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At most, a paler cheek than usual is all the bad effect of a fit of crying, and it is better to see a cheek quite pale, than a will thoroughly refractory.
However, a prudent and good mother will always remember, that there is a difference to be observed in the correction of her infant, and the other children. It has been observed in a former chapter, that opportunities should as seldom as possible be afforded the little child for seeing what he ought not to possess, or for disliking what he ought to submit to; this last can only be effected by habit. The struggles of Will cannot then be frequent; and when they are put forth, they may be the more easily quieted. “Be a good child, and I will take you again,” the mother says to the screaming infant. To an elder child she might in a few minutes call out, “ are you good now ?"* “ Yes,” or “ no," will be answered, and she may judge accordingly. The infant not being able to make any answer, she may let it cry for one minute, courageously taking no notice whatever of it. This conduct does not fail to strike a babe who has been accustomed to attention, soothing care, and tenderness : he screams louder, the minute is elapsed; the
* The writer has many times heard more than one little child stop her loud cries to listen to her mother, who asked her this question : “ Have you done crying, and will you be good ?” The little one has sometimes begun to scream again, but at others, has answered, “ No, I am not good.” “ Then you must stay there (in a corner of the room, or on the floor, or on the bed) until you are." When tired, the same child has called out, “ I am good now." Upon which the mother has most joyfully gone immediately to take ber child into favour,
mother may rise gently, but in 'a détermined manner, and not as if to coax and caress him, advance, and quietly repeat what she has before said, and then add, " Are you good ?" If there is a cessation of crying for even half a second, she may take him into her arms, dry his little face, but not kiss or smile upon him, or seal his pardon till the noise has quite ceased. If it increase, he must be put upon the punishment again, and the whole fatiguing and arduous task be re. commenced, till at length his will is bent, and his submission complete. And then, let her contemplate her work with joy, when sunshine of days and weeks follows that gloomy five minutes. When genuine obedience meets her commands, and a sound and healthy peace crowns her victory! The judgment of the wisest mortal has taught hier to chasten her son while she had hope, and not to let her soul abandon its trust because of his crying, and she has fulfilled this trying duty. The most humane judge on the bench, passing sentence of death on his fellow creatures, has not so heartrending a duty to perform, as the mother who has to correct and chasten the child she fondly loves. She could give a thousand tears for one from those pretty eyes, and in the very act of imposing awe by the grave determination of her feature, she has an heart overflowing with tenderness and concern for his state, which the whole energy of mind and strong sense of duty are hardly able to keep under restraint. This is the parent who really deserves
she performs it! This is true merit, and such is truly an act of duty : for rigid duty is the sacrifice of individual feelings at the shrine of equity and truth; and what act is more noble in the performance than this ? Where is the merit of fulfilling any of the pleasing kind, which we, however, are too ready to take merit for doing ? To love children, husband, dearest friends, is called a duty. It should be rather esteemed a pleasure of existence. Let us but consider this love operating in the correction of a naughty child ; in the forbearance and obedience of a woman to an ill-tempered husband ; and in the pointing out to a beloved friend his faults. The pleasure changes to duty ; but the approbation of conscience, from duty fulfilled (whether success attend our efforts or not), gives back a sweet satisfaction which almost compensates for the pain and uneasiness of correction, contrary to feeling. It is our duty to give to those who who are in need. Let a man who has fifty pounds in his purse give away a penny. What merit has he ? Behold the generous Sidney, in the agonies of a shattered frame, parched with thirst, and yet giving away to a poor soldier the draught of water which had with difficulty been procured for himself. Is there merit here? There is indeed, and of the highest kind, and duty more than fulfilled. May the hint be sufficient to encourage a mother whose firmness begins to forsake her when she . most needs it ; in a struggle with her offspring.
" COCKER THY CHILD, AND HE SHALL MAKE THE AFRAID." " IT
THOU GIVEST THY SOUL THE DESIRES THAT PLEASE HER, SHE WILL MAKE THEE A LAUGHING-STOCK TO TNINE ENEMIES THAT MALIGN THEE."
- FORBEARANCE is so hard, especially for a lively child to practice, that on a mother's observing the least approach to this noble virtue, she should never fail to commend her little one. When his mouth is opened to call, or scream for something that he has been refused, or his hand raised to throw something at the head of any person who has offended him; when, at this moment, he glances at his parent, and, seeing her eye steadily and gravely fixed on him, he swallows down his tears and drops his arm, a mother may take him to her bosom, and lavish upon him those tender marks of affection which she feels she may lawfully give; but on no account must she grant him the in. dulgence which he has thought proper to require, and she to deny, or he will assuredly think the act of forbearance but a lengthened road to the triumph of sovereign will, and thus will learn duplicity and artifice, accept of undeserved praise, and rule over her at last. But, on the other hand, if she has said, on hearing him cry for something, “ You shall not have it till you leave off crying,” or “ if you do cry," then she must
keep to the letter of her agreement, if he leave off crying in consequence, or if he stop short in his intention. “ See, mamma, I am not crying,” said a little girl to her mother, who had declared that if she did cry she should not do something she wished, but the eyes of this child were full to their brims with tears, and the lips almost convulsively trembled with the effort to smile. The effort was strong, but it was only momentary; the tears did not pass the boundary ; the mouth recovered its pleasing expression, the mother smiled, and the smile was reflected in her little girl's face. She actually did not shed one tear; and she was rewarded. Oh, who can say that in times like these, in any period, it matters nothing to strive thus with children that they may strive with themselves ? Who will pronounce that those lessons which shallearly in life prepare the body for restrictions, which the soul, the nobler part of man, acknowledges to be indispensable in its progress to eternity, are not most important, most wise, and most salutary? The legislator and the moralist agree here, and I could go further, but the moment for doing so is not yet ar. rived. Surely, then, the parents will not by their negligent practice dispute the question; for what avails it if its merit lie before them, if they acknowledge it not by this conduct ? A man who is told a piece of silver is buried in his garden, hastens to dig it up himself, or to employ others to do so. A parent who is assured that such and such good results will spring from such and such practice, one would imagine would be equally eager to search for them. If he do not, with such conviction on his mind, make the at