Child Guidance


Section 6—Lessons in Practical Virtues

Chapter 20—Helpfulness

Teach the Children to Be Helpful—In the home school the children should be taught how to perform the practical duties of everyday life. While they are still young, the mother should give them some simple task to do each day. It will take longer for her to teach them how than it would to do it herself, but let her remember that she is to lay for their character building the foundation of helpfulness. Let her remember that the home is a school in which she is the head teacher. It is hers to teach her children how to perform the duties of the household quickly and skillfully. As early in life as possible they should be trained to share the burdens of the home. From childhood boys and girls should be taught to bear heavier and still heavier burdens, intelligently helping in the work of the family firm.1 CG 119.1

Overlook Childish Mistakes—Thousands in their own homes are left almost uneducated. “It is so much trouble,” says the mother. “I would rather do these things myself; it is such a trouble; you bother me.” CG 119.2

Does not mother remember that she herself had to learn in jots and tittles before she could be helpful? It is a wrong to children to refuse to teach them little by little. Keep these children with you. Let them ask questions, and in patience answer them. Give your little children something to do, and let them have the happiness of supposing they help you. CG 119.3

There must be no repulsing of your children when trying to do proper things. If they make mistakes, if accidents happen and things break, do not blame them. Their whole future life depends upon the education you give them in their childhood years. Teach them that all their faculties of body and mind were given to them to use, and that all are the Lord's, pledged to His service. To some of these children the Lord gives an early intimation of His will. Parents and teachers, begin early to teach the children to cultivate their God-given faculties.2 CG 119.4

Let Children Share Home Burdens—Make the life of your children pleasant, and at the same time teach them to be obedient and helpful, bearing small burdens as you bear larger ones. Educate them to habits of industry, so that the enemy will not make a workshop of their minds. Give your children something to think of, something to do, that they may be fitted for usefulness in this life and in the future life.3 CG 120.1

From their earliest years they should be trained to carry their share of the home burdens. They should be taught that obligations are mutual. They should also be taught to work quickly and neatly. This education will be of the greatest value to them in after years.4 CG 120.2

Each member of the family should understand just the part he is expected to act in union with the others. All, from the child six years old and upward, should understand that it is required of them to bear their share of life's burdens.5 CG 120.3

A Source of Experience and Pleasure—How important that fathers and mothers should give their children, from their very babyhood, the right instruction. They are to teach them to obey the command, “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” And the children as they grow in years are to appreciate the care that their parents have given them. They are to find their greatest pleasure in helping father and mother.6 CG 120.4

A Charm May Surround the Humblest Employment—If children were taught to regard the humble round of everyday duties as the course marked out for them by the Lord, as a school in which they were to be trained to render faithful and efficient service, how much more pleasant and honorable would their work appear. To perform every duty as unto the Lord throws a charm around the humblest employment and links the workers on earth with the holy beings who do God's will in heaven. And in our appointed place we should discharge our duties with as much faithfulness as do the angels in their higher sphere.7 CG 121.1