1948 parenting advice from Ernest Osborne

NCFR President Ernest Osborne

Ernest Osborne

Former NCFR President Ernest G. Osborne, wrote a syndicated column called “Family Scrapbook,” about a wide rangle of topics, that became very popular. Topics included: caring for a baby; disciplining; getting along with siblings; and generating ideas for family-centered fun. Here is an excerpt from one called “Clumsy as a Cow.”

“The business of growing up isn’t always as easy for youngsters. Among other things there may be a good deal of clumsiness. Dishes are dropped. Bill is always stumbling over things. Diana walks in a most unattractive, shambling sort of way. We parents become impatient and irritated, thinking and saying that there should be no reason for such carelessness. But there is a perfectly good reason. The spurt of growth that comes at early adolescence, when youngsters are roughly from eleven to thirteen years of age, usually brings unevenness in development. Bones and muscles don’t keep pace in their growth. Feet and hands may become disproportionately large. Naturally the consequent lack of coordination brings awkwardness no matter how hard a youngster tries. If both parents and young people can accept this as one of things that growing up involves, they can laugh together about it, especially as they know that it will soon pass. It’s important to have such an attitude, too. Otherwise a good many heartaches and feelings of inferiority are likely to develop.”

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