Children don’t start wars

David Gribble

I’m going to talk about an idea that I had for the first time when I was about twenty years old, and then forgot until about fifteen years ago. The idea is controversial, so I shall approach it cautiously, starting with facts that are generally accepted.

I have divided the talk into five sections, as follows:
First section: You get less good at certain things as you get older
Second section: A bit about theories of moral development
Third section: How I came to hold my present views
Fourth section: Adult behaviour
Fifth section: A way forward
And a conclusion.

1. You get worse at certain things as you get older.

(a) Physically, it is obvious that after 40 or so we can’t run so fast, we can’t jump so high. The people we sent to compete in the athletic events in the Olympic Games are mostly younger than thirty. And after fifty we can’t hear so well, and we may have to wear glasses.

But the deterioration starts much earlier than most of us realise. Young children hear much higher sounds than older children or adults. I have taken part in an experiment in which a science teacher played a computer-generated sound that started extremely high and gradually came lower and lower. Everyone in the room was asked to put up a hand as soon as they heard anything. The youngest hands went up first – eleven-year-olds. Then more hands went up until all hands were raised except those of the few teachers present. After a few more seconds, teachers’ hands began to go up, and I could still hear absolutely nothing. Then, quite a long time after the last teacher, who was fifteen years younger than I was, I heard the sound, suddenly, loud and clear. It didn’t become slowly louder - first it wasn’t there at all, and then it was loud.

Young children’s injuries heal much faster than older people’s. The accommodation of the lens of the eye begins to deteriorate from the age of 5. The pupil of the eye gets smaller, and I read in the paper the other day that sixty-year-olds see only about a third as much light as twenty-year-olds. And so on.

(b) Mental deterioration is also obvious by the time you reach my age. We become absent-minded, we forget names and faces, we lose the ability to do more than one thing at a time.

This decline too starts when we are very much younger than most people realise. David Wechsler, the man who invented the Wechsler intelligence tests, did some interesting research in1939. (I know that intelligence tests are not a true measure of ability, but they do measure something.) Wechsler divided intelligence into a number of abilities which could be tested and measured – memory, comprehension, arithmetic, recognising similarities, etc. Here are his own words about his findings.

Every human capacity after attaining a maximum begins an immediate decline. This decline is at first very slow but after a while increases perceptibly. The age at which the maximum is attained varies from ability to ability but seldom occurs beyond 30 and in most cases somewhere in the early 20's. Once the decline begins it progresses continually. … Many of our intellectual abilities show a greater impairment with age than do our physical ones. Hitherto the common view has been that our mental abilities, unlike our physical abilities, remain relatively unimpaired until rather late in life (senility), except as an occasional consequence of disease or traumatic injury. This was an unsubstantiated hypothesis tenable only so long as no facts were at hand to oppose it. But the view still persists even though such facts are now available. Most people, including scientists, hate to believe that they are not as mentally alert at 50 as they were at 20.

In this respect not much seems to have changed since 1939.

In his experiment Wechsler recorded the average scores for children in year-groups, and for adults in five-year groups. The oldest group he tested were between 55 and 59. These are the levels they reached in some of the tests, in comparison with children:

twelve-year-old level - information, comprehension, picture completion
eleven-year-old level - arithmetic, similarities, overall score
ten-year-old level - digit span, block design, object assembly
nine-year-old level - digit symbol, picture arrangement.

That was in 1939. I looked briefly on the internet for more up-to-date information, and could only find the following confirmation of Wechsler’s findings. In the 1990s the scores found by Joseph Maturazzo, using the WAIS test, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, were as follows:

Late teens: 110
Mid-twenties: 117
Mid-forties: 106
Seventies: around 70

This sort of decline has now also been confirmed by neurological research, which has also shown that the very youngest brains are in some respects superior to older ones. As Alison Gopnik, Andrew Meltzoff and Patricia Kuhl, wrote in their book, How Babies Think, published in 1999:

If you combine the psychological and neurological evidence, it is hard to avoid concluding that babies are just plain smarter than we are, at least if being smart means being able to learn something new.

People often refuse to accept the idea of mental decline. One of the ways they try to get round it is by dividing intelligence into crystallised and fluid intelligence. Crystallised intelligence is knowledge and technique, and up to a certain age adults excel; fluid intelligence includes such things as imagination, the ability to learn new things, observation, spatial awareness and speed of thought, and here young people do best. However hard we argue, many aspects of intelligence certainly decline with age.

(c) This next idea is even less acceptable. We also decline morally.

We become gradually more self-centred and conformist and less and less sensitive to and concerned about the needs of other people.

For the time being, I shall just give one example from the experiments of the American psychologist Ervin Staub in the late sixties and early seventies. Children were asked to wait in a room by themselves. They would hear the sound of a falling chair in the next room, followed by crying and moaning from a young girl. After the age of eight or nine, the older the children were the less likely they were to go to see whether they could help. By thirteen they were less likely to try to help than nursery school children. When they were asked about it afterwards they said they were afraid of being told off by the researcher if they disobeyed him and left the room.

2. A bit about theories of moral development.

Peck and Havighurst worked with a group of 120 children who were born in a small town in the Midwest of the United States in 1933, and who were still living there ten years later. They identified five types of moral behaviour: amoral, when you seek only direct personal gratification; expedient, when moral behaviour occurs because you perceive some consequent advantage; conforming, when all that matters is not to stand out from the crowd; irrational-conscientious, when you have accepted some moral code and stand by it however absurd it may be; and rational-altruistic, when you are concerned for the welfare of others and take proper measures to achieve it. The first two types – amoral and expedient – were thought to be consecutive stages of development occurring in infancy and early childhood, the next two – conforming and irrational-conscientious – were thought to be parallel stages appropriate in later childhood; these were the stages where most people stopped advancing, and the final type – rational-altruistic – was thought to be rare.

I like these types, particularly the last three, but they are no longer seen as consecutive stages. In the late 1960s Norman and Sheila Williams found evidence of all five types in four-year-olds, who were the youngest children involved in their study. The reason that they went no younger than four was that their research depended on the children's articulacy. A standard interview was devised so that it could be used with a large sample – in fact 790 children were interviewed. They were asked about the meaning of such concepts as lying, fairness or bullying, and were then asked whether such actions were right or wrong, and why they were right or wrong.

It is not surprising that these researchers decided on a minimum age of four. Since then other researchers have found evidence of empathy in much younger children.

From How Babies Think, again:

Systematic studies indicate that two-year-olds begin to show genuine empathy toward other people for the first time. Even younger babies will become upset in response to the distress of others (we all know the disturbing way the baby will suddenly begin to howl when a marital argument starts). They don't just feel your pain, they try to allay it.

In 1969 Lawrence Kohlberg put forward a new theory about stages of moral development. He defined six stages, divided into three groups of two – pre-conventional, conventional and post-conventional. Even the third group, though rational, does not correspond to the stage rational-altruistic; people who have reached this level are supposed to be capable of making their own rules of behaviour, and sticking to them; altruism does not come into it. Kohlberg considered morality to be something that could only be appreciated intellectually, a matter of the distribution of rights and duties according to principles of equality and reciprocity.

Then around 1980 Carol Gilligan, who was collaborating with Kohlberg in some of his research, noticed that women discussed moral questions in a different way from men. Kohlberg’s conclusions, which were supposed to describe the development of moral judgment from childhood to adulthood, were based entirely on the study of eight-four boys. He did not include any girls at all.

Gilligan looked into this omission. This led her to new perceptions, and her important book, In a Different Voice, was published in 1982.

Gilligan distinguished two approaches to moral questions that she called the justice approach and the caring approach. Kohlberg had been concerned solely with the justice approach, which is typically male. Gilligan was concerned with both approaches, and found that the caring approach, ignored by Kohlberg, was the more important approach for women.

The descriptive terms are clear. The justice approach is based on fairness, personal rights, rules and set standards of behaviour; individual welfare is a secondary consideration. The caring approach is a concern for the welfare of other people, regardless of rules. Staub’s experiment with the child crying in another room illustrates this clearly: the older children thought obedience was more important than going to help another child.

Gilligan and others following up on her work have found over and over again that, though neither sex is limited to one type of response, males are more likely to make justice responses and females are more likely to make caring responses.

Young children are also more likely to show a caring response. Vivian Gussin Paley, who worked in the kindergarten at the Laboratory School of the University of Chicago, recorded many of the children’s conversations, and one of her stories gives a relevant illustration.

Earl had made a clay house, and Eddie had broken it up. What was to be done? The children made various suggestions. Earl wanted Eddie to make him a new house, but Eddie refused. Earl insisted that he wanted a new house, so eventually Fred said that he would make one for him. This satisfied Earl, but the teacher wanted to know what should be done about Eddie. “He’ll do it some other time,” said Earl.

These children were not concerned about justice, they were concerned about happiness. Earl's house had been destroyed, but he would be happy again as long as he had another house. Fred would make one for him, so there was no need to impose any unpleasantness on Eddie, who was already cross about something. Fairness, generally speaking, helps to make people happy, but it is not important in itself. It was not strictly speaking fair that Fred should make a new house for Earl when it was Eddie who broke the old one, but it made everyone happy so it was a more sensible solution to the problem than a strictly fair one.

In these children's minds happiness was more important than justice, but it was not their own happiness they were concerned about, but someone else’s. This was clearly rational altruism. The teacher tried to introduce a justice-based morality - “What about Eddie?” she had said - but the children insisted on a morality of care.

In the right conditions children are more likely to make caring responses than justice responses. Kohlberg's analysis of what he saw as moral development was actually an analysis of the movement of a group of boys from a care-based morality to a rule-based morality. I would suggest that this is not so much a development as a decline.

3. How these ideas came to me personally

(a) When I was twenty I got a job teaching boys aged 8 – 13 in a small private school. I wrote down some rather confused thoughts about their behaviour. This is how I attempted to straighten them out:

I think I mean that all children start with an ideal character, or have an ideal character hidden inside them which is gradually clogged by successive layers of old newspaper. Some of them they put on themselves, others are stuck on them by other people. At the age of eight or nine there are still a lot of gaps in the paper, and nowhere is the paper very thick.

I think that at the age of sixteen or fifteen anyway, a lot of the paper is torn off, and is gradually replaced by fresh paper with a different story on it. When a boy leaves school he sets about wrapping himself up in completely blank paper in a desperate attempt to disguise his youth and lack of experience, so making himself into an uninteresting dummy. At the age of twenty-two or three he emerges in a complete papier-mâché armour which is dinted only by the fiercest of blows. I should draw attention to the fact that I myself was still in the middle of the second-last stage, being only twenty years old at the time. These are not the thoughts of an older person looking back, but the thoughts of a person in the thick of it. However, I went on to forget all that, and only came back to similar ideas much later.

(b) More than thirty years later I was a teacher at Sands School. One day three girls stole all the money from the school office and took the bus to the nearest town to catch a train to York. At the booking-office the clerk explained that they did not have enough money, so they asked for tickets to Brighton. The clerk became suspicious and called the police, and latter I had to fetch the three girls from the police station in my car. On the way back I stopped in a lay-by and tried to discuss what had happened with them. It was completely impossible. They cursed and swore and said they hated the school, they hated their fellow-pupils, they hated their parents and everybody in the world except each other. I could not get anywhere. So I drove them back to the school, and the leader of the group announced that she would call a school meeting, because otherwise I would tell a lot of filthy lies about them and what they had done. Everyone came to the meeting, and she calmly told them exactly what she and her two companions had done, and then asked, “Do you want to chuck us out?” At first the other children were angry, not so much about what they had done as about their indifferent and shameless attitude. Then one teacher commented that it was not sensible just to be angry, and it would be better to ask questions and listen. For the next hour the adults hardly said a word. The children asked the culprits why they had done it all, listened to them and commented and in the end asked “Do you want to stay in this school?” All three said yes. A few conditions were imposed, and the whole thing was dealt with.

I, an experienced adult, had not been able to find any way out. The less experienced children had understood the situation better and found an honest, generous solution.

(c) The other big revelation was the incident of the weeping interpreter.

It happened at the United Nations Conference for Environment and Development at Rio in 1992. A group called Voice of the Child had organised what they described as a Global Children’s Hearing. In front of a large audience, twenty-one children from all round the world made personal appeals to a panel of four adults, one of whom was Al Gore.

I will only quote one child, Marthe Olive, aged 12, from Rwanda. She spoke in French, so what follows is a translation. She spoke calmly and clearly, in a matter-of-fact way, without apparent emotion.

My name is Marthe Olive. I come from Rwanda. I want to talk about the problems that I have in Rwanda. For years the children of Rwanda have been unhappy because of the war. They have seen children like themselves die, little ones and big ones, men and women. Lots of families are scattered. They have left their possessions to get away from the guns and the bombs. Now they have no shelter, no food, no clothes. They have nothing. Some children have become orphans and no one takes care of them. Others, their schools have been destroyed and they do not know where to go. We do not want to live in this war, in this misery. Wars kill innocent people, they spread disorder and hatred. They slow down development. Children do not like war. Those in Rwanda want the war to end very soon so that people can live in peace. Thank you.

This speech was translated from French into Portuguese by a professional translator. He began in the expressionless way interpreters speak, occasionally hesitating over a choice of word, sounding like a student doing a translation exercise, and then suddenly he was overcome by the meaning of what he was saying, and he was unable to go on. When the audience appreciated his emotion they applauded, and he went on a little before having to stop again, and then finished the last couple of sentences with an incoherent rush ending in tears.

Al Gore later commented on this incident, and said he had been much moved. He attributed the interpreter's emotion to fully realising the pain and the suffering in her homeland that this young girl was describing.

Marthe Olive, though, did not describe her own suffering in particular, and she did not ask for sympathy. She simply reported the suffering of the children of Rwanda. What disturbs us so deeply as adults when we hear her message is that all of a sudden we are made to understand what the word “war” actually means. There is no euphemism, there is no political apologia, there is simply a straightforward statement of the facts. The normal adult detachment becomes impossible, and once we have lost our detachment then the sentence, "Children do not like war," becomes an indictment of our former attitude. We are suddenly restored to a simpler ethical system where the ultimate wrong is to cause suffering, and all political excuses become unacceptable. "Children in Rwanda want the war to end very soon so that people can live in peace."

An atmosphere had been established at the Hearing in which children's voices were heard and their opinions were listened to seriously. What I think happened during the translation of Marthe Olive's words was that the interpreter found himself saying things that are obvious to anybody, but that we usually take great care to avoid taking into consideration. Adults are trained to accept political explanations, to foresee complications, to put power before people, but when they actually listen with respect to someone who does none of these things, they see at once how wrong they have been. Normally we are able to ignore such voices, but the Rio hearing had created a situation in which that was impossible. The interpreter found himself speaking words that echoed in his own heart, words that he recognised as containing an important truth, a truth that if it were more widely understood might even bring the war to an end. What he was weeping at was, I think, the sudden recognition of an ideal, and the realisation that it had for so long been scorned as an irrelevance.

Adults build walls around their own moral awareness, so that the routine of their lives is not interrupted by awkward demands from their consciences. It seems that children are capable of pulling those walls down.

4. The walls that adults build

We don’t like children to watch the horrors on the news because, we say, it affects them too strongly. We feel we can take it, but what this actually means is that we are able to ignore it. It is only as adults that we are able to turn our backs on huge differences in wealth, starvation in the third world, the risk of nuclear war, the prospect of climate change. When we say that we don’t want children to have to face such prospects we are actually protecting ourselves from the perfectly rational distress and fear that younger people have not yet learned to suppress.

An eleven-year-old girl at Caol Primary School in Scotland, Jodie Fraser, was ill a home on 9.11 when the twin towers in New York were attacked. She watched it on television, and when she got back to school she went up to the school’s famous art room, Room 13, and created a work of art. She took a big canvas and scattered over it 3000 burnt matchsticks, one for each person who had died, and then sprayed it with gray paint for smoke. It is an extremely impressive work, and has been exhibited in many different galleries in the UK, including Tate Modern, the main modern art museum in London. Jodie Fraser, eleven years old at the time, said, “I wanted to do a painting that would make people cry.”

Most of us adults do not cry about current events, however awful they are.

But it is not only the huge but usually remote issues of war and famine and natural disaster that we hide from. We actually avoid facing the evil that is being done all the time by adults within our own societies. Children are blamed for what they do to others, but adults are hardly ever blamed for what they do to children. In Britain about two children a week are killed by their parents or carers, but it does not reach the news. When one teen-ager is killed in a gang fight, there are cries of indignation about the wickedness of young people in general these days. When adults are to blame, only stories with a kind of perverse extravagance, like the underground punishment rooms in the children’s home in Jersey, or the extraordinary story of Josef Fritzl in Austria actually reach the papers.

Jesper Juul, the Danish family therapist, says:

"In relationships between children and adults, adults are always responsible when violence erupts. This does not just apply to those cases in which the adults use violence, but also to those in which children or young people behave violently toward their parents, brothers and sisters, friends, and strangers, and to property belonging to their immediate family or to other people. ... Partly as a result of the liberalization of society and the increasing self-awareness among children and young people, a terrifying number of them express their pain publicly and destructively. This development will continue until we begin to assume responsibility for the massive violence, both physical and psychological, that adults still express toward children."

Most of the evil in the world is perpetrated by adults, and we have all been trained to accept this as perfectly normal. It is difficult not to perpetuate the situation by training our own children to accept it too. We are inclined stress the importance of conforming and obeying rules rather than allowing our natural altruism to express itself. Both at home and at school children are often punished for not conforming. They learn to distrust people who are different. We lie to them “to protect them from disagreeable truths” and then we train them as soldiers and send them out to kill and be killed for the sake of something they do not understand.

People object, with good reason, to children forming gangs, but when we become grown-ups, we all tend to identify with groups. These may be, for instance, the firms we work for, the teams we belong to, the political parties we support, a trades union or a simply a group of friends we went to school with. The more we identify with a group, the less we rely on our own innate altruism.

We learn to be more loyal to our institutions than our own moral impulses. A glaring example is big business. Small businesses are usually run to fulfil a need, because unless there is a need there will be no business. Then sometimes they grow into huge conglomerates which are run by people whose primary purpose is not to fulfil a need or even to provide meaningful employment for other people, but merely to maximise profits for shareholders and executives. When the executives take action which damages the lives of others, they give as justification the argument that they are morally obliged to do it in order to maximise profits for shareholders.

Whether they are big or small, we serve our institutions automatically, without being aware of what we are doing. Our moral development is halted, as Peck and Havighurst suggested, in the stages of conformity and irrational conscientiousness. As Mary Douglas says in her book, How Institutions Think, "The highest triumph of institutional thinking is to render the institution completely invisible."

5. A way forward

In explaining the title of his book, The Competent Child, Jesper Juul says this:

“When I say that children are competent, I mean they are in a position to teach us what we need to learn. They give us the feedback that makes it possible for us to regain our own lost competence and help us to discard our unfruitful, unloving and self-destructive patterns of behaviour. To learn from our children in this way demands much more than that we speak democratically with them. It means that we must develop a kind of dialogue that many adults are unable to establish even with other adults: that is to say, a personal dialogue based on equal dignity.”

In democratic education that is what we try to achieve. Democratic schools show the way that the crystallised intelligence of older people can be married to the fluid intelligence of the young, without conflict. It gives young people the opportunity to grow without abandoning their fundamental moral concerns. Even though in democratic schools there is sometimes a tendency to fall back on a morality of rules rather than relying on a morality of care, young people are always accepted for what they are and respected as individuals.

By way of illustration here are three quotations from ex-pupils of Sudbury Valley School. At the end of their time at Sudbury, students who want to receive a diploma have to present a thesis to demonstrate that they are able to go out into the big wide world and lead responsible lives without the support of the school. These quotations are taken from such theses by young people who had come to SVS to escape from conventional education, which they had come to find intolerable.

The place was gorgeous and the people there talked to me like I had never been talked to before. They talked to me as if I was a responsible individual. I was thrilled. Leaving school is very difficult for me because it's been one of the only dependable things I've ever known. I've always been able to come here, and there isn't any fear here. There's nothing to run from here, in fact this is where I've always run to, but being a student here just takes too much time and as much as I'd like to spend the rest of my life in a small isolated community with nothing to be afraid of, there are things going on in the outside world that scare me, and I feel I have to give priority to changing them.

And the third quotation comes from a thesis-writer who described his time at Sudbury Valley as a rebirth. He told of the many different activities he had taken part in, and ended like this:

While this was going on, I was learning; learning about people, learning how to interact. I didn't really start to learn these things until I came to Sudbury Valley School. Actually, that's not true. It was more like relearning something that I used to know.

I think we are all capable of re-learning what we used to know, just as I re-learnt at the age of fifty-five what I had known at the age of twenty. If we remember our young selves with the respect they deserve, we can extend that respect to other young people, and learn from them.

As Jesper Juul says, in the passage I have already quoted, “Children are in a position to teach us what we need to learn.”

This has implications far beyond the family and the school. I shall give just two examples.

CWC stands for The Concerned for Working Children. It is in Karnataka, India, and has recently been working to increase the influence children can have on local government. Here are some extracts from their report about the first set of children’s public meetings in 2007.

The reports from the first set of Children’s Grama Sabhas 2007 stand testimony to how a well-facilitated process of Children’s Grama Sabhas not only holds the local government accountable to children and ensures their commitment to children’s rights, but also has a powerful impact on strengthening local governance. In Halli Hole the Panchayat (local council) reported to a meeting of several hundred children about the successful implementation of nineteen programmes that were a direct result of the issues raised by children during Children’s Grama Sabha in 2006. These include the construction of toilets in schools and improved access to basic facilities and services, not only for children, but for the entire community. The President of the Panchayat, Shankar Narayan Chatra, said, “It is now absolutely clear to me why children’s participation is essential to strengthen local governments. Children do not only list their problems, they also describe the implications of the problems and the importance of addressing them. This has been extremely useful to us to develop our action plans.”

The children’s participation had started with research organised by CWC . They identified problems and followed this up with extensive research. CWC published a guide to the way in which children and adults can co-operate in such activities, and this illustrates what could be done in any number of other contexts. A few quotations:

  • Children must have absolute control over the research process. Adults must not interfere or attempt to dominate it.
  • Children are quite capable of setting the agenda, designing processes and implementing the research. However, adults also have a specific and strategic role to play, as facilitators of the process. It is very important for us adults to recognise when we need to make observations and offer guidance – and when not to. The experience of CWC clearly shows that the primary role of adults is to provide children with information and skills.
  • Enabling children’s participation does not mean letting go of the entire process and leaving children to fend for themselves. In a healthy adult-child partnership there is possibility for negotiation.
  • The children who collect/generate information must have complete ownership over that information. They can decide what to do with it. The adult facilitators should ask the children's permission to use any information they have generated.

The second example is Porsgrumm, in Norway. This was one of the rare situations in which children have been able to influence adult decision-making.

In Porsgrumm the three industries on which the town depended had all collapsed at more or less the same time and the population were largely unemployed, depressed and pessimistic. The young people wanted to move away. The local council invited children to join all its committees and listened to what they had to say. Within a year or two the whole atmosphere had changed and people of Porsgrumm were once again proud to live there.

The curious and discouraging aspect of the story is that the very last committee to accept the advice of children was the committee for education. The people who should be closest to the children and best able to appreciate their contributions, often seem to see it as their responsibility principally to keep them under control.


In 1999 I visited the Doctor Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School in Chicago, in an area where the gang culture was dominant. The school was doing a lot to improve the status of the Puerto Ricans in Chicago, but that is not what I want to talk about now. I would like to tell you what a nineteen-year-old former gang member told me there about the corrupting effect of age and power. It can serve as a summary of all I have been talking about.

"The old ones," he said, "is what you call the OGs, they call them original gangsters. In a gang once you pass the limit of twenty-one you become one of the big-heads, you become like wiser, you're no more use to them because you're already old. To them you're old, you know, you can't be a soldier no more. Mainly the soldiers are all young people, I mean eleven, twelve, thirteen, real young kids that are all out there killing each other over a street that doesn't even belong to them. They're fighting over things that they don't even know what they're really fighting for. They don't know the meaning of the fight that they do, you know, the struggles that are happening to them. It's bad, because I see all these shorties dying over things that they don't even know about. . . And mainly what I don't understand is that all that violence is going on while the heads of every single gang is always smoking with each other, with all the heads, they're always having sessions and making business with each other, while youngsters are out there killing each other and everything."

The children are used by the OGs in the same way as governments use young men. In national wars of aggression it is the twenty-year-olds who are sent out to kill one another while the middle-aged or elderly politicians stay safely at home, supported by middle-aged or elderly business-people who make money out of it. War is an extreme example of older people leading younger people into immorality.

Children don't start wars. Adults do.



The Concerned for Working Children, Children hold local governments accountable: CWC press release, 2007

Douglas, Mary, How Institutions think: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1987

Gopnik, Alison, Meltzoff Andrew and Kuhl, Patricia, How Babies Think: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1999

Gussin Paley, Vivian, Wally’s Stories: Harvard University Press, 1994

Juul, Jesper, Your Competent Child: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2001

Lolichen, P. J. , Children in the Driver’s Seat: CWC, 2005

Peck R. F. and Havighurst, R. J., Paley, The Psychology of Character Development: Wiley, 1960

Staub, E., A child in distress: in Journal of Personal and Social Psychology, 1970

Wechsler, David, The Measurement and Appraisal of Adult Intelligence: Balliere, Tindall and Cox Ltd., 1958

Williams, Norman and Sheila, The Moral Development of Children: Macmillan, 1970