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Daughters of God

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    The Value of Practical Education

    Why Work Before Play?—My mother taught me to work. I used to ask my mother, “Why must I always do so much work before I play?” “It is to educate and train your mind for useful labor, and another thing, to keep you out of mischief; and when you get older, you will thank me for it.” When one of my little girls [a granddaughter] said to me, “Why must I knit? Grandmothers knit,” I replied, “Will you tell me how grandmothers learned to knit?” “Why,” [she said,] “they began when they were little girls.”—Child Guidance, 124 (1887).DG 213.1

    Teach Girls to Be Independent—Many who consider it necessary for a son to be trained with reference to his own future maintenance seem to consider it entirely optional ... whether or not their daughter is educated to be independent and self-supporting. She usually learns little at school which can be put to practical use in earning her daily bread, [This was written in 1877, when few girls acquired any higher education.] and receiving no instruction at home in the mysteries of the kitchen and domestic life, she grows up utterly useless, a burden upon her parents....DG 213.2

    A woman who has been taught to take care of herself is also fitted to take care of others. She will never be a drug [a drag or burden] in the family or in society. When fortune frowns, there will be a place for her somewhere, a place where she can earn an honest living, and assist those who are dependent upon her. Woman should be trained to some business whereby she can gain a livelihood if necessary. Passing over other honorable employments, every girl should learn to take charge of the domestic affairs of home, should be a cook, a housekeeper, a seamstress. She should understand all those things which it is necessary that the mistress of a house should know, whether her family is rich or poor. Then, if reverses come, she is prepared for any emergency; she is, in a manner, independent of circumstances.—The Health Reformer, December 1, 1877.DG 213.3

    The child, the mere undisciplined immature schoolgirl, the Miss, dependent upon the discretion of parents and guardians, has no reason to listen to anything like courtship or marriage. She should decline all special attentions which would have the least likelihood to lead to any such results, and devote herself intently to making herself as perfect a woman as possible, that her life may be useful, and learn a trade that she will have employment and be independent.—Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 21(1880).DG 213.4

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