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Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young ebook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 276 pages of information about Gentle Measures in the Management and Training of the Young.

The effect of such methods as these is not only to make the years of childhood pass more pleasantly, but also to prepare them to enter, when the time comes, upon the serious business of life with some considerable portion of that practical wisdom in the management of money which is often, when it is deferred to a later period, acquired only by bitter experience and through much suffering.

Indeed, any parent who appreciates and fully enters into the views presented in this chapter will find, in ordinary cases, that his children make so much progress in business capacity that he can extend the system so as to embrace subjects of real and serious importance before the children arrive at maturity.  A boy, for instance, who has been trained in this way will be found competent, by the time that he is ten or twelve years old, to take the contract for furnishing himself with caps, or boots and shoes, and, a few years later, with all his clothing, at a specified annual sum.  The sum fixed upon in the case of caps, for example, should be intermediate between that which the caps of a boy of ordinary heedlessness would cost, and that which would be sufficient with special care, so that both the father and the son could make money, as it were, by the transaction.  Of course, to manage such a system successfully, so that it could afterwards be extended to other classes of expenses, requires tact, skill, system, patience, and steadiness on the part of the father or mother who should attempt it; but when the parent possesses these qualities, the time and attention that would be required would be as nothing compared with the trouble, the vexation, the endless dissatisfaction on both sides, that attend upon the ordinary methods of supplying children’s wants—­to say nothing of the incalculable benefit to the boy himself of such a training, as a part of his preparation for future life.

Evil Results to be feared.

Nor is it merely upon the children themselves, and that after they enter upon the responsibilities of active life, that the evils resulting from their having had no practical training in youth in respect to pecuniary responsibilities and obligations, that evil consequences will fall.  The great cities are full of wealthy men whose lives are rendered miserable by the recklessness in respect to money which is displayed by their sons and daughters as they advance towards maturity, and by the utter want, on their part, of all sense of delicacy, and of obligation or of responsibility of any kind towards their parents in respect to their pecuniary transactions.  Of course this must, in a vast number of cases, be the result when the boy is brought up from infancy with the idea that the only limit to his supply of money is his ingenuity in devising modes of putting a pressure upon his father.  Fifteen or twenty years spent in managing his affairs on this principle must, of course, produce the fruit naturally to be expected from such seed.

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