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Child Guidance

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    Section 7—Developing Christian Qualities

    Chapter 25—Simplicity

    Educate in Natural Simplicity—The little ones should be educated in childlike simplicity. They should be trained to be content with the small, helpful duties and the pleasures and experiences natural to their years. Childhood answers to the blade in the parable, and the blade has a beauty peculiarly its own. Children should not be forced into a precocious maturity, but as long as possible should retain the freshness and grace of their early years. The more quiet and simple the life of the child—the more free from artificial excitement and the more in harmony with nature—the more favorable it is to physical and mental vigor and to spiritual strength.1Education, 107.CG 139.1

    Parents should by their example encourage the formation of habits of simplicity, and draw their children away from an artificial to a natural life.2The Signs of the Times, October 2, 1884.CG 139.2

    Unaffected Children Are Most Attractive—Those children are most attractive who are natural and unaffected. It is not wise to give children special notice.... Vanity should not be encouraged by praising their looks, their words, or their actions. Nor should they be dressed in an expensive and showy manner. This encourages pride in them and awakens envy in the hearts of their companions. Teach the children that the true adorning is not outward. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” 1 Peter 3:3, 4.3Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 141, 142.CG 139.3

    The Secret of True Charm—Girls should be taught that the true charm of womanliness is not alone in beauty of form or feature, nor in the possession of accomplishments; but in a meek and quiet spirit, in patience, generosity, kindness, and a willingness to do and suffer for others. They should be taught to work, to study to some purpose, to live for some object, to trust in God and fear Him, and to respect their parents. Then as they advance in years, they will grow more pure-minded, self-reliant, and beloved. It will be impossible to degrade such a woman. She will escape the temptations and trials that have been the ruin of so many.4Health Reformer, December, 1877.CG 140.1

    Seeds of Vanity—In many families the seeds of vanity and selfishness are sown in the hearts of the children almost during babyhood. Their cunning little sayings and doings are commented upon and praised in their presence, and repeated with exaggerations to others. The little ones take note of this and swell with self-importance; they presume to interrupt conversations and become forward and impudent. Flattery and indulgence foster their vanity and willfulness, until the youngest not unfrequently rules the whole family, father and mother included.CG 140.2

    The disposition formed by this sort of training cannot be laid aside as the child matures to riper judgment. It grows with his growth, and what might have appeared cunning in the baby, becomes contemptible and wicked in the man or woman. They seek to rule over their associates; and if any refuse to yield to their wishes, they consider themselves aggrieved and insulted. This is because they have been indulged to their injury in youth, instead of being taught the self-denial necessary to bear the hardships and toils of life.5Testimonies For The Church 4:200, 201.CG 140.3

    Do Not Foster Love of Praise—Children need appreciation, sympathy, and encouragement; but care should be taken not to foster in them a love of praise.... The parent or teacher who keeps in view the true ideal of character and the possibilities of achievement cannot cherish or encourage self-sufficiency. He will not encourage in the youth the desire or effort to display their ability or proficiency. He who looks higher than himself will be humble, yet he will possess a dignity that is not abashed or disconcerted by outward display or human greatness.6Education, 237.CG 141.1

    Encourage Simplicity in Diet and Dress—Parents have a sacred duty to perform in teaching their children to help bear the burdens of the home, to be content with plain and simple food, and neat and inexpensive dress.7Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 158.CG 141.2

    Oh, that mothers and fathers would realize their responsibility and accountability before God! What a change would take place in society! Children would not be spoiled by being praised and petted, or made vain by indulgence in dress.8The Review and Herald, April 13, 1897.CG 141.3

    Teach Simplicity and Trust—We should teach our children lessons in simplicity and trust. We should teach them to love, and fear, and obey their Creator. In all the plans and purposes of life His glory should be held paramount; His love should be the mainspring of every action.9The Review and Herald, June 13, 1882.CG 141.4

    Christ Our Example—Jesus, our Redeemer, walked the earth with the dignity of a king; yet He was meek and lowly of heart. He was a light and blessing in every home because He carried cheerfulness, hope, and courage with Him. Oh, that we could be satisfied with less heart-longings, less striving for things difficult to obtain wherewith to beautify our homes, while that which God values above jewels, the meek and quiet spirit, is not cherished. The grace of simplicity, meekness, and true affection would make a paradise of the humblest home. It is better to endure cheerfully every inconvenience than to part with peace and contentment.10Testimonies For The Church 4:622.CG 141.5

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