to the child. And I
always feel that we have to sink our flag into this level of action namely the parent has to be good to the child and the child will infer. What the words mean if the parent says to show this or what the parent's attitude is and what the parents thought about the child as his his real appraisal of the child. We have actually demonstrated this I think with the nurses at the juvenile court detention home. You can pick up a very small baby and tell him that he looks like a murderer that he's ugly and so forth but you say it in a very soft and nice and pleasant way and smile and this baby will respond immediately. He will hold his hand out he will laugh. Whereas if you pick the same child up and tell him he's a sweetest baby in the world you wish he were yours and you say it in a rough way. This child will cry and this is most amazing what the child seems to have seen the action and he takes up from there he infers the other things. Well one of the comments then I'd like to pose a question maybe in a positive way.
We also see especially in the case of girls that very often the homes they come from are immoral homes. Very often we see such things as prostitution for example. Gauged in by by the mother. But maybe quickly going back to a positive or positive trend. Let me ask you this kind of question what did the girl or Girton study report as a good home from which maybe you would find very little delinquency maybe that will give us a different kind of picture. Well look at the husband and wife team. Sheldon Eleanor Gluck have studied this problem for over 25 years and they feel that ultimately the child's the bulk of the child's time is spent in the under the roof culture in other words he spends a relatively short time with his. School with his church only percentage is small pieces of the pie so his his main preoccupation is in the home under the roof so they feel if you if you
want to find out about why a child is what he is you take the roof off the house and look underneath. And they have therefore made a typo. Your classification of categories into five things One is how affectionate is the father really. And then secondly how good as a father and as a disciplinarian. Then how affection is the mother. And how good a supervisor is she they don't expect her to be a disciplinary board supervisor namely She is in charge when the father isn't there. If she can't be present if she is sick or if you're working she provides an adult adequate substitute. And finally how cohesive they call is the family. I don't know exactly how you would put this into a different work league of unity perhaps maybe the kind of thing that reveals itself in small segmented actions where say a girl will not lend her sweater to her sister. It means that she prefers to retain a sweater over her sister. It probably has side psychological elements too like sense of belonging.
And and so on. And I think this points to a more positive maybe one last thing since our time is elapsing used to point to the important fact of sibling rivalry that today we allow so much competition and conflict to take place between brother and brother and sister and sister and brother and sister and we constantly see in these children. This kind of factor. Well let me get back to you since I think our time has elapsed. Yes so the rivalry and competition is fine for business it's probably fine for school athletics but it is not a pleasant factor to have in the home. It shouldn't be completely absent but it should be pretty heavily controlled so that they never lose sight of the better values or different values that should function in the home if that home doesn't function that way. With this emphasis on warmth and understanding and tolerance and giving a person a chance to to to repent to it to start over again and forget about the past. But this will not be a very happy home.
Today we discuss then the. Case of Mona Lisa who is a 16 or a runaway. For the third time who runs to her sister in this case so it's somewhat protective. The girl has not gotten into any serious trouble she's very resentful of her mother brought her to the detention home originally and the mother did so to keep her off the street just because they had a family tragedy and lost everything they had and the mother had to put her somewhere. The father is a very heavy drinker the mother apparently likes it this way. An interesting thing about this is very often when a heavy drinker dies his wife marries another heavy drinker. The childless Howard had a great deal she doesn't get credit for the things that she does right. She's capable of short term improvements. But in the long run. We're going to have to tie together a lot of these short run improvements and make a long run or long term improvement. The girl has a poor estimate of her parents or she towards the end was pushed into giving what she did. Her
idea of what good parents would be. And I found that very very interesting what she thought a parent should be. As we come to another close of a chapter in exploring the child's world I would like to find Professor George Zach of the sociology department for his very enlightening and penetrating insight into these children's lives and worlds. You have been listening to exploring the child's world in a program in which the child speaks from the French a stuffy chairman of the sociology department at UK university has conducted the interview with the child and to find the outlines of this work in the discussion with his guest Professor Chester agers act. Also the Department of Sociology at Duquesne.
Exploring the child's world
Nagging parents
Producing Organization
Duquesne University
WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program focuses on "nagging parents" and their role in a child's problems.
Other Description
Interviews with delinquent and disturbed young people who are encouraged to discuss their experiences and express feelings. To protect individuals, each program is a re-creation of an actual interview using different names and places.
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Interviewee: Jerzak, Chester A.
Producing Organization: Duquesne University
Producing Organization: WDUQ (Radio station : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
Speaker: Duffy, Francis
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 62-27-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:43
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Chicago: “Exploring the child's world; Nagging parents,” 1962-08-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 12, 2022,
MLA: “Exploring the child's world; Nagging parents.” 1962-08-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 12, 2022. <>.
APA: Exploring the child's world; Nagging parents. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from