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Child Guidance

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    Chapter 22—Diligence and Perseverance

    Satisfaction in Tasks Completed—Children frequently begin a piece of work with enthusiasm; but, becoming perplexed or wearied with it, they wish to change and take hold of something new. Thus they may take hold of several things, meet with a little discouragement, and give them up; and so they pass from one thing to another, perfecting nothing. Parents should not allow the love of change to control their children. They should not be so much engaged with other things that they will have no time to patiently discipline the developing minds. A few words of encouragement, or a little help at the right time, may carry them over their trouble and discouragement; and the satisfaction they will derive from seeing the task completed that they undertook will stimulate them to greater exertion.CG 128.1

    Many children, for want of words of encouragement and a little assistance in their efforts, become disheartened and change from one thing to another. And they carry this sad defect with them in mature life. They fail to make a success of anything they engage in, for they have not been taught to persevere under discouraging circumstances. Thus the entire lifetime of many proves a failure, because they did not have correct discipline when young. The education received in childhood and youth affects their entire business career in mature life, and their religious experience bears a corresponding stamp.1Testimonies For The Church 3:147, 148.CG 128.2

    Habits of Indolence Are Carried Into Later Life—Children who have been petted and waited upon always expect it; and if their expectations are not met, they are disappointed and discouraged. This same disposition will be seen through their whole lives; they will be helpless, leaning upon others for aid, expecting others to favor them and yield to them. And if they are opposed, even after they have grown to manhood and womanhood, they think themselves abused; and thus they worry their way through the world, hardly able to bear their own weight, often murmuring and fretting because everything does not suit them.2Testimonies For The Church 1:392, 393.CG 128.3

    Develop Habits of Thoroughness and Dispatch—From the mother the children are to learn habits of neatness, thoroughness, and dispatch. To allow a child to take an hour or two in doing a piece of work that could easily be done in half an hour is to allow it to form dilatory habits. Habits of industry and thoroughness will be an untold blessing to the youth in the larger school of life, upon which they must enter as they grow older.3Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 122, 123.CG 129.1

    Counsel Especially for Girls—Another defect that has caused me much uneasiness and trouble is the habit some girls have of letting their tongues run, wasting precious time in talking of worthless things. While girls give their attention to talk, their work drags behind. These matters have been looked upon as little things, unworthy of notice. Many are deceived as to what constitutes a little thing. Little things have an important relation to the great whole. God does not disregard the infinitely little things that have to do with the welfare of the human family.4The Youth's Instructor, September 7, 1893.CG 129.2

    Importance of “Little Things.”—Never underrate the importance of little things. Little things supply the actual discipline of life. It is by them that the soul is trained that it may grow into the likeness of Christ, or bear the likeness of evil. God help us to cultivate habits of thought, word, look, and action that will testify to all about us that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him!5The Youth's Instructor, March 9, 1893.CG 129.3

    Make Mistakes a Steppingstone—Let the child and the youth be taught that every mistake, every fault, every difficulty conquered becomes a steppingstone to better and higher things. It is through such experiences that all who have ever made life worth the living have achieved success.6Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 60.CG 130.1

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