Childhood—a precious time

Each childhood is a precious time. It should be a time for play, discovery, creativity, day-dreaming, imagining, learning. Every child has a right to these things. The impressions of childhood are long-lasting and profound. Spiritual, emotional, and mental growth are crucial to children.

In the Victorian era, a time when children were frequently depicted as "miniature adults," Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist was a vivid social commentary on the evils of oiling the cogs of industry with the sweat of children. In the United States, rural families often depended on children to make their farms productive.

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September 2, 2002

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