Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Teaching Lessons of Helpfulness

Life is not given to be spent in idleness and self-pleasing. Great possibilities have been placed before everyone who will develop his God-given capabilities. For this reason the training of the young is a matter of highest importance. Every child born into the home is a sacred trust. God says to the parents, “Take this child, and bring it up for Me, that it may be an honor to My name, and a channel through which My blessings shall flow to the world.” To fit the child for such a life, something more is called for than a partial, one-sided education which shall develop the mental at the expense of the physical powers. All the faculties of mind and body need to be developed; and this is the work which parents, aided by the teacher, are to do for the children and youth placed under their care. CT 145.1

The first lessons are of great importance. It is customary to send very young children to school. They are required to study from books things that tax their young minds, and often they are taught music. Frequently the parents have but limited means, and an expense is incurred which they can ill afford, but everything must be made to bend to this artificial line of education. This course is not wise. A nervous child should not be overtaxed in any direction and should not learn music until he is physically well developed. CT 145.2

The mother should be the teacher, and home the school where every child receives his first lessons; and these lessons should include habits of industry. Mothers, let the little ones play in the open air; let them listen to the songs of the birds, and learn the love of God as expressed in His beautiful works. Teach them simple lessons from the book of nature and the things about them; and as their minds expand, lessons from books may be added and firmly fixed in their memory. But let them also learn, even in their earliest years, to be useful. Train them to think that, as members of the household, they are to act a disinterested, helpful part in sharing the domestic burdens and to seek healthful exercise in the performance of necessary home duties. CT 145.3

It is essential for parents to find useful employment for their children, which will involve the bearing of responsibilities as their age and strength will permit. The children should be given something to do that will not only keep them busy, but will interest them. The active hands and brains must be employed from the earliest years. If parents neglect to turn their children's energies into useful channels, they do them great injury, for Satan is ready to find them something to do.... CT 146.1