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to be regulated and managed by the due Instruction of Children in their younger Years. Now as the God of Nature has given Children Eyes, and Tongues, and Feet, and Arms, and Hands, it is expedient that Parents should teach their Children the proper Use of them.
1. The God of Nature hath given them Eyes. Let their Parents teach them to use these Eyes aright. Would it be amiss in me here to give a Hint or two of this kind ? May not Children be warned against a staring Look, against stretching their Eye-lids into a Glare of Wildness? May they not be forbid to look aside on any Object in a squinting Manner when their faces are turned another Way? Should they not be instructed to look directly with their Face turned to the Thing they look at ? May they not be taught with due Courage to look in the Face of the Person they speak to, yet with a humble modest Aspect as befits a Child ? A becoming Courage and a becoming Modesty dwell much in the Eye.
SOME Children should be often admonished to lay aside a gloomy and a frowning Look, a scowling air, an uneasy and forbidding Aspect. They should be taught to smooth the Ruffles of their Brow, and put on a lively pleasing and chearful Countenance among their Friends: Some there are who have all these Graces by Nature, but
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those who have them not may be corrected and softened by the Care of Parents in younger years *.
2. Let Parents teach Children to use their Tongues properly and agreeably; not only to speak, but to pronounce their Words plain and distinct. Let them be instructed to keep due and proper Distances between their Words and Sentences, and not speak in a swift Hurry, with a Tumult of Syllables and Clutter upon their Lips, which will sound like a foreign Gibberish, and never be understood. Nor should they drawl out their Words in a slow long Tone, which is equally ungraceful and disagreeable.
THERE are two other common Faults in Speaking, and where they are found they Thould be corrected early in Children.
The one is Lifping, which is a Pronunciation of the Letter S or Z or C before E and I, as though it were TH. Thus instead of Spice they cry Thpithe, instead of Cease they say Theathe. This may be cured by teaching them to pronounce a few such
Words It may here be recollected by the way, that a Gloominels of Aspect does not always arile from a Malignity of Temper, but sometimes from Fear of displeating and incurring Reproof; and is therefore often to be removed by speaking kindly to Children and encouraging them with Expressions of Candor and Tenderness. To know how in such Cases to divert a Child, and make him chearful and happy in the Company of a Parent, is none of the least important Cares of Education.
Words as these, where the Sound of the Letter s prevails, with their Teeth shut close : And by forbidding them to put their Tongue between their Teeth at any Time except when (th) is to be pronounced.
The other Fault is Stammering, which I suppose may be commonly prevented or cured by teaching Children not to speak much, and to speak flow always ; and they should be warned against all Anger or Haltiness or Eagerness of Spirit; for such a Temper will throw out their Words faster than the Organs of Speech can accommodate themselves to form the Syllables, and thus bring a Hurry and Confusion into their Speech : And they should also gain a good Degree of Courage or becoming Assurance, and not speak with much Concern or Fear; for Fear will stop the Organs of Speech and hinder the Formation of Words.
But I infift no longer on the Use of the Tongue in Speaking.
3. As God hath given them Feet, let Parents teach them to stand firm and strong, and to walk in a becoming and decent Manner without waddling from Side to Side, without turning either or both of their Feet inward, without little Jerks in their motion, or long Strides, or any of those Aukwardnesses which continue with many Persons to old Age, for want of having these Irregularities corrected when they were young.
Children should be indulged in their Sports sometimes in running swiftly, and in leaping where there is no Danger, in order to exercise their Limbs and make them pliant and nimble, strong and active on all Occafions.
As to their Arms and Hands, they were formed, not to lie folded in the Bosom, but to be engaged in some useful work; and sometimes, with due Moderation, in robust and hardy Exercise and Toil; not so as to over-strain their Joints, but to acquire Firmness of Strength by Exercise.
And more especially they who are to get their Bread by their Hands Dhould be inured to toilsome and vigorous Labours almost from their Infancy: They should be accustomed to work in Heat and Cold, and to bear rougher Exercises and Fatigues of Body, that they may be fit to endure Hardships and go through those Difficulties which their Station of Life may call them to without any Injury or Inconvenience. And it is desirable that the Sons of all Families Thould be in some Degree inured to such Difficulties as these, which men of all ranks are sometimes called to incounter.
If some fond and tender Mothers had brought up their Children in this hardy Manner, they had not now, in all human Probability, been mourning over their Graves. In their younger Years they would
scarce scarce let them set the Sole of their Foot to the Ground, nor suffer the Wind to blow upon them; Thus they grew up in a State of Tenderness and Infirmity, fickly and feeble Creatures: A sudden Heat or a Cold seized them; their natures, which were never accustomed to bear Hardship, were unable to resist the Enemy; a Fever kindled in their Blood, or a Catarrh or Cough injured their Lungs, and early buried their Parents Hopes in the Dust.
Thus I have finished the second general Head of Instruction, i. e. Children Thould be instructed to exercise and improve their natural Powers both of Mind and Body : And this is one necessary Part of a good Education, which Parents and other Teachers should attend to betimes,
Hildren should be instructed in the Art
of Self-Government. They Thould be taught, (as far as possible) to govern their Thoughts: To use their Wills to be determined by the Light of their Understandings, and not by head-Itrong and foolish Humor ; they should learn to keep the lower Powers