All children have to contend with bad qualities that have been inherited. Do not flatter yourself that because the child is yours it will escape temptation; for all must be tempted, if they would be strong. Teach your children, according to their ability to comprehend, all that they should know to be able to shun evil. Do not think that because your child has inherited some moral weakness, you are helpless to teach him to overcome it. You can explain to him his danger and tell him what yielding to the temptations that come to him because of this weakness will lead to. Point out the effect of this sin upon the one from whom it was inherited. Tell the child that the only chance to overcome this inherited tendency will be by constantly avoiding those things that will lead to temptation. You may find the task difficult and you may sometimes feel disheartened, but you must put that wayward child of yours right, if possible, or God will hold you accountable. Perhaps the inherited sin may lie at your own door. If it does, you will understand better how to help him from under its power.
In the public school, on the street, and in his various associations, your child will be exposed to the evil of hearing impure language from vile lips; and if he be not warned, who can blame him for listening? Your home teaching must overbalance all that he hears outside.
Should some question concerning the mysteries of his own body or of his own origin be aroused in his mind by impure stories or by any other cause, you must at once arise to meet the difficulty before harm is done that will be very difficult to overcome. But some mother will say: “I do not know what answer to make my child when he asks questions of such a delicate nature. Would it not be best to leave his mind free from these ideas until he is older?” Doubtless it would, if the child would be contented to wait; but when he has learned enough to ask the question, he is able to tell whether you speak the truth when you say you do not know, and he will not be satisfied by the flimsy pretest, “Oh, run away and don’t bother me; I’m too busy.”