Melania Klein with her grandson Michael

Adults like to hold babies and small children in their arms – and for this age to be hold is perceived as an incredible support of vitality and objectively it is absolutely necessary for infants’ development. But in this photo we see Melania Klein refraining from physical contact with her grandson in order to reinforce the mental rapport between them and get the chance to concentrate on the “pre-thinking processes” in the head of the child. She silently observes little Michael’s gazes at various objects and his facial expressions and gesticulation. And we notice on her face that she is really getting some information about the child’s concentrations and pre-contemplations. We notice how “Dr. Klein’s” hands, as if, keep one another – how she refrains from embracing and touching the child in order to concentrate better on his mental processes.

For a child the silent presence of the adult nearby has a specific value – the adult who doesn’t express the “smart” initiative trying to involve the child in a certain activity is encouraging the child to find his own interests and fantasies more independently. Séances of the silent and, as if (positively) distant projection of adult’s attention towards the child, while limiting attempts to stimulate his verbalizations teach the child how to internalize the closeness to the other human being by making it the matrix of his own (internal) contemplation. Adult’s generous love-radiating smile, as we see in this photo, can encourage the child’s confidence more than adult’s verbalizations and actions.

The silent communication is a valuable addition to communication with a child through voice and touch. Dr. Klein’s intense “mute laugh” we see on the photo, activates in Michael attention to the world, openness to and desire to interact with it. We feel that the child “is thinking”, although we don’t know what about, but Melania Klein, for sure has her guesses about it.

It looks necessary to teach children from the early age not only physical interaction and social action with other people, but contemplative and para-intellectual functions. In US physically active behavior is advertised and taught together with social games, but cognitive functions in existential context (not on TV screen and in video games) are neglected and the best under-taught. Among the consequences of this situation are weakness or even paralysis of self-critical ability among the teenagers and adults, the ideological naiveté and gullibility of the population in relation to governmental and media propaganda, and also impulsive rage and cruelty added to non-violent crimes like theft or robbery.

Melania Klein

Melania Klein in her youth