Child Guidance


Chapter 18—Neatness, Order, and Regularity

Cultivate Order and Taste—The cultivation of order and taste is an important part of the education of children.... CG 110.1

As the guardian and teacher of your children, you are in duty bound to do every little thing in the home with nicety and in order. Teach your children the invaluable lesson of keeping their clothing tidy. Keep your own clothing clean and sweet and respectable.... CG 110.2

You are under obligation to God always to be patterns of propriety in your home.... Remember that in heaven there is no disorder, and that your home should be a heaven here below. Remember that in doing faithfully from day to day the little things to be done in the home, you are a laborer together with God, perfecting a Christian character.1 CG 110.3

Bear in mind, parents, that you are working for the salvation of your children. If your habits are correct, if you reveal neatness and order, virtue and righteousness, sanctification of soul, body, and spirit, you respond to the words of the Redeemer, “Ye are the light of the world.”2 CG 110.4

Train in Habits of Neatness—Every family is required to be trained in habits of neatness, cleanliness, and thoroughness. We who profess to believe the truth must make manifest to the world that the principles of truth and righteousness do not make people coarse, rough, untidy, and disorderly.... CG 110.5

Love for God will be expressed in the family by love for our children. Genuine love will not let them drift into slackness and untidiness, because this is the easiest way; but from the pure example set before them by the parents, by the loving but inflexible firmness in cultivating industrious habits, they will educate their children after the same order.3 CG 111.1

Teach Children to Care for Clothing—Begin early to teach the little ones to take care of their clothing. Let them have a place to lay their things away and be taught to fold every article neatly and put it in its place. If you cannot afford even a cheap bureau, use a dry-goods box, fitting it with shelves and covering it with some bright, pretty-figured cloth. This work of teaching neatness and order will take a little time each day, but it will pay in the future of your children, and in the end will save you much time and care.4 CG 111.2

To Keep Own Room Tidy—If the children have a room which they know is their own, and if they are taught how to keep it tidy and make it pleasant, they will have a sense of ownership—they will feel that they have within the home a home of their own, and will have a satisfaction in keeping it neat and nice. The mother will necessarily have to inspect their work and make suggestions and give instruction. This is the mother's work.5 CG 111.3

To Have Regular Hours for Sleep—How prevalent is the habit of turning day into night, and night into day. Many youth sleep soundly in the morning, when they should be up with the early singing birds and be stirring when all nature is awake.6 CG 111.4

Some youth are much opposed to order and discipline. They do not respect the rules of the home by rising at a regular hour. They lie in bed some hours after daylight, when everyone should be astir. They burn the midnight oil, depending upon artificial light to supply the place of the light that nature has provided at seasonable hours. In so doing they not only waste precious opportunities, but cause additional expense. But in almost every case the plea is made, “I cannot get through my work; I have something to do; I cannot retire early.” ... The precious habits of order are broken, and the moments thus idled away in the early morning set things out of course for the whole day. CG 111.5

Our God is a God of order, and He desires that His children shall will to bring themselves into order and under His discipline. Would it not be better, therefore, to break up this habit of turning night into day, and the fresh hours of the morning into night? If the youth would form habits of regularity and order, they would improve in health, in spirits, in memory, and in disposition. CG 112.1

It is the duty of all to observe strict rules in their habits of life. This is for your own good, dear youth, both physically and morally. When you rise in the morning, take into consideration, as far as possible, the work you must accomplish during the day. If necessary, have a small book in which to jot down the things that need to be done, and set yourself a time in which to do your work.7 CG 112.2