the mind of a child

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER II THERE is, at the very outset, one most helpful and delightful reflection with regard to the education of little children. Teaching a child to do right is in itself teaching it not to do wrong.1 And this fact, that learning to love right is the only true way of learning to avoid wrong, ought to force us into seeing that moral education can never begin too soon. Every day that a child is not learning to do right, even in and from its very cradle, it is learning to do wrong, and we have to show a child the face of sin in himself only because we ourselves have allowed sin to grow in the child's heart. We must realise at the start that a little child does not instinctively choose the right; no one makes an effort instinctively unless it is to gain an easily-seen advantage. The advantage of doingright is by no means easily seen, it lies quite out of our immediate ken. That is to say, a certain degree of development, of education, is necessary before we can begin to see why we should do certain things. While children are little, the making of the effort to do certain things, which we, in our wider experience of cause and effect, know to be right, must be insisted upon from without. A little child will make an effort, without any interference on our part, to reach the bottle containing its milk, its instinct alone will carry it that length; but instinct is a poor thing to depend upon when we come to worthy action, and we cannot expect children, of themselves, to make efforts the advantages of which lie quite out of their immediate ken. 1 It is in realising this that we can see where comes in the mistake of those who make the moral education of children such a gloomy affair. To try to make a child good by showing him the horrors of evil is as though we were to try...
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