Child Guidance

When There Is a Clash of Wills—If the child has a stubborn will, the mother, if she understands her responsibility, will realize that this stubborn will is part of the inheritance she has given him. She will not look upon his will as something that must be broken. There are times when the determination of the mother meets the determination of the child, when the firm, matured will of the mother meets the unreasoning will of the child, and when either the mother rules because of her advantage of age and experience, or there is a ruling of the older will by the younger, undisciplined will of the child. At such times there is need of great wisdom; for by unwise management, by stern compulsion, the child may be spoiled for this life and the next. By a lack of wisdom everything may be lost. – CG 211.1
This is a crisis that should seldom be permitted to come, for both mother and child will have a hard struggle. Great care should be shown to avoid such an issue. But once such an issue is entered into, the child must be led to yield to the superior wisdom of the parent. The mother is to keep her words under perfect control. There are to be no loud-voiced commands. Nothing is to be done that will develop a defiant spirit in the child. The mother must study how to deal with him in such a way that he will be drawn to Jesus. She must pray in faith that Satan shall not be victor over the child’s will. The heavenly angels are watching the scene.
The mother must realize that God is her helper, that love is her success, her power. If she is a wise Christian, she will not attempt to force the child into submission. She will pray; and as she prays, she will be conscious of a renewal of spiritual life within herself. And she will see that at the same time the power that is working in her is working also in the child. And the child, in the place of being compelled, is led and grows gentler; and the battle is gained. Each kindly thought, each patient action, each word of wise restraint, is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. The mother has gained a victory more precious than language can express. She has renewed light and increased experience. The “true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” has subdued her will. There is peace after the storm, like the shining of the sun after rain.9Letter 55, 1902.

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