Every day little Charles became more and more the object of cherished hopes and affections. The hearts of the parents were bound up in him. He became their idol. His wants, real and imaginary, were all met. His danger was of being spoiled by too much indulgence.
“I believe they will kill him with kindness,” was the remark of Ann, a colored woman, who had long lived in the family. “It is just the way Mr. Parsons used to do with his Jim, who never amounted to anything.”
HIS EARLY TRAINING.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Prov. xxii, 6. The proper training of children is of the utmost importance. Upon it to a great extent depend their usefulness and happiness in the world. And as the happiness of parents is so intimately connected with the course of conduct pursued by their children, it should be with them a constant study how they may promote the well-being of their offspring.
On this subject much has been said and written. Some recommend indulgence as the surest way to give a child a good disposition, and to lead to the formation of correct habits. Others urge the necessity of restraint and uncompromising obedience, on the part of children, to the commands of their parents. There may be extremes in both. Children should be taught to fear and love their parents, and to respect their wishes. The government of children should be strictly parental. The parent’s will should be the law of the child. Proper indulgence should be allowed; entire obedience enforced. Parents and children should both remember the words of the apostle: “Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord. Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.” Col. iii, 20, 21.
Mr. and Mrs. Duran were very indulgent to their only child. His wants were met with a liberal hand, and his wishes, as far as possible, gratified. If his desires were not immediately granted, he soon learned that a little crying would accomplish his object.
Improper indulgence begets unlawful desires. Unlawful desires can never be fully satisfied. So it was with Charles Duran: everything he saw, he wanted. When he was not indulged, as he could not be always, he soon showed his bad spirit. Sometimes he pouted out his lips, and had a long fit of the sulks.
Perhaps my readers never saw a child affected with the sulks. I will briefly describe them. First, the eyes begin to roll rapidly in their sockets, and the sight turns upward. The chin falls down a little, and the corners of the mouth are slightly drawn back. The lower lip then rolls down nearly to the chin. Soon a whining commences, which grows louder and louder, and becomes disagreeable to every person present. At the same time the eyes turn red, the face gets out of shape, and the child becomes