I. The Child’s First Teacher
“The child’s first teacher is the mother. During the period of greatest susceptibility and most rapid development his education is to a great degree in her hands. To her first is given opportunity to mold the character for good or for evil. She should understand the value of her opportunity and, above every other teacher, should be qualified to use it to the best account. Yet there is no other to whose training so little thought is given. The one whose influence in education is most potent and far-reaching is the one for whose assistance there is the least systematic effort.”1
II. Training in the Laws of Health and the Principles of Development Needed
“Those to whom the care of the little child is committed are too often ignorant of its physical needs; they know little of the laws of health or the principles of development. Nor are they better fitted to care for its mental and spiritual growth. They may be qualified to conduct business or to shine in society; they may have made creditable attainments in literature and science; but of the training of a child they have little knowledge….
Upon fathers as well as mothers rests a responsibility for the child’s earlier as well as its later training, and for both parents the demand for careful and thorough preparation is most urgent. Before taking upon themselves the possibilities of fatherhood and motherhood, men and women should become acquainted with:
A. the laws of physical development—with physiology and hygiene,
B. with the bearing of prenatal influences,
C. with the laws of heredity,
D. with the laws of sanitation,
E. with the laws of dress,
F. with the laws of exercise,
G. and the treatment of disease;
H. they should also understand the laws of mental development and moral training….
Never will education accomplish all that it might and should accomplish until the importance of the parents’ work is fully recognized, and they receive a training for its sacred responsibilities.
Parents should study the laws of nature.
They should become acquainted with the organism of the human body.
They need to understand the functions of the various organs,
and their relation and dependence.
They should study the relation of the mental to the physical powers, and the conditions required for the healthy action of each.
To assume the responsibilities of parenthood without such preparation is a sin.”2
III. Who is Sufficient for these things?
“Parents may well inquire, “Who is sufficient for these things?”
God alone is their sufficiency, and if they leave Him out of the question, seeking not His aid and counsel, hopeless indeed is their task.
But by prayer,
by study of the Bible,
and by earnest zeal on their part,
they may succeed nobly in this important duty, and be repaid a hundredfold for all their time and care….
The source of wisdom is open, from which they may draw all necessary knowledge in this direction.
At times the heart may be ready to faint; but a living sense of the dangers threatening the present and future happiness of their loved ones should lead Christian parents to seek more earnestly for help from the source of strength and wisdom.
It should make them more circumspect, more decided, more calm yet firm, while they watch for these souls, as they that must give account.”3
IV. SonLight Education Ministry provides a training course for Parents entitled “The Ten Principles of True Education” Download and Print this systematic, interactive course and get started now!
1. Child Guidance page 63.1
2. Child Guidance page 63.2-64.2
3. Child guidance page 64.3