Charlotte Mason on Training Children

Dear Reader,

Miss Mason actually has quite a lot to say on training children. I just want to focus on one quote here:

“The children who are trained to perfect obedience may be trusted with a good deal of liberty.”

[Home Education, p. 113]

Perfect obedience is not something we often speak of, but it is one of Miss Mason’s habits that she believes all children should be trained in (along with perfect execution in their studies).

We live in a place with lots of parents who belive in giving their children much freedom. They practice attachment parenting and move on to unschooling. And there are good parts in both of these that I like. But I balk at the extremes of these movements which go so far as to say the parent shoudl never imposetheir will on the child. Of course, such things are not biblical. But they are also not in the best interest of the child. Their goal is a kind of freedom, the child’s freedom to do what they want, to eat what they want, to wear what they want, and to learn what they want. But Charlotte here tells us that true freedom comes through discipline. It is the well-trained child who can be trusted to fedn for him or herself for a time. It is only when our children are not well-trained and aware of the limitations on them that we need to be constantly on top of them telling them what to do. The goal of parental discipline is to do a lot now so we can do very little of it in years to come.

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