Monday, July 26, 2010

Mothers, We Ought to Educate Ourselves

"A mother who wishes to fulfill her duties to her children should take special pains to educate herself for those momentous functions.  She should read to store her mind with knowledge.  She should reflect, observe, and gain useful information from every quarter.  Her princeiples should be fixed, her plans laid, and her purposes formed.  She must cultivate all the habits and tempers which will fit her to teach and to govern.  She must seek to acquire thoughtfulness, careful vigilance, quick observation and discretion in various forms.  Habits of activity, dispatch, order, and regularity are indispensable for her; so is the exercise of all the good and benevolent feelings.  She must unite gentleness with firmness and attain patience and the entire command of her temper.  It is of immense importance also that she should have a correct knowledge of human nature and of the way of dealing with the human heart.  And, above all things, let her remember that piety is the vivifying spirit of all excellence, and example the most powerful means to enforce it.  She should never let the recollection be absent from her mind that children have both eyes and ears for attention to a mother's conduct.  Not content with preparing herself for her important functions beforehand, she should carry on the education of herself simultaneously with that of her children.  There are few situations which more imperatively which require preparation, and yet few that receive less."

John Angell James, "For Mothers, Experienced or New"

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