The solution to the child’s unhappy state was really very simple. The parents were advised that if they couldn’t get along together, they should at least avoid having any conflict over the child. Their thoughts were really lodging in the child’s emotional nature and upsetting his physical system. Fortunately they saw the logic of this and the boy straightened out when they straightened out.
There is always a relationship between family conflicts and the physical reaction of children to them. It is sad but true that children are too often innocent victims and it is no more than just to say that the parents themselves are also victims of their own ignorance, their own bickering and emotional conflicts. In a very definite sense we are all victims of our own ignorance. Perhaps Emerson was right when he said that ignorance is the only sin there is. And if so, wisdom is the only solution.
The balance of happiness in the family life is more closely tied in with the emotional strains among its members than most of us realize. And I don’t mean that many families need be taught to love one another, because in most cases they do. It isn’t so much a lack of affection in the family life as it is doing away with mental conflicts between the different members. The average mother and father love their children and would do anything within their power to help them. So it isn’t a question of a lack of interest in the children, but rather a lack of the knowledge that conflict between parents affects the mental and physical well-being of the child.
Each member of the family is an individual and stern discipline that tries to make them all think and act alike never works out. There is a sacredness about the individual life which begins when the infant is born and never ceases while he lives. This Thing Called Life has not made any two of us alike. And even in the most intimate group, which is the family, no two persons are, or should be treated as identical. Someone has truly said that if two persons were just alike, one would be unnecessary in the scheme of things.