Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students


Parents to Strengthen the Teacher's Hands

The teacher should not be left to carry the burden of his work alone. He needs the sympathy, the kindness, the co-operation, and the love of every church member. The parents should encourage the teacher by showing that they appreciate his efforts. Never should they say or do anything that will encourage insubordination in their children. But I know that many parents do not co-operate with the teacher. They do not foster in the home the good influence exerted in the school. Instead of carrying out in the home the principles of obedience taught in the school, they allow their children to do as they please, to go hither and thither without restraint. And if the teacher exercises authority in requiring obedience, the children carry to their parents an exaggerated, distorted account of the way in which they have been dealt with. The teacher may have done only that which it was his painful duty to do; but the parents sympathize with their children, even though they are in the wrong. And often those parents who themselves rule in anger are the most unreasonable when their children are restrained and disciplined in school. CT 153.3

There are church members who have been quick to catch up unkind suppositions and to speak disparagingly of the teacher before other church members and even in the presence of the children. Some have talked freely and bitterly concerning a teacher without clearly understanding the difficulty of which they were speaking. This should not be. The one who thinks that a teacher has done wrong should follow the directions given in the word: “If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.” Matthew 18:15. Until this has been done, no one is justified in telling others of a brother's mistakes. CT 154.1

Parents, when the church-school teacher tries so to train and discipline your children that they may gain eternal life, do not in their presence criticize his actions, even though you may think him too severe. If you desire them to give their hearts to the Saviour, co-operate with the teacher's efforts for their salvation. How much better it is for children, instead of hearing criticism, to hear from the lips of their mother words of commendation regarding the work of the teacher. Such words make lasting impressions and influence the children to respect the teacher. CT 154.2

We are not to concern ourselves so much about the course that others are following, as about the course that we ourselves are following. If the children attending a church school do not improve in manners, the parents should not unduly blame the teacher. Rather they should closely examine themselves to see if they are such teachers as God can approve. In many cases children are greatly neglected in the home and are more disorderly there than they are in the school. If children who for years have been left to follow their own inclinations and desires are not led by the efforts of the teacher to live Christlike lives, shall the parents, because of this, set in circulation unkind criticisms concerning the teacher? CT 155.1

God's method of government is an example of how children are to be trained. There is no oppression in the Lord's service, and there is to be no oppression in the home or in the school. Yet neither parents nor teachers should allow disregard of their word to pass unnoticed. Should they neglect to correct the children for doing wrong, God will hold them accountable for their neglect. But let them be sparing of censure. Let kindness be the law of the home and of the school. Let the children be taught to keep the law of the Lord, and let a firm, loving influence restrain them from evil. CT 155.2

Parents should remember that much more will be accomplished by the work of the church school if they themselves realize the advantage that their children will obtain in such a school, and unite wholeheartedly with the teacher. By prayer, by patience, by forbearance, parents can undo much of the wrong caused by impatience and unwise indulgence. Let parents and teacher take hold of the work together, the parents remembering that they themselves will be helped by the presence in the community of an earnest, God-fearing teacher. CT 155.3

Parents, make every effort in your power to place your children in the most favorable situation for forming the character that God wants them to form. Use every spiritual sinew and muscle in the effort to save your little flock. The powers of hell will unite for its destruction, but God will lift up for you a standard against the enemy. Pray much more than you do. Lovingly, tenderly, teach your children to come to God as their heavenly Father. By your example teach them self-control and helpfulness. Tell them that Christ lived not to please Himself. CT 156.1

Gather up the rays of divine light that are shining upon your pathway. Walk in the light as Christ is in the light. As you take hold of the work of helping your children to serve God, the most provoking trials will come; but do not lose your hold; cling to Jesus. He says, “Let him take hold of My strength, that he may make peace with Me; and he shall make peace with Me.” Isaiah 27:5. Difficulties will arise; you will meet with obstacles; but look constantly to Jesus. When an emergency arises, ask, Lord, what shall I do now? If you refuse to fret or scold, the Lord will show you the way. He will help you to use the talent of speech in so Christlike a way that peace and love will reign in the home. By following a consistent course of action, you may be evangelists in the home, ministers of grace to your children. CT 156.2