Ellen G. White Writings

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Education, Page 287

Chapter 34—Discipline

“Train, admonish, encourage, be long-suffering.”

One of the first lessons a child needs to learn is the lesson of obedience. Before he is old enough to reason, he may be taught to obey. By gentle, persistent effort, the habit should be established. Thus, to a great degree, may be prevented those later conflicts between will and authority that do so much to create alienation and bitterness toward parents and teachers, and too often resistance of all authority, human and divine.

The object of discipline is the training of the child for self-government. He should be taught self-reliance and self-control. Therefore as soon as he is capable of understanding, his reason should be enlisted on the side of obedience. Let all dealing with him be such as to show obedience to be just and reasonable. Help him to see that all things are under law, and that disobedience leads, in the end, to disaster and suffering. When God says “Thou shalt not,” He in love warns us of the consequences of disobedience, in order to save us from harm and loss.

Help the child to see that parents and teachers are representatives of God, and that, as they act in harmony with Him, their laws in the home and the school are also His. As the child is to render obedience to parents and

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