If going to hospital means losing the care of the mother, the young child will fret for her no matter how kind the doctors, nurses, and play ladies. This film classic, made in 1952, drew attention to the plight of young patients at a time when visiting by parents was severely restricted. Laura, aged 2, is in hospital for 8 days to have a minor operation. She is too young to understand her mothers absence. Because her mother is not there and the nurses change frequently, she has to face the fears, frights and hurts with no familiar person to cling to.
She becomes quiet and settles. But at the end of her stay she is withdrawn from her mother, shaken in her trust. In recent years there have been great changes in children’s wards, partly brought about by this film. But many young children still go to hospital without the mother, and despite the play ladies and volunteers the depth of their distress and the risks to later mental health remain an insufficiently recognised problem.
Typical emotional deterioration in an unaccompanied young patient, and of the subtle ways in which she shows or conceals deep feelings of distress. Two versions:
abridged: 30 mins or full: 45 mins, at the same price. We will send the abridged version unless you specify the full 45 minute version.
More information on www.robertsonfilms.info .
Background reading: Young Children in Hospital James Robertson 1958 Tavistock Reprinted with 40 page postscript as:Young Children In Hospital James Robertson 1970 TavistockSeparation And The Very Young James and Joyce Robertson 1989 FAB See also the complementary film Going To Hospital with Mother.
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