We will do something that is good for the child, whatever the circumstances, if we create situations in the first seven years where the child lives in an environment that is healthy for his or her physical body. We do something that is good for them, whatever the circumstances, by creating good authorities in the best sense of the word around children in the second seven-year period, so that they will not be know-alls at that time but rely on people around them whom they respect as authorities, people to whom they are devoted. We do something that is good when we raise children who do not want to know everything themselves in their ninth or tenth year, but who if asked why one thing or another is right and good will say: because my father, or my mother has said that it is good, or because my teacher says so. If we raise the children so that the adults around them are the accepted authorities, we do something that is good for them, whatever the circumstances. We are doing something that is bad for young persons, whatever the circumstances, if we sin against these seven-year periods, creating such conditions that at this very time the children start to criticise the people who have the natural authority, if we do not prevent this critical attitude from developing.
Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 150 – Die Welt des Geistes und ihr Hereinragen in das physische Dasein – Augsburg, March 14, 1913 (page 19-20)
This English translation has been copied from the book: How the Spiritual World Projects into Physical Existence – The Influence of the Dead – Published by Rudolf Steiner Press