Letter to Doctor for a Problem Child & Reply
Letter to Doctor
My child, Frances has become a problem. He picks quarrels everywhere and uses foul language inside and outside the house. He pays no attention to his studies. He beats children, steals money and sweets, lames dogs and other animals kill birds and bees for nothing. He is a great nuisance. My life is a hell. What should I do?
Reply to Above
I cannot believe that such a good mother can have such a bad child. Paper cannot grow on a rose bush. Something is wrong somewhere. You have got to understand the child and let the child understand you.
Do you admonish the child too often? Well, that won’t work. The more you admonish him, the worse he will become. Do you beat Frances very often! Well, nothing could do more damage. Do you call him the thief? If you do thief he shall become.
You say your child steals sweets and money. What does he do with sweets and money? Does he eat sweets or sells them? Does he hoard money or buy more sweets with money? Does he convert sweets into money or money into sweets? If he eats sweets, he is no thief. Do not call him a thief. Rather get him sweets till this longing is well satisfied. When he has eaten sweets to his fill, I think he will steal neither sweets nor money.
I remember last time you told me that he distributes sweets among other people. That makes him an ascertainable man, philanthropist! He is no thief. All charity is, in the long run, a thievery. We give free what we have stolen free. If all people earn their living the sweet of their brow, they would have little to give away. And whatever they give away tastes sweet like elixir and manna.
You said your child beats other children and animals, birds and bees. Why does he do so! I think he needs exercise for his limbs, an outlet for his surplus energy. Why not sent him to learn boxing from somebody? His energy will become a useful asset. He will learn to defend himself and other instead of becoming a thief. He will become a strong pillar of the family.
You say he uses the foulest language in the neighborhood. I think he is trying to become a great parliamentary critic. Why don’t you teach him public speaking? He may become an orator, a politician, a minister or may be a premier.
You are not doing justice to Frances. He is not completely bad. He is basically good. He will be a great leader. Give him the right training. Remember that Robert Clive, the builder of British Empire in India, was no better than Frances. They drove him out to India because he was too bad to be a good citizen or England. And here he carved a golden empire for them.
So, do not make gloomy pictures of your Frances future. Look forward with confidence and sympathy. Give him the right guidance.
Yours with blessings.