True Education


Chapter 32—Preparation

The child’s first teacher is its mother. During the period of greatest susceptibility and most rapid development the little one’s education is to a great degree in her hands. To her first is given opportunity to mold the character for good or for evil. She should understand the value of her opportunity, and, above every other teacher, should be qualified to use it to the best account. Yet the one whose influence in education is most potent and far-reaching is the one on whom the least systematic effort is focused. TEd 170.1

Too often those to whom the care of the little child is committed are ignorant of its physical needs. They know little of the laws of health or the principles of development. Nor are they better fitted to care for its mental and spiritual growth. They may be qualified to conduct business or to shine in society, they may have made creditable attainments in literature and science, but of the training of a child they have little knowledge. Chiefly because of this lack, especially because of the early neglect of physical development, a large proportion of the human race die in infancy, and of those who reach maturity many find life but a burden. TEd 170.2

On fathers as well as mothers rests a responsibility for the child’s earlier as well as its later training. For both parents the demand for thorough preparation is most urgent. Men and women should become acquainted with the laws of physical development—with physiology and hygiene, with the bearing of prenatal influences, with the laws of heredity, sanitation, dress, exercise, and the treatment of disease. They should also understand the laws of mental development and moral training. TEd 170.3

The Infinite One has counted this work of education so important that messengers from His throne have been sent to a mother-to-be to answer the question, “How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him?” (Judges 13:12, KJV), and to instruct a father concerning the education of a promised son. TEd 171.1