The true test of the success of any education is its efficiency in giving full use of the moral and intellectual faculties wherewith to meet the duties and the struggles of life, and not by the variety of knowledge acquired. The development of the powers of the mind and its cultivation are the work of a teacher; moral training is the work of the mother, and commences long before one word of precept can be understood. Children should be early taught to regard the rights of others, that they may early learn the rights which property confers and not entertain confused ideas upon this subject.
FORMATION OF HABITS.
Virtue is the child of good habits, and the formation of habits may be said to almost constitute the whole work of education. The mother can create habits which shall mold character and enable the mind to maintain that habitual sense of duty which gives command over the passions, and power to fight temptation, and which makes obedience to principle comparatively easy, under most circumstances. The social and domestic life are marred by habits which have grown into a second nature. It is not in an occasional act of civility that the charm of either home or society consists, but in continued practice of courtesy and respect for the rights and feelings of those around us. Whatever may be the precepts for a home, the practices of the fireside will give form to the habits. Parents who indulge in gossip, scandal, slander and tale-telling, will rear children possessing the same tastes and deteriorating habits. A parent’s example outlines the child’s character. It sinks down deep into his heart and influences his whole life for good or for evil. A parent should carefully avoid speaking evil of others, and should never exhibit faults requiring the mantle of charity to cover. A parent’s example should be such as to excite an abhorrence of evil speaking, of tattling and of uncharitable construction of the motives of others. Let the mother begin the proper training of her children in early life and she will be able to so mold their characters that not only will they acquire the habit of bridling the tongue, but they will learn to avoid the presence of the slanderer as they do a deadly viper.
POLITENESS AT HOME.
Genuine politeness is a great fosterer of domestic love, and those who are habitually polished at home are those who exhibit good manners when abroad. When parents receive any little attention from their children, they should thank them for it. They should ask a favor only in a courteous way; never reply to questions in monosyllables, or indulge in the rudeness of paying no attention to a question, for such an example will be surely followed by the children. Parents sometimes thoughtlessly allow their children to form habits of disrespect in the home circle, which crop out in the bad manners that are found in society.