The fidgety child – bane of both parents and teachers but an opportunity for your BRT practice

Dr. med. Karl Hermes, Duisburg

INTRODUCTION
They were different times. It was shortly before Christmas 1844 when Dr Heinrich Hoffmann wrote and illustrated the story of Struwwelpeter (shock-headed/slovenly Peter) because he could not find a suitable picture book for his 3 year old son Karl.
They were different times yet, even in 1844, he still existed: Zappelphilipp, the fidgety child. And the man knew what he was writing about: he was a psychiatrist in Frankfurt. There was something else as well in 1844: helplessness to treat the condition. The lines of the verse tell it all: "... And the mother looked very grave / To see Philip so misbehave." But the father does not achieve much either with his words which attempt to heal the situation: "Let me see if Peter can / Be a little gentleman. / Let me see if he is able / To sit still for once at table. / Thus spoke, in earnest tone, / The father to his son." [Translator’s note: reference to Die Geschichte von Zappelphilipp The Story of Fid...

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