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(p. 393) Instincts and Normal Difficulties 

(p. 393) Instincts and Normal Difficulties
(p. 393) Instincts and Normal Difficulties

Donald W. Winnicott

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date: 04 July 2020

In this broadcast and paper for mothers, Winnicott discusses how ordinary healthy children present all kinds of normal difficulties which are chiefly to do with instincts. In health there are excitements which are derived from impelling physical needs or excitements relating to love. Naturally these needs cannot always be fully satisfied. A mother who sees frustration, anger, or rage in their child knows it does not mean the child is ill. These intense feelings can be painful, and the child may find ways to dampen down his instincts, such as not accepting certain foods. Instincts and excitements of course also arise in relation to excretion and sexual feelings: every possible variation can be found, if one knows enough children. This is not necessarily illness, rather little children discovering all sorts of techniques for managing feelings which are intolerable. Tremendous forces are at work, yet all the mother need to do is to keep the home together, and relief will come through the operation of time.

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