Child Guidance

Chapter 11—To be Taught from BabyhoodBegin the Teaching Early—Obedience to parental authority should be inculcated in babyhood and cultivated in youth.1 CG 82.1Some parents think that they can let their little ones have their own way in their babyhood, and then when they get older, they will reason with them; but this is a mistake. Begin in the baby life to teach obedience…. Require obedience in your home school.2 CG 82.2From their earliest life children should be taught to obey their parents, to respect their word, and to reverence their authority.3 CG 82.3Before Reason Is Developed—One of the first lessons a child needs to learn is the lesson of obedience. Before he is old enough to reason, he may be taught to obey.4 CG 82.4The mother’s work should commence with the infant. She should subdue the will and temper of the child and bring its disposition into subjection. Teach it to obey, and as the child grows older, relax not the hand.5 CG 82.5Before Self-will Grows Strong—Few parents begin early enough to teach their children obedience. The child is usually allowed to get two or three years the start of its parents, who forbear to discipline it, thinking it is too young to learn to obey. But all this time self is growing strong in the little being, and every day makes it a harder task for the parent to gain control of the child. CG 82.6At a very early age children can comprehend what is plainly and simply told them, and, by kind and judicious management, can be taught to obey…. The mother should not allow her child to gain an advantage over her in a single instance; and, in order to maintain this authority, it is not necessary to resort to harsh measures; a firm, steady hand and a kindness which convinces the child of your love will accomplish the purpose. But let selfishness, anger, and self-will have their course for the first three years of a child’s life, and it will be hard to bring it to submit to wholesome discipline. Its disposition has become soured; it delights in having its own way; parental control is distasteful. These evil tendencies grow with its growth, until, in manhood, supreme selfishness and a lack of self-control place him at the mercy of the evils that run riot in our land.6 CG 82.7Never should they [the children] be allowed to show their parents disrespect. Self-will should never be permitted to go unrebuked. The future well-being of the child requires kindly, loving, but firm discipline.7 CG 83.1Obedience to Parents Leads to Obedience to God—The youth and children who have praying parents have been greatly privileged, for such have an opportunity to know and love God. In respecting and rendering obedience to their parents, they may learn how to respect and obey their heavenly Father. If they walk as children of the light, they will be kind and courteous, loving and respectful, to their parents, whom they have seen, and thus be better qualified to love God, whom they have not seen. If they are faithful representatives of their parents, practicing the truth through the help given them of God, then by precept and example they acknowledge the ownership of God and honor Him by a well-ordered life and godly conversation.8 CG 83.2Only the Obedient Enter Heaven—Let parents and teachers impress upon the minds of the children that the Lord is proving them in this life, to see if they will render obedience to Him with love and reverence. Those who would not be obedient to Christ here would not obey Him in the eternal world.9 CG 84.1If parents or children are ever welcomed into the mansions above, it will be because they have in this world learned to obey the commands of God.10 CG 84.2