Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Making Home Attractive

While many parents err on the side of indulgence, others go to the opposite extreme, and rule their children with a rod of iron. They seem to forget that they themselves were once children. They are dignified, cold, unsympathetic. Childish mirth and waywardness, the restless activity of the young life, find no excuse in their eyes. Trifling misdemeanors are treated as grave sins. Such discipline is not Christlike. Children thus trained fear their parents, but do not love them; they do not confide in them their childish experiences. Some of the most valuable qualities of mind and heart are chilled to death as a tender plant before the wintry blast. CT 113.2

While we are not to indulge blind affection, neither are we to manifest undue severity. Children cannot be brought to the Lord by force. They can be led, but not driven. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,” Christ declares. John 10:27. He does not say, My sheep hear My voice and are forced into the path of obedience. Never should parents cause their children pain by harshness or unreasonable exactions. Harshness drives souls into Satan's net. CT 114.1

Administer the rules of the home in wisdom and love, not with a rod of iron. Children will respond with willing obedience to the rule of love. Commend your children whenever you can. Make their lives as happy as possible. Provide them with innocent amusements. Make the home a Bethel, a holy, consecrated place. Keep the soil of the heart mellow by the manifestation of love and affection, thus preparing it for the seed of truth. Remember that the Lord gives the earth not only clouds and rain, but the beautiful, smiling sunshine, causing the seed to germinate and the blossom to appear. Remember that children need not only reproof and correction, but encouragement and commendation, the pleasant sunshine of kind words. CT 114.2

The home should be to the children the most attractive place in the world, and the mother's presence should be its greatest charm. Children have sensitive, loving natures. They are easily pleased and easily made unhappy. By gentle discipline, in loving words and acts, mothers may bind their children to their hearts. CT 114.3

Above all things, parents should surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and love. A home where love dwells and where it finds expression in looks, in words, in acts, is a place where angels delight to dwell. Parents, let the sunshine of love, cheer, and happy content enter your own hearts, and let its sweet influence pervade the home. Manifest a kindly, forbearing spirit, and encourage the same in your children, cultivating all those graces that will brighten the home life. The atmosphere thus created will be to the children what air and sunshine are to the vegetable world, promoting health and vigor of mind and body. CT 115.1

Instead of sending her children from her that she may not be annoyed by their noise or troubled by their little wants, let the mother plan amusement or light work to employ the active hands and minds. By entering into their feelings and directing their amusements and employments, the mother will gain the confidence of her children; thus she can the more effectually correct wrong habits or check the manifestation of selfishness or passion. A word of caution or reproof spoken at the right time will be of great value. By patient, watchful love she can turn the minds of the children in the right direction, cultivating in them beautiful and attractive traits of character. CT 115.2