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Condensed from the Woman's Home Companion (April '26)
gives a luncheon she wears herself out psychiatrist of acknowledged rep- getting ready for it. Her mind is so
atation, and I were lunching at occupied with the mechanical details 8 famous New York hotel. Almost
of entertaining that she can't devote from the moment she came in we found herself to the human side of it. She ourselves watching a woman at the
is busy thinking about doilies and table next to ours.
dishes; hoping the cook won't burn "She is a very common type," Dr. anything; watching the maid; wonWilliams said. “Ever since she sat dering whether goblets would have down she has been trying to get things been correct rather than glasses. She done as she thinks they ought to be is missing the only really vital thing done. She has moved the dishes in the whole situation. Unless the around because she didn't like the guests supply their own happiness and way they were arranged. She has gayety and mental enjoyment all they told her husband not to talk so loud- get out of the affair will be a meal. ly and not to tuck his napkin into They may go away and say she is a his waistcoat. When he ate his soup good housekeeper. But they won't say he got off on the wrong spoon, and she she is a charming woman and that called him down for that.
they have had a wonderfully interest. "She hasn't discussed one thing
ing time. that didn't involve little details ahout "As a homemaker she is a tragic what 'ought to be done; what time failure. She hasn't the right sense they fought' to have dinner tonight; of values. She has missed the allwhat they fought' to wear; just when important thing! She is not a human she 'ought' to do her packing; whether being, opening her heart and mind to she 'ought to report the chambermald her husband, exploring life and hav. for not cleaning their room as it ing a wonderful time with him. ought to be cleaned.
“These over-precise women began "Imagine what she must be when to get that way' when they were she is at home. She is the type of children; but not all from tbe same woman whose house will always be causes. Some of them, for example, Deat; even painfully neat. Every. are the results of the training given thing runs like clockwork; or if it them by a mother who, herself, was does not she is miserable. If she over-precise. The little girl who has been taught that disorder is almost nary human weakness, a sense of hu. a crime may grow up to be incorrigi- mor-well, taken together these make bly fussy in her own affairs.
common sense, They would help “Of course this does not always these over-particular women. happen. Two children having the "Suppose that a mother sees her same training may react to it in en. child developing traits we have tirely different ways. Nevertheless, discussed. For instance, suppose the over-fussy mothers do succeed in child won't let other children touch training at least some of their chil.
its playthings, is too fussy about its dren to be over-fussy men and women; clothes, irritatingly methodical and missing the inner fruit of life because
exact. If a child shows a tendency they are so busy with its outer husk.
to keep its playthings sacred, hides "If an overly precise woman realizes them from other children, is a little her failings she can overcome them. miser about them, find out what is A psychiatrist could help her by back of all this. It may be a 'defen. showing her how she 'got that way;' sive reaction.' A brother or & sister but she can help herself to be dit.
may be trying to 'hog' the child's ferent if she really cares about it. She playthings. A boy's new electric train should try to see her life as if she
may have been broken by the boy were outside of it. Which is more im. from across the street. A little girl's portant in her home? Is it heart- doll, the pride of her heart, may have happiness? Or is she absorbed in been messed up by the baby. managing mechanical details? Does “Patience and a calm determination she laugh with her children-or only to get at the root of the matter will look after their diet? Does she know unearth the cause. And when it is what they are dreaming, or only what found the mother can set things right. they are doing? Does she have their If the child is simply defending him. confidence-or only their obedience?
self she must see that he doesn't have "When the family goes for a motor to do it. And at the same time she ride, does she help to make it a bap- can explain to him something about py, amusing, entertaining experience? the give and take of life; something Or is she too busy thinking about the about the need of friendliness and picnic lunch she is taking, the extra tolerance; something about tact and wraps, the scratch on the front seat, how to manage people; something the squeak of an axle, the way her about how to defend himself and his husband drives and a hundred other rights. things which are not vital to the pur
“This can be done. It needs patience suit of life, liberty and happiness? and understanding; but it may mean
“These women who are irritatingly the difference between happiness and precise and conscientious need one unhappiness when the child grows up. thing: a better understanding of life's
Not only its own happiness but that valuer? Companionship, sympathy, of husband, wife, children. affection, poise, mutual tolerance, free
"It is curious-isn't it-to think dom of expression-these are incom. that this man at the next table is parably more important than all the
reaping a harvest whose seeds were thousand little things on which many planted when his wife was a child. women concentrate.
She is probably making his life miser“We must live and let live. We able with her everlasting ought to do mustn't be so frightfully serious about this' and 'ought to do that.' It could every little thing. Do the best we have been prevented, if her mother can-and then accept the consequences had seen this tendency toward overwith satisfaction if they are good, or conscientiousness, had got at the with good-humored philosophy if they cause of it and had helped her to a aren't what we hoped for. We must better sense of values.
The woman learn to smile at our own mistakes could get this proper sense of values and at those of the people around us. even now if she could see herself as A sense of proportion, a sense of ordi. we see her."