How to help delinquent children?

Lane was a genius in the understanding and handling of delinquent children. He cured them because he constantly gave out love and understanding. He always looked for the hidden motive in any delinquent act, convinced that behind every crime was a wish that originally had been a good one. He found that talking to children was useless, and that only action counted. He held that in order to rid a child of a bad social trait on should let the child live out his desires.

There is no short cut to curing under freedom; it is a long weary time until the problem child turns his or her corner. I am convinced that our characters are formed very early in life, and although they can be modified be environment or therapy, in them remain elements that are beyond change. I can find traces of Calvinism in myself, irrational fears that stem from the first years of my life.

If he is going to use psychology he should do so more in action than in words. Hugging a child will often do much more for it than interpreting its dreams.

--A. S. Neill