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A Solemn Appeal - Ellen G. White

And not only has the

And not only has the physical and mental health of children been endangered by being sent to school at too early a period, but they have been the losers in a moral point of view. They have had opportunities to become acquainted with children who were uncultivated in their manners, They were thrown into the society of the course and rough, who lie, swear, steal, and deceive, and who delight to impart their knowledge of vice to those younger than themselves. Young children, if left to themselves, learn the bad more readily than the good. Bad habits agree best with the natural heart, and the things which they see and hear in infancy and childhood are deeply imprinted upon their minds, and the bad seed sown in their young hearts will take root, and will become sharp thorns to wound the hearts of their parents. During the first six or seven years of a child’s life, special attention should be given to its physical training, rather than the intellect. After this period, if the physical constitution is good, the education of both should receive attention. Infancy extends to the age of six or seven years. Up to this 80

period, children should be left, like little lambs, to roam around the house and in the yards, skipping and jumping in the buoyancy of their spirits, free from care and trouble. Parents, especially mothers, should be the only teachers of such infant minds. They should not educate from books. The children will generally be inquisitive to learn the things of nature. They will ask questions in regard to the things they see and hear, and parents should improve the opportunity to instruct, and patiently answer, these little inquirers. They can in this manner get the advantage of the enemy, and fortify the minds of their children, by sowing good seed in their hearts, leaving no room for the bad to take root. The mother’s loving instructions is what is needed by children of a tender age in the formation of character. The first important lesson for children to learn is the proper denial of appetite. It is the duty of mothers to attend to the wants of their children, by soothing and diverting their minds, instead of 81

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