I LOVE my job as a homemaker. I view it as my commission, my calling, my sacred duty. I see my home-centered influence shaping generations and in turn, shaping the very history of mankind.
Over the years I have collected a number books in keeping with my mission, books like "American Woman's Home" by Catherine Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe (copywrite 1869) and "Home and Health" which was "prepared and edited by a competent committee of home-makers and physicians" in 1907. These books are filled with wisdom, encouraging women to excel in the business of keeping their homes, loving their husbands and raising their children. They view the world through the lens of the family and an understanding that the family directs the nation, which in turn, directs the history of the world.
Thumbing through Home and Health, I came across Don't for Parents. Although considered old-fashioned and outdated by today's standards, think of how our society, our nation, would look if we but adhered to these few simple rules.....
Don't for Parents
- Don't train your baby to cry for everything in sight, or he will soon learn the value of tears.
- Don't neglect early training in orderly habits.
- Don't allow demonstrations of temper. Screaming, kicking, and striking need never be struggled with if "nipped in the bud".
- Don't allow "whining" or "teasing".
- Don't fail to express sympathy when the child is in trouble. Sympathy is soothing.
- Don't tolerate talebearing. It breeds selfishness.
- Don't criticize and punish first, and investigate later. Injustice inflicts a deep wound.
- Don't offer bribes. Teach obedience from principle.
- Don't push the little ones from you for fear of their soiling a pretty gown. Sometime you may long for their caresses.
- Don't fail to fulfill all promises. This will instill confidence.
- Don't give opportunity for the children to question your justice.
- Don't fail to be kind and considerate. Kindness is a mighty conqueror.
- Don't neglect forming the acquaintance of your children's playmates and companions.
- Don't try to frighten your children into obedience by telling them ghostly tales, or shutting them up in a dark place.
- Don't fail to require good manners at the table. Habits early formed will stay by children through life.
- Don't use language that you would blush to hear your children repeat.
- Don't manifest partiality toward any one of your children. They are keen observers.
- Don't look for polite answers from your littles ones if you fail in this respect. They are excellent imitators.
- Don't treat your girls and boys in such a careless way that they will bestow their confidence elsewhere. When you lose that, you lose your stronghold.
- Don't put everything up out of the reach of the baby finger. An understanding that some things are not to be touched will be a good lesson in self-control.
- Don't turn a child off with an evasive answer when he is seeking special information. He will get it elsewhere.
- Don't deceive yourself by thinking that your children will grow up to be gentlemen and ladies unless you treat them as such.
- Don't frown and scold the children continually and expect them to be sweet-tempered.
- Don't feel above making an apology if you have wronged your child. This is one way of establishing confidence.
- Don't permit your children to stay with their playmates overnight. Be fearful of their learning lessons of impurity.
- Don't fail to instill honor and truthfulness into their young hearts, by example as well as by precept. To do this under all circumstances requires courage, but it pays.
Oh, if we were to turn from the things of the world and become the keepers of our homes, we would surely change our families, our nation and our future.