Parent and Child Vol. III., Child Study and Training
Part 3 out of 3
and through the heart, it has got hold of the will and it has transfigured
the spirit and the whole being. In this way you are certainly teaching
literature; nobody can deny that. You have awakened a new interest. You
lead and inspire the adolescent to share your very best and highest
enthusiasm. After you have done that a few times your pupils will demand
the best; they won't be content with anything poor.
The highest human thing in the end is character, and character is formed
very early, very shortly before the boy leaves the high school. Just how it
is formed I do not know, but I know one thing, that while I cannot tell
anything about how successful a man will be intellectually in life from
what he does in college, or, sometimes, I cannot tell very much about how
large he will grow mentally, I know that boy will not rise very much higher
morally than he stands in college when you send him there. If, then, he has
secured a moral training and influence, I firmly believe he will stay so.
If he does not come to us in that shape the probability is that he never
will change for the good, but if he is filthy he will remain filthy still.
His character is made very largely in the high school.
How can you reach it? I think you can reach it a good deal through
literature. I do not see how anybody can read Mr. Hawthorne or Mr. Emerson,
and not long to be a gentleman, and feel as if he would like to be worthy
to kiss the hem of the garment of those literary gentlemen. You can read
history. You can make history a dreary chronicle. You can learn of kings
who never ought to have been born, and when they died, when they ought to
have been dead fifty years before, and all the long list of battles fought
which never ought to have been fought. You can make it just such a weary
chronicle. You do not, nowadays, thank fortune; I have seen teachers that
did. Or you can make that history the Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews, and you
can write your own Eleventh Chapter of Hebrews, if you will, for that
chapter never was intended to be finished; and if you cannot add to it with
your pioneer history of those who fought their way across the plains here
fifty or more years ago, then you are teaching history to mighty little
effect to this generation here in Utah. The whole story is just this, if
you can saturate your pupils with the character of just such men and women
as that, then you have trained a generation of heroes and nobody can spoil
That is what, it seems to me, Mr. Martineau means in that dark passage, "We
shall never have a proper system of education until we have a proper
religion." We are a good deal lacking in the study of the Bible nowadays.
We go to it to prove the text, to "break the scales" of our adversaries,
and for other purposes. I do not use it for that purpose myself. If you
will read that old book until you can walk the street arm in arm with
Gideon and David and Jepthah and old Samson, too, yes, heaven bless him,
and Moses and Samuel, the prophets, then we are reading it to some purpose.
Until you know them all as your best friends, you have not begun to read
that book; for that is what it was intended for. The Bible is an advanced
text book of biology, the science of life. If you will train your boys and
girls to walk the streets and live with the heroes of the world, make them
form an intimate friendship with them, then you have trained those boys and
girls to be heroes themselves.
Did you ever try reading to them the defense which old Socrates makes,
which Plato wrote down for us? I do not know whether Socrates ever said it,
but it was worthy of him. Read it to your boys and girls some day. See what
they say about the Apology. And read the Crito. Let them sit with Socrates
in his prison there on the hillside and listen to his discussion, until, as
he says, he hears the voice of the law ringing in his ears and he cannot
hear anything else, and stays on to die. When the prison door is opened for
him to walk out, provided he would walk out with dishonor, he will not go.
Let them see the old hero die in Athens as the sun goes down. You have not
only awakened a new interest, you have evoked a higher life, and that is
what we are after, that is what you and I are here for, that is the only
way in the end to beat the record. That is the essential power of great
leaders, of great prophets, and of great teachers, and the seat of it is in
I don't know what I am talking about there either, for personality defies
analysis and it defies resistance. It leaps from soul to soul just like an
infection. We hear a great deal about the infectiousness of bad things and
people are always talking about infectious disease and of corrupting
influences in the world and all that sort of thing. Do you suppose the Lord
has made this world so that everything that is bad is contagious and
everything that is good is not contagious? Are you going to slander the
Lord like that? It is about time that we wake up to the fact that the real
genuine article of goodness is a good deal more contagious than smallpox.
Heroism and hero-worship is the central thought of history from the time of
Gideon to the time of Sheridan, and down to our present time. Virtue, we
must remember, should strike just like electricity from a dynamo. You
remember that was the continual word of that Great Master of ours. Someone
in the crowd has touched me, Virtue has gone over into somebody else.
Virtue has gone out of me; strength has gone out of me and gone over into
somebody else. I am talking about something that I do not understand; but
something that you will know. Have you never, at the close of the day, when
you were tired, discouraged, wondered whether it is worth while to keep up
the fight? When you had been knocked flat and were pretty sure you were
out, and then you sat down for a little time by some strong man or strong
woman, and probably they did not say a great deal to you. They were men and
women of few words, and you did not say a great deal to them, but after a
little it began to come upon you that come what would you would fight
again? Courage had come into you. You do not know where it came from, or
how it came in, but you borrowed it and you go on your way the stronger
because of the infection from that strong man.
We must be healthy and strong and sympathetic. We must be a child with the
child and a boy with the boy, and yet we must lead and not follow. We must
be firm and patient and hopeful and courageous, and we must infect these
boys and girls with the very best that we have in us and something that is
a little better yet, and how are we going to get it? Why, we must be
continually infected from others; that is the only way. I don't care how
big your reservoir is, your irrigation reservoir, if there isn't a stream
going into it, it is going to be empty sometime. Look out for the streams
which come in from the hills and the heights of glory into your lives.
This is the glory of our life and our work. You are making the youth of the
twentieth century, as I said to you, and you are doing something grander;
for every bit of good that you give here in Utah will spread back to us in
Massachusetts and you are moulding the race into conformity with that which
is deepest and most permanent and most eternal in environment, and hence
all the powers of Nature are on your side.
"We are two," said Abbe Bacha to Mahomet, as they were plodding from Mecca
to Medina. "No," answered Mahomet, "We are three. God is with us." We cast
in our efforts with this grand tide of events which is sweeping on toward a
better age and better race, and we cannot fail. Therefore, let us gird up
our loins, be strong and of a very good courage; for, as I have said to you
once before, you shall lead these little people into the land of hope and
promise which the Lord swore unto their ancestors, their fathers, that He
would surely give them.
_The Adolescent, or High School Age_
Read carefully the foregoing lecture on "Growth During the High School
Age," by Dr. Tyler, for all these succeeding lessons.
ATHLETIC NEEDS OF BOYS AND GIRLS
1. What steps have ever been taken in your community to provide for proper
athletic sports for the young? What success came of these efforts?
2. Give two reasons why wholesome physical recreation is necessary for
3. What games and sports do you consider best for boys? For girls? Why?
4. What dangers come from uncontrolled athletics?
5. What do you think about the value of school athletics that develop only
6. What can be done, (1) by the parents, (2) by communities,
(a) To provide for wholesome games and sports for all the children?
(b) To provide proper leadership and supervision of these things?
(c) To regulate the excesses and check evils of the athletic spirit?
(d) To provide proper places in which to play?
1. During what years does the desire to be with "the crowd" manifest itself
most strongly in boys and girls?
2. What difficulties come to the parents in the management of boys and
girls during this time?
3. In what ways can parents best exercise control over the companionships
of their children during this vital period?
4. In what ways can the social needs of boys and girls be provided for in
5. How far can and should parents go in participating in the pastimes of
their children? What can be done to keep up the spirit of companionship
between parents and children?
6. What can communities do to put down the "street corner" habits and the
"hoodlumism" that comes of the boy gangs?
7. What pastimes and practices can be fostered to bring about a
higher-minded companionship among young people?
KEEPING OUR BOYS AND GIRLS AT HOME
1. What are the first indications that our home is losing its hold upon our
boy? Our girl?
2. What influences are at work in each instance?
3. Is it because conditions outside the home offer more, or is the home
offering less of that which the boy or girl desires?
4. When you find your boy going to the pool room do you throw his deck of
cards into the fire and advise him as to what will happen if he attempts to
use such things in or about the house?
5. When your girl shows a preference for taking her leisure at Smith's or
Brown's rather than at home, do you at once adopt a code of rules and
proceed to make emphatic statements as to your intention to enforce those
rules and also to impose certain penalties?
6. Did it ever occur to you that "desire" may be diverted, but that it
cannot be destroyed?
7. Is it not best to divert by substitution rather than by prohibition?
Also to substitute in kind as near as may be?
8. What are you doing in your home to satisfy the desire which takes your
boy or girl to the neighbors or the public places?
9. What share are you taking in the interests of the growing boy or girl?
10. Parents, are you companionable? Do you get into the boy or girl's field
of discussion? Do you talk _with them_ rather than _to them_? Do you get
into their games, their troubles, their pleasures, their life?
1. What certain acts or omissions entitle a boy to be classified as
2. The first sign of waywardness is the breaking of what commandment, if
3. Under any condition would you let your boy know that you considered him
4. Should your regard for, as shown by your treatment of the wayward boy,
differ in the slightest degree from your regard for your treatment of the
circumspect, dutiful, and obliging boy?
5. Does the worst tendency of the boy call for any more from us than mere
6. Is not the boy's worst offence a bad form of satisfying a good desire?
7. What is your method of dealing with your boy? Is it "Never do that" or
"Better to do this?"
8. Do you ever undertake to show the boy how much more of the thing he is
after he can get out of a method that is all around helpful than one that
is all around harmful.
9. How would it do to substitute jointly planned "Do's" for unqualified
10. In almost every instance can you not justly ascribe the boy's
waywardness to an unnatural companionship on your part or to no
companionship at all?
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IN BOYS AND GIRLS
"_Training the Child in the Way He Should Go_"
1. Quote from the Doctrine and Covenants a passage wherein parents are
admonished as to their duty in teaching the Gospel to their children.
2. Give three first steps in religious training in children.
3. What difficulties and successes have you, as parents, met with in
cultivating your little ones? proper habits in prayer, in attendance to
Sunday School and in other religious duties? To what do you ascribe your
success or failure?
4. At what age do boys and girls grow most careless as regards religion?
(Study the statistics of your Sabbath School on this point.)
5. Is it true that our religious training fails most just at the point
where the boy and girl are in greatest need of it? What are the causes of
6. What can and must parents do to reinforce the Sunday School and our
other organizations in their efforts to guide the boy and girl safely
during their teens? during the critical periods of life?
LIFE LESSONS DURING THE WAYWARD AGE
1. Show, by citing examples from history, that youth is a period of strong
religious tendencies. What can be done to keep the "dreams of youth" on
2. What stories? what lessons? to boys and girls at this time? What books
appeal most impressively to boys and girls at this time?
3. Recalling the things that left deepest impress on you for good or ill
during the period of "the teens," what advice would you give as to
cultivating in a child right feelings for religion?
4. Wherein do we as religious teachers most fail to get the boy or girl?
5. In what way should the Bible be taught during this age?
6. What individual work with boys and girls can and should be done by
parents and teachers to guide the children past the dangerous places?
TEMPTATIONS OF BOYS AND GIRLS
1. What are the commandments children are likely to break first?
2. In what ways are homes often responsible for habits of lying, stealing,
profaning the name of God, and other sins?
3. How are the seeds of impurity often sown by thoughtless parents in the
home? Discuss here the vulgar story, and other evil suggestions.
4. What loose habits in companionship and courtship are being permitted by
parents to lead their children into evil?
5. By what effective means can parents co-operate to check the looseness
and rudeness and sinful practice that blight our homes and communities?
REFERENCE BOOKS FOR PARENTS' CLASSES
The following list of books will be found very helpful in this Study of
Children. The Public Library should provide these books for the parents, or
the class may be able gradually to build up such a library for class use.
These can be bought at the Deseret Sunday School Union, Salt Lake City,
1. A Study of Child Nature, Elizabeth Harrison, National Kindergarten
College, Chicago, Ill. $1.25
2. Religious Education in the Family, H.F. Cope, University of Chicago
3. The Right of the Child to be Well Born, Dawson, Funk & Wagnalls, New
4. The Jukes Edwards Family, Winship. $1.20.
5. The Meaning of Infancy, Fiske, Houghton, Mifffin Co., Boston. $.35.
6. Education, Herbert Spencer. $.75
7. Fundamentals of Child Study, Kirkpatrick, Macmillan Co. $1.25.
8. Elementary Psychology, Phillips, Ginn & Co., Chicago. $1.25.
9. The Care of the Child in Health, Oppenheim, Macmillan Co. $1.00
10. The Healthy Baby, Dennett, The Macmillan Co. $1.00.
11. The Care of the Baby, Holt. $.75.
12. The Child and His Religion, Dawson, University of Chicago Press. $.75.
13. Child Nature and Child Nurture, St. John, Pilgrim Press. $.50.
14. The Problem of Boyhood, Johnson, University of Chicago Press. $1.00.
15. The Function of the Family and the Recovery of the Home, American
Baptist Pub. Soc. Each, $.15.
16. The Dawn of Character, Mumford, Longsman, Green & Co. $1.20.
17. Peril and Preservation of the Home, Jacob Riis, Jacobs Co.,
18. Training of the Girl and Training of the Boy, McKeever, Macmillan.
19. The Moral Conditions and Development of the Child, Wright, Jennings
& Graham. $.75.
20. Marriage and Genetics, Reed, Galton Press, Cincinnati, Ohio. $1.00.
21. The Coming Generation, Forbush, D. Appleton & Co., New York. $1.50.
22. Stories and Story Telling, St. John Eaton and Main. $.35.
23. Our Child Today and Tomorrow, Grunenburg, Lippincott. $1.25.
24. Misunderstood Children, Harrison. $1.23.
25. Town and City, Jewett, Ginn & Co. $.50.
26. After Twenty Years, Middleton. $1.25.
27. Training of the Human Plant, Burbank. $.60.
28. Education, Resources of Rural and Village Communities, J.K. Mart $1.00.
29. Being Well Born, Guyer. $1.00.
30. Growth in Education, Dr. John M. Tyler, Houghton, Mifflin Co. $1.50.
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