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(p. 397) Growth and Development in Immaturity 

(p. 397) Growth and Development in Immaturity
Chapter:
(p. 397) Growth and Development in Immaturity
Author(s):

Donald W. Winnicott

DOI:
10.1093/med:psych/9780190271350.003.0080
Page of

date: 16 July 2018

In this paper, Winnicott looks at how giving children the right kind of good time makes possible their growth to the adult state called democracy, and to become active, creative members of society, without loss of personal spontaneity and without loss of that sense of freedom which comes from within. At the start it relies on an active adaptation to needs from a devoted mother or mother-surrogate. With small children love enables the person to be reliable enough and maintain an uninterrupted relationship. As the child gets older, nursery schools need to provide active adaptation to children whose parents have not succeeded - often through no fault of their own. However, active adaptation coming too late is called ‘spoiling’. Good management is providing consistent conditions in which each infant can work out what is specific to him. When an infant has an excited experience, they must deal with two sets of phenomena: to be able to stand feeling guilt, and to find ways of making reparation. When all goes well, a sense of responsibility develops along with the ability to relate to external reality and to maintain a continuity of being.

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