“To direct the child’s development without hindering it by undue control should be the study of both parent and teacher . Too much management is as bad as too little . The effort to `break the will’ of a child is a terrible mistake . Minds are constituted differently ; while force may secure outward submission, the result with many children is a more determined rebellion of heart . Even should the parent or teacher succeed in gaining the control he seeks, the outcome may be no less harmful to the child . The descipline of a human being who has reached the years of intelligence should differ from the training of a dumb animal. The beast is taught only submission to its master . For the beast, the master is mind, judgment, and will. This method, sometimes employed in the training of children, makes them little more than automatons. Mind, will, conscience, are under the control of another . It is not God’s purpose that any mind should be thus dominated . Those who weaken or destroy individuality assume a responsibility that can result only in evil . While under authority, the children may appear like well-drilled soldiers ; but when the control ceases, the character will be found to lack strength and steadfastness.” -Education, p . 288 .
“Every child should understand the true force of the will . He should be led to see how great is the responsibility involved in this gift . The will is the governing power in the nature of man, the power of decision, or choice . Every human being possessed of reason has power to choose the right. In every experience of life, God’s word to us is, `Choose you this day whom ye will serve‘ (Joshua 24:15) . Every one may place his will on the side of the will of God, may choose to obey Him, and by thus linking himself with divine agencies, he may stand where nothing can force him to do evil . In every youth, every child, lies the power, by the help of God, to form a character of integrity and to live a life of usefulness .
“The parent or teacher who by such instruction trains the child to self-control will be the most useful and permanently successful. To the superficial observer his work may not appear to the best advantage ; it may not be valued so highly as that of the one who holds the mind and will of the child under absolute authority ; but after-years will show the result of the better method of training .” – Education, p . 289 .
I am not suggesting that we favor permissiveness . Far from it. A child must be trained to make choices . Is he then allowed to make all his decisions before he has learned the science of self-government? Does a flying pupil take full charge
of the plane all at once? Does he go up without a flying instructor to take over when his own ability to cope with the situation breaks down?
Now the whole point is this : The parental system is ordained to be a means to an end . The end should be kept in sight and aimed for – to be arrived at neither too soon nor too late. Therefore the object of a parent is to so train the child
so that he will not need a parent later . A parent must not perpetuate his office, but work toward the eventual cessation of it.