Mother and Children (Illustration from Godey's Lady's Book)

The Moral Education of Children in The Lily

Children may be made amiable, obedient, and respectful, if duly directed and governed when young. They are naturally docile and affectionate. Those traits of character should be nursed and strengthened. But how often are they blunted and destroyed!

If subjected to unkind, harsh. arbitrary and severe treatment on the part of parents, all their natural docility and originally affectionate feelings will be destroyed or much impaired. Children are not born demons; they have a capacity for good, for moral improvement; a kind and genial soul may be found in their hearts, if the seeds of kindness and truth are duly sown.— Indeed, they are naturally found there, and only want a judicious, faithful and affectionate hand for the work of culture and improvement.

Children naturally love and respect their parents; and are disposed to be kind and obedient. If they become otherwise, it is because of the neglect, or severity or unfaithfulness of parents, or because of early falling into bad company, when no parent is near to restrain or advice. If parents wish their children to be honest, kind, and useful when they grow up, they should remember that kindness and mildness, with a proper degree of firmness, and faithful attention, are indispensable on their part.


Publication: The Lily*
Date: September 1, 1849
Title: Moral Education of Children

*The Lily, the first newspaper for women, was issued from 1849 until 1853 under the editorship of Amelia Bloomer (1818-1894).

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