Ellen G. White Writings

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Child Guidance, Page 279

Chapter 48—The Child's Reaction

To Provocation—Children are exhorted to obey their parents in the Lord, but parents are also enjoined, “Provoke not your children to wrath, lest they be discouraged.”1Manuscript 38, 1895.

Often we do more to provoke than to win. I have seen a mother snatch from the hand of her child something that was giving it special pleasure. The child did not know the reason for this, and naturally felt abused. Then followed a quarrel between parent and child, and a sharp chastisement ended the scene as far as outward appearance was concerned; but that battle left an impression on the tender mind that would not be easily effaced. This mother acted unwisely. She did not reason from cause to effect. Her harsh, injudicious action stirred the worst passions in the heart of her child, and on every similar occasion these passions would be aroused and strengthened.2Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 117.

To Faultfinding—You have no right to bring a gloomy cloud over the happiness of your children by faultfinding or severe censure for trifling mistakes. Actual wrong should be made to appear just as sinful as it is, and a firm, decided course should be pursued to prevent its recurrence; yet children should not be left in a hopeless state of mind, but with a degree of courage that they can improve and gain your confidence and approval. Children may wish to do right, they may purpose in their hearts to be obedient; but they need help and encouragement.3The Signs of the Times, April 10, 1884.

To Too Harsh Discipline—Oh, how God is dishonored in a family where there is no true understanding

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