Be Diligent

Ellen G. White

Every mother needs to be diligent. She must allow nothing to divert her mind. She must not allow her children to follow their uneducated will in handling things in the home. They should be taught that they are not to keep the house in perpetual disorder by handling things for their own amusement. {Ms64-1899.17}

Mothers, teach your children from their earliest years that they are not to look upon everything in the home as playthings for them. By these little things order is taught. No matter what fuss the children may make, let not the organ of destruction, which is large in babyhood and childhood, be strengthened and cultivated. “Thou shalt,” and “Thou shalt not,” God says. Without loss of temper, but decidedly, parents are to say to their children, No, and mean it. With firmness they are to refuse to allow everything in the home to be handled freely and thrown about on the floor or in the dirt. Those who allow a child to pursue such a course are doing him a great wrong. He may not be a bad child, but his education is making him very troublesome and destructive. Children should be taught to be neat, cleanly, and orderly. Quench, when it first appears, any habit that is not desirable. There is order in heaven, and God requires every family to be disciplined to orderly ways. {Ms64-1899.18}

A mother should know how to train her children aright, how to develop the best qualities in them. The first child especially should be trained with great care, for he will educate the rest. Children grow according to the influence of those who surround them. If they are handled by those who are noisy and boisterous, they become noisy and almost unbearable. Mothers, be sure that you properly discipline your children during the first three years of their lives. Do not allow them to form their wishes and desires. The mother must be mind for her child. The first three years is the time in which to bend the tiny twig. Mothers should understand the importance attaching to this period. It is then that the foundation is laid. {Ms64-1899.19}

If these first lessons have been defective, as they very often are, for Christ’s sake, for the sake of your children’s future and eternal good, seek to repair the wrong you have done. If you have waited until your children were three years old to begin to teach them self-control and obedience, seek to do it now, even though it will be much harder. {Ms64-1899.20}

When will parents become wise? Let not a mother allow her mind to be occupied with too many things. Her aspirations must not be feeble. Unceasingly she must manifest tenderness and firmness. With the greatest diligence and the closest watchfulness she must care for the little ones who, if allowed, will follow every impulse springing out of the fulness of their unpracticed, ignorant hearts. In their exuberance of spirit, they will give utterance to noise and turbulence in the home. This should be checked. Children will be just as happy if they are educated not to do these things. They are to be taught that when visitors come, they are to be quiet and respectful. Let mothers gain the confidence of their children. Show them that you love them, but never, never let them rule you or disobey you. Eternal vigilance must be practiced. Gentle, but firmly, wrong tendencies must be repressed and bound about. See that your expressed word is obeyed. The future happiness of your children depends on their home-training. {Ms64-1899.21}