The child is impressed by his own weakness in comparison with older people, and he wishes to become their equal. I remember my boy's profound delight when he realized that he would one day be a man and that I had once been a child ; one could see effort being stimulated by the realization that success was possible. From a very early age, the child wishes to do what older people do, as is shown by the practice of imitation. Older brothers and sisters are useful, because their purposes can be understood and their capacities are not so far out of reach as those of grown-up people.
Source: On Education, especially in early childhood, 1926, by Bertrand Russell
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