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    Chapter 30—Family Companionship

    Parents to Become Acquainted With Children—Some parents do not understand their children and are not really acquainted with them. There is often a great distance between parents and children. If the parents would enter more fully into the feelings of their children and draw out what is in their hearts, it would have a beneficial influence upon them.1Testimonies for the Church 1:395.AH 190.1

    The father and the mother should work together in full sympathy with each other. They should make themselves companions to their children.2Manuscript 45, 1912.AH 190.2

    Parents should study the best and most successful manner of winning the love and confidence of their children, that they may lead them in the right path. They should reflect the sunshine of love upon the household.3The Review and Herald, August 30, 1881.AH 190.3

    Encouragement and Commendation—Young children love companionship and can seldom enjoy themselves alone. They yearn for sympathy and tenderness. That which they enjoy they think will please mother also, and it is natural for them to go to her with their little joys and sorrows. The mother should not wound their sensitive hearts by treating with indifference matters that, though trifling to her, are of great importance to them. Her sympathy and approval are precious. An approving glance, a word of encouragement or commendation, will be like sunshine in their hearts, often making the whole day happy.4The Ministry of Healing, 388.AH 190.4

    Parents to Be Child's Confidants—Parents should encourage their children to confide in them and unburden to them their heart griefs, their little daily annoyances and trials.5Testimonies for the Church 1:391.AH 190.5

    Kindly instruct them and bind them to your hearts. It is a critical time for children. Influences will be thrown around them to wean them from you which you must counteract. Teach them to make you their confidant. Let them whisper in your ear their trials and joys.6Testimonies for the Church 1:387.AH 191.1

    Children would be saved from many evils if they would be more familiar with their parents. Parents should encourage in their children a disposition to be open and frank with them, to come to them with their difficulties and, when they are perplexed as to what course is right, to lay the matter just as they view it before the parents and ask their advice. Who are so well calculated to see and point out their dangers as godly parents? Who can understand the peculiar temperaments of their own children as well as they? The mother who has watched every turn of the mind from infancy, and is thus acquainted with the natural disposition, is best prepared to counsel her children. Who can tell as well what traits of character to check and restrain as the mother, aided by the father?7Testimonies for the Church 1:392.AH 191.2

    No Time”—“No time,” says the father; “I have no time to give to the training of my children, no time for social and domestic enjoyments.” Then you should not have taken upon yourself the responsibility of a family. By withholding from them the time which is justly theirs, you rob them of the education which they should have at your hands. If you have children, you have a work to do, in union with the mother, in the formation of their characters.8Fundamentals of Christian Education, 65, 66.AH 191.3

    It is the cry of many mothers: “I have no time to be with my children.” Then for Christ's sake spend less time on your dress. Neglect if you will to adorn your apparel. Neglect to receive and make calls. Neglect to cook an endless variety of dishes. But never, never neglect your children. What is the chaff to the wheat? Let nothing interpose between you and the best interests of your children.9The Signs of the Times, April 3, 1901 (The Review and Herald, March 7, 1907).AH 191.4

    Burdened with many cares, mothers sometimes feel that they cannot take time patiently to instruct their little ones and give them love and sympathy. But they should remember that if the children do not find in their parents and in their home that which will satisfy their desire for sympathy and companionship, they will look to other sources, where both mind and character may be endangered.10The Ministry of Healing, 389.AH 192.1

    With Your Children in Work and Play—Give some of your leisure hours to your children; associate with them in their work and in their sports, and win their confidence. Cultivate their friendship.11Counsels to Teachers, Parents, and Students, 124.AH 192.2

    Let parents devote the evenings to their families. Lay off care and perplexity with the labors of the day.12Christian Temperance and Bible Hygiene, 65.AH 192.3

    Counsel to Reserved, Dictatorial Parents—There is danger of both parents and teachers commanding and dictating too much, while they fail to come sufficiently into social relation with their children or scholars. They often hold themselves too much reserved and exercise their authority in a cold, unsympathizing manner which cannot win the hearts of their children and pupils. If they would gather the children close to them and show that they love them, and would manifest an interest in all their efforts and even in their sports, sometimes even being a child among children, they would make the children very happy and would gain their love and win their confidence. And the children would sooner respect and love the authority of their parents and teachers.13Testimonies for the Church 3:134, 135.AH 192.4

    Evil Associates as Competitors of the Home—Satan and his host are making most powerful efforts to sway the minds of the children, and they must be treated with candor, Christian tenderness, and love. This will give you a strong influence over them, and they will feel that they can repose unlimited confidence in you. Throw around your children the charms of home and of your society. If you do this, they will not have so much desire for the society of young associates.... Because of the evils now in the world, and the restriction necessary to be placed upon the children, parents should have double care to bind them to their hearts and let them see that they wish to make them happy.14Ibid., 1:387, 388.AH 193.1

    Parents to Be Acquainted With Their Children—No barrier of coldness and reserve should be allowed to arise between parents and children. Let parents become acquainted with their children, seeking to understand their tastes and dispositions, entering into their feelings, and drawing out what is in their hearts.AH 193.2

    Parents, let your children see that you love them and will do all in your power to make them happy. If you do so, your necessary restrictions will have far greater weight in their young minds. Rule your children with tenderness and compassion, remembering that “their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven.” If you desire the angels to do for your children the work given them of God, co-operate with them by doing your part.AH 193.3

    Brought up under the wise and loving guidance of a true home, children will have no desire to wander away in search of pleasure and companionship. Evil will not attract them. The spirit that prevails in the home will mold their characters; they will form habits and principles that will be a strong defense against temptation when they shall leave the home shelter and take their place in the world.15The Ministry of Healing, 394.AH 193.4

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