What cannot be talked about cannot be put to rest. And if it is not, the wounds will fester from generation to generation.— Bruno Bettelheim
The most thrilling Bruno Bettelheim quotes that will activate your inner potential
You can't teach children to be good. The best you can do for your child is to live a good life yourself. What a parent knows and believes, the child will lean on.
For those who immerse themselves in what the fairy tale has to communicate, it becomes a deep, quiet pool which at first seems to reflect only our own image; but behind it we soon discover the inner turmoils of our soul - its depth, and ways to gain peace within ourselves and with the world, which is the reward of our struggles.
The child intuitively comprehends that although these stories are unreal, they are not untrue.
Play permits the child to resolve in symbolic form unsolved problems of the past and to cope directly or symbolically with present concerns. It is also his most significant tool for preparing himself for the future and its tasks.
Punishment may make us obey the orders we are given, but at best it will only teach an obedience to authority, not a self-control which enhances our self-respect.
The unrealistic nature of these tales (which narrowminded rationalists object to) is an important device, because it makes obvious that the fairy tales’ concern is not useful information about the external world, but the inner process taking place in an individual.
If we hope to live not just from moment to moment, but in true consciousness of our existence, then our greatest need and most difficult achievement is to find meaning in our lives.
Television captures the mind but does not liberate it.
A good book at once stimulates and frees the mind.
Play reaches the habits most needed for intellectual growth.
You cannot have sex education without saying that sex is natural and that most people find it pleasurable.
Not only is our love for our children sometimes tinged with annoyance, discouragement, and disappointment, the same is true for the love our children feel for us.
The only effective way to help well-intentioned, intelligent persons to do the best they can in raising children is to encourage and guide them always to do their own thinking in their attempts at understanding and dealing with child-rearing situations and problems, and not to rely blindly on the opinions of others.
The parent must not give in to his desire to try to create the child he would like to have, but rather help the child to develop--in his own good time--to the fullest, into what he wishes to be and can be, in line with his natural endowment and as the consequence of his unique life in history.
Fairy tales are loved by the child not because the imagery he finds in them conforms to what goes on within him, but because--despite all the angry, anxious thoughts in his mind to which the fairy tale gives body and specific content--these stories always result in a happy outcome, which the child cannot imagine on his own.
Whoever influences the child's life ought to try to give him a positive view of himself and of his world. The child's future happiness and his ability to cope with life and relate to others will depend on it.
The good enough parent, in addition to being convinced that whatever his child does, he does it because at that moment he is convinced this is the best he can do, will also ask himself: "What in the world would make me act as my child acts at this moment? And if I felt forced to act this way, what would make me feel better about it?
What children learn from punishment is that might makes right.
When they are old and strong enough, they will try to get their ownback; thus many children punish their parents by acting in ways distressing to them.
To be a good enough parent one must be able to feel secure in one's parenthood, and one's relation to one's child...The security of the parent about being a parent will eventually become the source of the child's feeling secure about himself.
The question for the child is not Do I want to be good? but Whom do I want to be like?
A child... who has learned from fairy stories to believe that what at first seemed a repulsive, threatening figure can magically change into a most helpful friend is ready to believe that a strange child whom he meets and fears may also be changed from a menace into a desirable companion.
The delight we experience when we allow ourselves to respond to a fairy tale, the enchantment we feel, comes not from the psychological meaning of the tale (although this contributes to it) but from its literary qualities-the tale itself as a work of art.
The fear of failure is so great, it is no wonder that the desire to do right by one's children has led to a whole library of books offering advice on how to raise them.
Among the most valuable but least appreciated experiences parenthood can provide are the opportunities it offers for exploring, reliving, and resolving one's own childhood problems in the context of one's relation to one's child.
As the creative adult needs to toy with ideas, the child, to form his ideas, needs toys--and plenty of leisure and scope to play with them as he likes, and not just the way adults think proper. This is why he must be given this freedom for his play to be successful and truly serve him well.
Parents ought, through their own behavior and the values by which they live, to provide direction for their children. But they need to rid themselves of the idea that there are surefire methods which, when well applied, will produce certain predictable results. Whatever we do with and for our children ought to flow from our understanding of and our feelings for the particular situation and the relation we wish to exist between us and our child.
From a child's play, we can gain understanding of how he sees and construes the world--what he would like it to be, what his concerns are, what problems are besetting him.
To be told that our child's behavior is "normal" offers little solace when our feelings are badly hurt, or when we worry that hisactions are harmful at the moment or may be injurious to his future. It does not help me as a parent nor lessen my worries when my child drives carelessly, even dangerously, if I am told that this is "normal" behavior for children of his age. I'd much prefer him to deviate from the norm and be a cautious driver!
This is exactly the message that fairy tales get across to the child in manifold form: that a struggle against severe difficulties in life is unavoidable, is an intrinsic part of human existence -- but that if one does not shy away, but steadfastly meets unexpected and often unjust hardships, one masters all obstacles and at the end emerges victorious.
Most advice on child-rearing is sought in the hope that it will confirm our prior convictions. If the parent had wished to proceedin a certain way but was made insecure by opposing opinions of neighbors, friends, or relatives, then it gives him great comfort to find his ideas seconded by an expert.
The good enough mother, owing to her deep empathy with her infant, reflects in her face his feelings; this is why he sees himselfin her face as if in a mirror and finds himself as he sees himself in her. The not good enough mother fails to reflect the infant's feelings in her face because she is too preoccupied with her own concerns, such as her worries over whether she is doing right by her child, her anxiety that she might fail him.
Since there are thousands of fairy tales, one may safely guess that there are probably equal numbers where the courage and determination of females rescue males, and vice versa.
The child knows only that he engages in play because it is enjoyable.
He isn't aware of his need to play--a need which has its source in the pressure of unsolved problems. Nor does he know that his pleasure in playing comes from a deep sense of well-being that is the direct result of feeling in control of things, in contrast to the rest of his life, which is managed by his parents or other adults.
No longer can we be satisfied with a life where the heart has its reasons which reason cannot know. Our hearts must know the world of reason, and reason must be guided by an informed heart.
A parent who from his own childhood experience is convinced of the value of fairy tales will have no difficulty in answering his child's questions; but an adult who thinks these tales are only a bunch of lies had better not try telling them; he won't be able to related them in a way which would enrich the child's life.
The ability to read becomes devalued when what one has learned to read adds nothing of importance to one's life.
Plato--who may have understood better what forms the mind of man than do some of our contemporaries who want their children exposed only to "real" people and everyday events--knew what intellectual experience made for true humanity. He suggested that the future citizens of his ideal republic begin their literary education with the telling of myths, rather than with mere facts or so-called rational teachings.