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does not this evidence seem to warrant | any great injury : add to which the adhis conclusion ? The mother would rea- vantage that he will have in future some son in just the same way if similarly dread of fire, and will be less likely to placed. If, in the circle of her acquaint- burn himself to death, or set the house ance, she found some one who was con- in a flame when others are absent. Furstantly thwarting her wishes, uttering thermore, were I to make him desist, I sharp reprimands, and occasionally in- should thwart him in the pursuit of what flicting actual penalties on her, she would is in itself a purely harmless, and indeed, pay but little attention to any professions instructive gratification; and he would of anxiety for her welfare which accom- be sure to regard me with more or less panied these acts. Why, then, does she ill-feeling. Ignorant as he is of the pain suppose that her boy will conclude other from which I would save him, and feeling wise ?
only the pain of a balked desire, he could But now observe how different will be not fail to look upon me as the cause of the results if the system we contend for that pain. To save him from a hurt which be consistently pursued-if the mother he can not conceive, and which has therenot only avoids becoming the instrument fore no existence for him, I inflict upon of punishment, but plays the part of a him a hurt which he feels keenly enough; friend by warning her boy of the punish- and so become, from his point of view, a ments which Nature will inflict. Take a minister of evil. My best course then, is case; and that it may illustrate the mode simply to warn him of the danger, and to in which this policy is to be early initiat- be ready to prevent any serious damage." ed, let it be one of the simplest cases. And following out this conclusion, she Suppose that, prompted by the experi- says to the child: “I fear you will hurt mental spirit so conspicuous in children, yourself if you do that.” Suppose, now, whose proceedings instinctively conform that the child perseveres, as he will very to the inductive method of inquiry-sup- probably do; and suppose that he ends pose that so prompted, the child is amus- by burning himself. What are the re
. ing himself by lighting pieces of paper in sults? In the first place he has gained the candle and watching them burn. If an experience which he must gain eventuhis mother is of the ordinary unreflective ally, and which, for his own safety he can stamp, she will either, on the plea of not gain too soon. And in the second keeping the child “out of mischief,” or place he has found that his mother's disfrom fear that he will burn himself, com- approval or warning was meant for his mand him to desist; and in case of non- welfare: he has a further positive expericompliance will snatch the paper from ence of her benevolence—a further reason him. On the other hand, should he be for placing confidence in her judgment so fortunate as to have a mother of suffi- and her kindness—a further reason for cient rationality, who knows that this in- loving her. terest with which the child is watching Of course, in those occasional hazards the paper burn results from a healthy in- where there is a risk of broken limbs or quisitiveness, without which he would other serious bodily injury, forcible prenever have emerged out of infantine stu- vention is called for. But leaving out pidity, and who is also wise enough to these extreme cases, the system pursued consider the moral results of interference, should be not that of guarding a child she will reasou thus: “If I put a stop against the small dangers into which it to this, I shall prevent the acquirement of daily runs, but that of advising and warna certain amount of knowledge. It is ing it against them. And by consistently true that I may save the child from a pursuing this course a much stronger filburn; but what then? He is sure to ial affection will be generated than comburn himself some time, and it is quite monly exists. If here, as elsewhere, the essential to his safety in life that he should discipline of the natural reactions is allearn by experience the properties of lowed to come into play—if in all those flame. Moreover, if I forbid 'him from out-of-door scramblings and in-door experunning this present risk, he is sure here- riments, by which children are liable to aiter to run the same or a greater risk hurt themselves, they are allowed to perwhen no one is present to prevent him ; severe, subject only to dissuasion more or wbereas, if he should have any accident less earnest according to the risk, there now that I am by, I can save him from can not fail to arise an ever-increasing
faith in the parental friendship and guid-back upon the lower; those who have no ance. Not only, as before shown, does sympathetic pleasures seek selfish ones; the adoption of this principle enable and hence, conversely, the maintenance fathers and mothers to avoid the chief of happier relations between parents and part of that odium which attaches to the children is calculated to diminish the infliction of positive punishment; but, as number of those offenses of which selfishwe here see, it enables them further to ness is the origin. avoid the odium that attaches to constant When, however, such offenses are com. thwartings; and even to turn each of mitted, as they will occasionally be even those incidents which commonly cause under the best system, the discipline of squabbles, into a means of strengthening consequences may still be resorted to; the mutual good feeling. Instead of and if there exist that bond of confidence being told in words, which deeds seem to and affection which we have described, contradict, that their parents are their this discipline will be found efficient. For best friends, children will learn this truth what are the natural consequences, say, by a consistent daily experience; and so of a theft? They are of two kinds -dilearning it, will acquire à degree of trust rect and indirect. The direct
attachment which nothing else can quence, as dictated by pure equity, is that give.
of making restitution. An absolutely And now having indicated the much just ruler (and every parent should aim more sympathetic relation which must re- to be one) will demand that, wherever it sult from the habitual use of this method, is possible, a wrong act shall be undone let us return to the question above put: by a right one: and in the case of theft How is this method to be applied to the this implies either the restoration of the graver offenses ?
thing stolen, or, if it is consumed, then Note, in the first place, that these graver the giving of an equivalent: which, in offenses are likely to be both less frequent the case of a child, may be effected out and less grave under the régime we have of its pocket-money. The indirect and described than under the ordinary régime. more serious consequence is the grave The perpetual ill-behavior of many child- displeasure of parents--a consequence ren is itself the consequence of that chronic which inevitably follows among all peoirritation in which they are kept by bad ples sufficiently civilized to regard theft management. The state of isolation and as a crime; and the manifestation of this antagonism produced by frequent punish- displeasure is, in this instance, the most ment, necessarily deadens the sympathies; severe of the natural reactions produced necessarily, therefore, opens the way to by the wrong action. “But," it will be those transgressions which the sympathies said, “the manifestation of parental dis. should check. That harsh treatment pleasure, either in words or blows, is the which children of the same family inflict ordinary course in these cases: the methon each other is often, in great measure, od leads here to nothing new.” a reflex of the harsh treatment they re- true. Already we have admitted that, in ceive from adults—partly suggested by some directions, this method is spontanedirect example, and partly generated by ously pursued. Already we have shown the ill-temper and the tendency to vicari. that there is a more or less manifest tendous retaliation, which follow chastise-ency for educational systems to gravitate ments and scoldings. It can not be ques- towards the true system. And here we tioned that the greater activity of the af- may remark, as before, that the intensity fections and happier state of feeling, main of this natural reaction will, in the benetitained in children by the discipline we cent order of things, adjust itself to the have described, must prevent their sins requirements—that this parental displeasagainst each other from being either so ure will vent itself in violent measures great or so frequent. Moreover, the still during comparatively barbarous times, more reprehensible offenses, as lies and when the children are also comparatively petty thefts, will, by the same causes, be barbarous; and will express itself less diminished. Domestic estrangement is a cruelly in those more advanced social fruitful source of such transgressions. It states in which, by implication, the childis a law of human nature, visible enough ren are amenable to milder treatment. to all who observe, those who are But what it chiefly concerns us here to debarred the higher gratifications falll observe is, that the mavifestation of strong
Very parental displeasure, produced by one of where this attachment exists, will prove these graver offenses, will be potent for equally, if not more, efficient. While in. good just in proportion to the warmth of stead of the fear and vindictiveness excited the attachment existing between parent by the one course, there will be excited and child. Just in proportion as the dis- by the other more or less of sympathy cipline of the natural consequences has with parental sorrow, a genuine regret for been consistently pursued in other cases, having caused it, and a desire, by some will it be efficient in this case. Proof is atonement, to reëstablish the habitual within the experience of all, if they will friendly relationship. Instead of bringing look for it.
into play those purely egoistic feelings For does not every man know that whose predominance is the cause of crimwhen he has offended another person, the inal acts, there will be brought into play amount of genuine regret he feels (of those altruistic feelings which check crimcourse, leaving worldly considerations out inal acts. Thus the discipline of the of the question) varies with the degree of natural consequences is applicable to grave sympathy he has for that person? Is he as well as trivial faults; and the practice not conscious that when the person of- of it conduces not simply to the repres. fended stands to him in the position of an sion, but to the eradication of such faults. enemy, the having given him annoyance
In brief the truth is, that savageness is apt to be a source rather of secret sat- begets savageness, and gentleness begets isfaction than of sorrow? Does he not gentleness. Children who are unsymparemember that where umbrage has been thetically treated become relatively untaken by some total stranger, he has felt sympathetic; whereas treating them with much less concern than he would have due fellow-feeling is a means of cultivating done had such umbrage been taken by their fellow-feeling. With family governone with whom he was intimate? While, ments as with political ones, a harsh des. conversely, has not the anger of an ad- potism itself generates a great part of the mired and cherished friend been regarded crimes it has to repress; while conversely, by him as a serious misfortune, long and a mild and liberal rule not only avoids keenly regretted ? Clearly, then, the ef many causes of dissension, but so ameliorfects of parental displeasure upon children ates the tone of feeling as to diminish the must similarly depend upon the preëxist- tendency to transgression. As John ing relationship. Where there is an es- Locke long since remarked : “Great setablished alienation, the feeling of a child verity of punishment does but very little who has transgressed is a purely selfish good, nay, great harm in education; and fear of the evil consequences likely to fall I believe it will be found that, cæteris upon it in the shape of physical penalties paribus, those children who have been or deprivations; and after these evil con- most chastised seldom make the best sequences have been inflicted, there are men.” In confirmation of which opinion aroused an antagonism and dislike which we may cite the fact not long since made are morally injurious, and tend further to public by Mr. Rogers, Chaplain of the increase the alienation. On the contrary, Pentonville Prison, that those juvenile where there exists a warm filial affection, criminals who have been whipped are produced by a consistent parental friend- those who most frequently return to ship-a friendship not dogmatically as- prison. On the other hand, as exhibiting serted as an excuse for punishments and the beneficial effects of a kinder treatdenials, but daily exhibited in ways that ment, we will instance the fact stated 2 child can comprehend—a friendship to us by a French lady in whose house we which avoids needless thwartings, which recently staid in Paris. Apologizing for warns against impending evil conse- the disturbance daily caused by a little quences, and which sympathizes with ju. boy who was unmanageable both at home venile pursuits—there the state of mind and at school, she expressed her fear that caused by parental displeasure will not there was no remedy save that which had only be salutary as a check to future mis. succeeded in the case of an elder brother; conduct of like kind, but will also be in- namely, sending him to an English school. trinsically salutary. The moral pain con- She explained that at various schools in sequent upon having, for the time being, Paris this elder brother had proved utterly lost so loved a friend, will stand in place untractable ; that in despair they had folof the physical pain usually inflicted ; and I lowed the advice to send him to England;
and that on his return home he was as the issue of a childhood by no means good as he had before been bad. And so promising. this remarkable change she ascribed en- Be content, therefore, with moderate tirely to the comparative mildness of the measures and moderate results. ConEnglish discipline.
stantly bear in mind the fact that a higher After this exposition of principles, our morality like a higher intelligence must remaining space may best be occupied by be reached by a slow growth; and you a few of the chief maxims and rules dedu- will then have more patience with those cible from them; and with a view to brev. imperfections of nature which your child ity we will put these in a more or less hourly displays. You will be less prone hortatory form.
to that constant scolding, and threatening, Do not expect from a child any great and forbidding, by which many parents amount of moral goodness. During early induce a chronic domestic irritation, in years every civilized man passes through the foolish hope that they will thus make that phase of character exhibited by the their children what they should be. barbarous race from which he is de- This comparatively liberal form of doscended. As the child's features — flat mestic government, which does not seek nose, forward-opening nostrils, large lips, despotically to regulate all the details of wide-apart eyes, absent frontal sinus, etc. a child's conduct, necessarily results from -resemble for a time those of the savage, the system for which we have been con80, too, do his instincts. IIence the ten- tending. Satisfy yourself with seeing that dencies to cruelty, to thieving, to lying, your child always suffers the natural conso general among children --- tendencies sequences of his actions, and you will which, even without the aid of discipline, avoid that excess of control in which so will become more or less modified just as many parents err. Leave him wherever the features do. The popular idea that you can to the discipline of experience, children are “innocent," while it may be and you will so save him from that hottrue in so far as it refers to evil knowledge, house virtue which over-regulation prois totally false in so far as it refers to evil duces in yielding natures, or that demoralimpulses ; as half an hour's observation izing antagonism which it produces in in the nursery will prove to any one. independent ones. Boys when left to themselves, as at a By aiming in all cases to administer the public school, treat cach other far more natural reäctions to your child's actions brutally than men do; and were they left you will put an advantageous check upon to themselves at an earlier age their bru- your own temper. The method of moral tality would be still more conspicuous. education pursued by many, we fear by
Not only is it unwise to set up a high most, parents, is little else han that of standard for juvenile good conduct, but it venting their anger in the way that first is even unwise to use very urgent incite suggests itself. The slaps and rough ments to such good conduct. Already shakings, and sharp words, with which a most people recognize the detrimental re- mother commonly visits her offspring's sults of intellectual precocity ; but there small offenses (many of them not offenses remains to be recognized the truth that considered intrinsically) are very generthere is a moral precocity which is also ally but the manifestations of her own illdetrimental. Our higher moral faculties controlled feelings - result much more like our higher intellectual ones, are com- from the promptings of those feelings than paratively complex. By consequence from a wish to benefit the offenders. they are both comparatively late in their While they are injurious to her own chaevolution. And with the one as with the racter, these ebullitions tend, by alienatother, a very early activity produced by ing her children and by decreasing their stimulation will be at the expense of the respect for her, to diminish her influence future character. Ilence the not uncom- over them. But by pausing in each case mon fact that those who during childhood of transgression to consider what is the were instanced as models of juvenile good natural consequence, and how that natural ness, by and by undergo some disastrous consequence may best be brought home and seemingly inexplicable change, and to the transgressor, some little time is end by being not above but below par; necessarily obtained for the mastery of while relatively exemplary men are often yourself: the mere blind anger first
aroused in you settles down into a less | a rebellion against him; so in many famivehement feeling, and one not so likely to lies, the penalty visited on a transgressor mislead you.
proceeds less from reprobation of the of Do not, however, seek to behave as an fense than from anger at the disobedience. utterly passionless instrument. Remem- Listen to the ordinary speeches – “How ber that besides the natural consequences dare you disobey me ? “I tell you I'll of your child's conduct which the working make you do it, sir” “I'll soon teach of things tends to bring round on him, you who is master”— and then consider your own approbation or disapprobation what the words, the tone, and the manner is also a natural consequence, and one of imply. A determination to subjugate is the ordained agencies for guiding him. much more conspicuous in them than an The error which we have been combating anxiety for the child's welfare. For the is that of substituting parental displeasure time being the attitude of mind differs and its artificial penalties, for the penal- but little from that of the despot bent on ties which nature has established. But punishing a recalcitrant subject. The while it should not be substituted for these right-feeling parent, however, like the phinatural penalties, it by no means follows lanthropic legislator, will not rejoice in cothat it should not in some form acccom- ercion, but will rejoice in dispensing with pany them. The secondary kind of pun- coërcion. He will do without law in all ishment should not usurp the place of the cases where other modes of regulating primary kind; but, in moderation, it may conduct can be successfully employed; rightly supplement the primary kind. and he will regret the having recourse to Such amount of disapproval, or sorrow, or / law when it is necessary. As Richter rethe indignation, as you feel, should be ex- marks: “The best rule in politics is pressed in words or manner or otherwise; said to be 'pas trop gouverner :: it is also subject of course to the approval of your true in education.” And in spontaneous judgment. The degree and kind of feel conformity with this maxim, parents whose ing produced in you will necessarily de- lust of dominion is restrained by a true pend upon your own character, and it is sense of duty, will aim to make their therefore useless to say it should be this children control themselves wherever it is or that.
All that can be recommended possible, and will fall back upon absolutis, that you should aim to modify the ism only as a last resort. feeling into that which you believe ought But whenever you do command, comto be entertained. Beware, however, of mand with decision and consistency. If the two extremes; not only in respect of the case is one which really can not be the intensity, but in respect of the duration otherwise dealt with, then issue your fiat, of your displeasure. On the one hand anx- and having issued it, never afterwards iously avoid that weak impulsiveness, so swerve from it. Consider well beforegeneral among mothers, which scolds and hand what you are going to do; weigh forgives almost in the same breath. On all the consequences; think whether your the other hand, do not unduly continue to firmness of purpose will be sufficient; and show estrangement of feeling, lest you then, if you finally make the law, enforce accustom your child to do without your it uniformly at whatever cost. Let your friendship, and so lose your influence over penalties be like the penalties inflicted by nim. The moral reäctions called forth inanimate nature inevitable. The hot from you by your child's actions, you cinder burns a child the first time he should as much as possible assimilate to seizes it; it burns him the second time; those which you conceive would be called it burns him the third time; it burns him forth from a parent of perfect nature. every time; and he very soon learns not
Be sparing of commands. Command to touch the hot cinder. If you are only in those cases in which other means equally consistent -- if the consequences are inapplicable, or have failed. “In fre- which you tell your child will follow cerquent orders the parents' advantage is tain acts, follow with like uniformity, he more considered than the child's,” says will soon come to respect your laws as he Richter. As in primitive societies a does those of Nature. And this respect breach of law is punished, not so much once established will prevent endless dobecause it is intrinsically wrong as because mestic evils. Of errors in education one it is a disregard of the king's authority of the worst is that of inconsistency. As VOL. XLIV.-NO. II.