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capable of any great vices at so early an age, people consider it quite harmless to allow them a full license for any little improprieties they may have a mind to, forgetting that the proportion of the fault to the age is the same, and that, by indulgence then, they will come to arrogate to themselves the same privilege when a riper age shall bring with it desires and passions no longer innocent. This culpable negligence of the mind and disposition of the child during its tenderest years, when every impression made is of such lasting consequence, is the more surprising, when we consider how much judicious management and elaborate attention are bestowed even on dogs and horses, whose temper and character are wont to be taken notice of from the earliest period, and checked and guided in a thousand ways with a view to their future utility and well being. It is only our own offspring that we neglect in this point, and “having made them ill children, we foolishly expect they should be good men.” But there is commonly a worse evil than neglect in early education; this is what Locke calls “the downright teaching them vice;" and it is seen chiefly in those moments when nothing perhaps is further from the minds of the parents than the injury they are committing. In the way of pastime, children are taught to strike those around them, and to take a childish revenge on anything which gives them pain, because forsooth their little hands can do no harm : but not this teaching them a principle of violence, innocent indeed in its present results, but pregnant with the seeds of future vice? In the same way the foundations of pride are laid, and nothing is thought more harmless than to trick a child out in finery, and fondle it the more for its pretty looks. Lying
is too frequently taught by example; in apprentices and servants, it is even used to be commended, so long as it serves the purposes of the master, and is it to be expected that a child after this will refrain from lying and prevarication when he can make it serve his own purpose? The love of eating and drinking is fostered by the obvious importance attached to those pleasures by grown people, and by their being too often proposed in the shape of pleasure or reward to children. The first thing a child should be made to know, is, that those things which are given to him are given because they are considered proper for him to have, and not because they are pleasant; and in order to implant at once an early acquaintance with disappointment and restraint, whatever a child importunately demands should, for that very reason, be refused him; to which this rule must be added, that anything so refused is never to be conceded to crying, or all mastery will be lost.
In the opinion of Locke, awe of the parent is the first principle which should be implanted in a child's mind, for this being acquired, obedience and respect will follow of themselves, and then affection will be easily added to the rest, without endangering authority; but, on the other hand, authority cannot with the same ease be raised on a groundwork of love. Notwithstanding these opinions, Locke is opposed to corporal punishment; all he contends for is, that whatever rigour is needed, is needed most at first; it is to be relaxed as the child grows older ; herein directly opposing the usual method, which is to begin with tenderness, and resort to severity afterwards. Although it be so important a part of education to discipline the minds of children, yet great care must be had that the
spirit be not broken, for extravagance may more easily be turned to good account than tameness. The subject of punishments being one of vital consequence in every system of education, we shall be more particular here in using our author's own words. The following passages are taken from various parts of the work. Of the worse than useless effects of chastisement in controlling the passions, he says :—"For what other motive, but of: sensual pleasure and pain, does a child act by,who drudges at his book against his inclinations, or abstains from eating unwholesome fruit that he takes pleasure in, only out of fear of whipping ? He in this only prefers the greater corporal pleasure, or avoids the greater corporal pain. And what is it, to govern his actions and direct his conduct by such motives as these? What is it, I say, but to cherish that principle in him, which it is our business to root out and destroy? And, therefore, I cannot think any correction useful to a child, where the shame of suffering for having done amiss does not work more upon him than the pain.” “Such a sort of slavish discipline makes a slavish temper.” “His natural inclination by this way is not at all altered, but on the contrary heightened and increased, and after such restraint breaks out usually with the more violence;" or, “if severity does prevail over the present unruly distemper, it is often by bringing in the room of it a worse and more dangerous disease, by breaking the mind. Ingenuous shame and the apprehension of displeasure are the only true restraint." “Shame in children has the same place that modesty has in women, which cannot be kept and often transgressed against.”
Rewards, with little exception, are as pernicious as punishments; and are, for the most part, no better than
a composition, by which one pleasure is proposed in lieu of another, and so no habit of self-denial gained. Pleasures are not to be denied, but they should always be made to seem the result of a general state of esteem with the parents, and not the reward of a particular act. And yet there are kinds both of rewards and punishinents, that may safely be employed; in short, it is the mind, not the body, that is to be worked upon ; esteem and affection on the one hand, shame and disgrace on the other, are the materials to be used to this end. We are to seize upon those sensibilities which nature has given, and early mould them to the purposes of virtue. “ Make them in love with the pleasure of being well thought on.” “ Shame them out of their faults.” The principle of reputation, though it is not the true ground of virtue—which is our obedience to God,-yet is that which comes nearest to it, and is especially the proper guide for children. With respect to the natural gaiety of children, it is to be encouraged, and any noise or inconvenience it may occasion cheerfully to be submitted to, in consideration of the health and spirits which its indulgence tends to bestow. It is a great fault in education to burden children's minds with rules and precepts about their conduct, which are seldom understood, and therefore soon forgotten; and it is still more unreasonable to visit with punishment the infraction of such rules. Teach rather by example, and let not too much depend on 'memory.
“ Make but few laws, but see they be well observed when once made.” The grand business is to form habits, and this can only be done by patient and continual practice, and all those attempts at compendious methods of instruction by forms and regulations are only so many plans of escape, so
many evasions of the duty devolving on us as parents or governors. One great advantage attending a practical system is, that frequent observation brings us acquainted with the peculiar genius of the child, which cannot too soon be discovered, whether with a view to the formation of character or the choice of congenial pursuits. “ Observe what the native stock is.” one's natural genius should be carried as far as it can.” Affectation may sometimes, though not often, be seen growing in children, and is then the result of some perversion in the education. They should not be too much perplexed with lectures about good-breeding, which will more readily come to them when it comes as the graceful outward consequence of a moral refinement than when it is made the subject of rules and directions. Affectation is often the result of possessing the form before the spirit of good-breeding. As far at least as a proper confidence, grounded in self-possession, may go towards perfecting the manners, they should be helped ; and dancing should be taught early with this view. But there is nothing graceful or becoming that has not its foundation in the mind; therefore, be that the fortress in every case-begin every operation there, and for the rest—“ Never trouble yourself about those faults which you know age will cure.” When children are scolded before company for faults in behaviour, it not unfrequently happens that the parents are the real culprits, who have not, really, sufficiently attended to the correction of those faults, and who lay the blame on the children only to divert it from themselves. The choice of servants is matter of no slight importance in the education of a family. Folly, vulgarity, or dishonesty in a servant will be sufficient to counteract and destroy