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Autobiography of Alice A. Bailey - Chapter V
The children were now reaching the age where the normal physical care which engrosses the attention of the average mother was changing into emotional demands. This cycle which lasts until they are in their 'teens is an exceedingly difficult one - difficult for the children and frightfully difficult for the mothers. I am not at all sure that I reacted well or acted wisely and it is perhaps simply my good luck that today my daughters seem to like me. They all had a far more normal time in their upbringing than I ever had, left as I was to strangers, governess and masters and that, perhaps, made it difficult for me to understand them. I had a very exalted idea of what the relationship between mother and children should be. They had no such exalted idea. I was just somebody who could be expected to take care of them but who could also be expected to block what they wanted to do. I learnt a lot during this short cycle of years and have found it most valuable when it became a situation of helping other mothers to handle their problems. Looking back I don't honestly think that my children had a great deal of cause for disagreement with me for I honestly tried to understand and to be sympathetic but - taking it by and large - I am somewhat disgusted with the average parents in this country and in Great Britain.

Here in the United States we are so lax and lenient with our children that they have very little sense of responsibility or self discipline whilst in Great Britain the discipline [185] and parental demands and supervision and control are enough to make any child revolt. In both countries it works out exactly in the same way - revolt. Today the British young generation seems to me, from what I can gather, to be in a state of complete bewilderment as to what they want to do and what the younger generation should stand for in this world, whilst the shocking behavior of the G.I.s in the U. S. Army when over in Europe and elsewhere has been such that they have seriously damaged the prestige of the U. S. in the world. I do not blame the American boys, I blame their mothers, their fathers, their school teachers and their army officers, who have given them no sense of direction, no sense of responsibility and no true standard of living. It is certainly not entirely the boy's fault that so many of them went hay-wire during the war and when they went overseas.

When I was in Europe and Great Britain in the summer of 1946 I got direct first-hand information from the nationals in many countries as to their behavior; as to the tens of thousands of illegitimate children they left behind uncared for and unrecognized and as to the hundreds of girls they married and deserted. One of the most interesting things to me was to discover in what high esteem the negro troops were held for their courtesy and their niceness to the girls, taking no advantage of the girl unless the girl herself were willing. When I make this criticism of the American boys, and it is also somewhat true of the more disciplined British troops, I recognize, as I said several times in England to the people who were criticizing the G.I. boys to me, - "That's all very well, and I'm quite ready to believe that the American boys are all that you say, but what about the dirty little English and French and Dutch girls - for it takes two to play that game." Though our boys had too much money and were told by our officers to "take the [186] lid off " when on active service yet the girls of foreign nationality must also be held accountable. It is somewhat understandable that these starving girls and these underfed girls would choose to go with our American soldiers when it meant chicken and bread for their families. I say this is no excuse for them but I have to say it because it is a plain statement of fact.

This whole problem of sex and of the relationship between the sexes is perhaps one of the world problems which have to be solved within the next century. How it will be solved is not for me to say. I suppose it is largely the question of corrective education and of the instilling into young people in their later 'teens that the wages of sin is death. One of the cleanest men I ever knew who never in his life misconduct himself, as it is puritanically called, told me that the only reason was that at nineteen his father took him into a medical museum and showed him some of the results of misconduct. I'm no believer in the use of fear for the correction of behavior and weakness but it is possible that the material evidence of material wrongdoing has its value.

I have no intention of dealing at greater length with this subject but it has its bearing on the problem with which I was confronted when we settled down in the house at Ridgefield Park. I had to send my children to the public schools in New Jersey. I was accustomed to the idea of coeducation but only among an exclusive set of children all of whom were under ten years old. I, myself, was not the product of the coeducational system and was not at all sure I liked it for children who were nearing their 'teens but I had no alternative and I had to face the issue.

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