Children's Faults are Serious.

Home Education, Volume 1

Training and Educating Children Under Nine

Pg. 19

Children's Faults are Serious. --

One of many ways in which parents are apt to have too low an opinion of their children is in the matter of their faults. A little child shows some ugly trait -- he is greedy, and gobbles up his sister's share of goodies as well as his own; he is vindictive, ready to bite or fight the hand that offends him; he tells a lie; -- no, he did not touch the sugar bowl or the jam-pot. The mother puts off the evil day: she knows she must sometime reckon with the child for those offenses, but in the meantime she says, 

"Oh, it does not matter this time: he is very little, and will know better by and by."

To put the thing on no higher grounds, what happy days for herself and her children would the mother secure if she would keep watch at the place of the letting out of the waters! If the mother settle it in her own mind that the child never does wrong without being aware of his wrong-doing, she will see that he is not too young to have his fault corrected or prevented. Deal with a child on his first offense, and a grieved look is enough to convict the little transgressor; but let him go on until a habit of wrong-doing is formed, and the cure is a slow one; then the mother has no chance until she has formed in him a contrary habit of well-doing. 

To laugh at ugly tempers and let them pass because the child is small, is to sow the wind.

Read this passage and more, Here on Ambleside Online.

When I was reading this I thought of the times here and there that as a parent I've been guilty of this exact thing. And the damage I've done to my own parenting, one step forward and then two steps backwards. And it's funny that in the thick of it you don't think about these small little discrepancies you allow, even sparingly. 

"Oh, it does not matter this time he is very little, and will know better by-and-by." 

The low opinion of which she speaks is this nonchalant attitude that we sometimes take up, or allowing ourselves to get distracted and not give these moments the due attention they deserve. "Deal with a child on his first offense," she says. Don't just take the attitude that sooner or later he'll learn, will he? 

In my experience it's been more like pulling up weeds, which grow faster than the plants you're actually actively trying to grow. Once taken root they sprout overnight and then your full time job becomes defense instead of offense. It's an exhausting place to be as a parent. 

And then when you begin school you start to see where these habits or the lack there-of really come into play. And how much more complicated a seamless, beautiful, lovely, peaceful school day becomes. 

I'm going to take Charlotte's advice. The wisdom she shares is definitely something I've needed. I hope this helps inspire you like it has me. 

God Bless,



  1. I, too, am guilty-but am willing to learn and to grow into a better parent! Thanks for this!