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Upbringing for Juvenile Delinquents

– We receive many requests from organizations that work with children whose behavior is aberrant and who were unable to fit into the structure, such as juvenile delinquents. These organizations say, “Come to us and do whatever you want,” because they have given up completely and don’t have any idea what to do. Should we begin a dialogue with them?

– First of all, these organizations are open to us and that makes them a good choice. Second, they have the opportunity to subsist instructors and educators. That means that we have to enter there, but first of all, to work on psychology.

The children who are there are not receptive to anything and are closed off in themselves. They have a specific norm of behavior that is rigidly fixed and does not allow them to hear anything. But they are ready to hear about themselves, “What drives me? Why is this driving me or someone else? Why is he that way?” And so on.

They have to be approached from the standpoint of general psychology. This is interesting. It lets a person reveal himself and the behavior of others, “Why is he aggressive? Why does he get into fights?” Videotape them from the side and start showing them who they are. This will jab them. They will see themselves from the side on a stroll and in a fight, and then the educators should start explaining to them what drives each of them and why each of them behaves that way.

This way you will catch their interest. They will start seeing themselves from the side and hearing about motives for their behaviors which they did not even suspect existed. This will tease them and make them alert.

And then you will be able to talk with them, “What are the dark forces inside a person that compel him to act that way? Is this him? Or is it Nature deliberately playing with him that way, as if it’s sneering at them, making a monster out of them to spite everything? And like puppets, they have to move to its orders.”

If we show them this, we will easily touch every one of them because this kind of child turns his nose up at everyone, including himself. Losing his own sense of worth is the most horrible thing that can happen in that kind of environment.

This means that if we can get through to them with this first jab at self-love, we will win them over and will be able to work with them. In other words, we have to bring them to a state where self-love is truly satisfied.

We have to reveal the fact that right now they are not free, that they operate under the influence of instincts, practically playing a role that is programmed inside of them and that they don’t have anything of their own. But it is possible to act yourself out in a different way, and start working with changing roles—I am instead of you, you are instead of him, and so on.

When we teach them to act each other out and to “enter” one another, the children will start to understand each other better. From there on it’s a direct path to having them look at one another, studying and understanding each other, and becoming included in one another. When a child plays the role of another person, he creates that person’s model inside of him, and then he can somehow unite, connect, and understand the other person.

I think that correction facilities are ideal settings for upbringing because the children there are in a closed area. We just have to make sure that our approach is very well thought out. Also, we must be patient, especially in the beginning. But it will start working quickly. If we use videotaping and then psychological analyses, problematic children will be very receptive to this because their self-love is highly developed, so we will achieve great success in such places.

– I served in the Soviet army in the 80s, which was in many ways built like a prison. Externally there’s one thing, but in practice there’s something completely different. During the day there were patriotic discussions, and at night—abuse and extremely abominable forms of interaction.

The official discussions that took place during the day would irritate people even more, in fact, making them furious because there was a colossal gap between what happened at night and what was discussed during the day.

When we begin to apply our method, what will happen to this gap? And what should be done about the nightly brutality?

– When a person begins to play the role of another person besides his own role, he begins to see what drives him and loses the motivation to act the way he did before. He no longer has the energy for the same kind of actions. That’s because he is not himself; there’s something sitting inside of him that’s making him move. He already loses his patience with his own self.

I am sure that this will have an immediate affect on children’s behavior both in closed communities and in open societies.

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