Book Review: Hints on Child Training

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This was such a neat book. It was originally written in 1890 by Henry Clay Trumbull who is Elisabeth Elliot’s Great-Grandfather. It reads as though Mr. Trumbull is your own grandfather sitting down on the sofa with you on Sunday afternoons over coffee and sharing his parental advice to you : ) It is by no means a structured method/formula or anything like that on how to parent. And in fact there are not many scripture references that are cited. BUT Mr. Trumbull’s wisdom is clearly from the Lord. He speaks about his advice from a Godly and biblical perspective and often will speak through the bible just as you and I would casually speak about the things of the Lord that are true and biblical without needing to cite the specific reference of where it is in the Bible. Mr. Trumbull has a wealth of wisdom and it is a blessing to me in this 21st century to learn the wisdom of old when the family unit was so much more valued than it is today. I am so thankful to God that this book has remained in print and perfectly applicable today. Not a one of our great-grandparents from the late 1800’s is alive today so what a neat opportunity to glean some wisdom from someone of that generation.

It is a parent’s privilege, and it is a parent’s duty, to make his children, by God’s blessing, to be and to do what they should be and do, rather than what they would like to be and do. p.19

An accurate diagnosis is an essential pre-requisite to wise and efficient treatment. The diagnosis secured, the matter of treatment is a comparaticely easy matter. p.31

  • What are the special faults of my child?
  • Where is he weakest?
  • In what direction is his greatest strength liable to lead him astray, and when is it most likely to fail him?
  • Which of his faults is most prominent?
  • Which of them is of chief importance for immediate correction? p.33

We should guard sacredly their privileges of personal choice; and while using every proper means to induce them to choose aright, we should never, never, never force their choice, even into the direction of our intelligent preference for them. The final responsibility of a choice and its consequences rests with the child, and not with the parents. p.41

Nothing that is worth doing in this world is an easy matter; and whatever is really worth doing is worth all that its doing costs – and more. p.117

Courtesy is the external manifestation of a right spirit toward others p.165 (I love this thought. This truth. In a book by Elisabeth Elliot I read that was just incredible “The Shaping of a Christian Family” she carries on this wisdom from her great-grandfather when she says:  A simple gesture like passing the butter plate to someone else before helping oneself is the outward expression, small and unobtrusive but deeply telling, of the sacrificial principle, “My life for yours.” When there are only a few muffins left, the one who passes up the second helping lives out the words “in humility consider others better than yourselves.” p.171)

When a child thinks of others, his thoughts go away from himself, and self-forgetfulness is a result, rather than a cause, of his action. p.169

True courtesy involves a readiness to apologize for any and every failure, whether intentional or unintentional, to do or say just that which ought to have been done or said. p.172

However great may be the need of a child’s punishing, a parent ought never to administer punishment to a child while angry. p.205

In order to sympathize with another, you must be able to put yourself in his place, mentally and emotionally; to occupy, for the time being, his point of view, and to see that which he sees, and as he sees it, as he looks out thence. p.251

And it is by the dolls and other playthings of childhood that some of the truest instincts of manhood and of womanhood are developed and cultivated in the progress of all right child-training. p.279

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