Here is a passage from one of the favorite books “The Mother at Home”. This is the way in which I discipline my children.

And is there any difficulty in enforcing obedience to any definite command? Take the case of the child playing with the Bible. A mild and judicious mother says distinctly and decidedly to her child, “My daughter, that is the Bible, and you must not touch it.” The child hesitates for a moment, but yielding to the strong temptation, is soon playing with the forbidden book. The mother immediately rises, takes the child, and carries her into her chamber. She sits down and says calmly, “Mary, I told you not to touch the Bible, and you have disobeyed me. I am very sorry, for now I must punish you.”

Mary begins to cry, and to promise not to do so again.

“But Mary,” says the mother, “you have disobeyed me, and you must be punished.”

Mary continues to cry, but the mother seriously and calmly punishes her. She inflicts real pain–pain that will be remembered.

She then says, “Mary, it makes mother very unhappy to have to punish you. She loves her little daughter, and wishes to have her a good girl.”

She then perhaps leaves her to herself for a few minutes. A little solitude will deepen the impression made.

In five or ten minutes she returns, takes Mary in her lap, and says, “My dear, are you sorry that you disobeyed mother?”

Almost any child would say, “Yes!”

“Will you be careful and not disobey me again?”

“Yes, mother.”

“Well, Mary,” says her mother, ” I will forgive you, so far as I can; but God is displeased; you have disobeyed him as well as me. Do you wish me to ask God to forgive you?”

“Yes, mother,” answers the child.

The mother then kneels with her daughter and offers a simple prayer for forgiveness, and the return of peace and happiness. She then leads her out, humbled and subdued. At night, just before she goes to sleep, she mildly and affectionately reminds her of her disobedience, and advises her to ask God’s forgiveness again. Mary, in child-like simplicity, acknowledges to God what she has done, and asks him to forgive her, and take care of her, during the night.


  1. Hadias says

    The Bible in this passage of reading was reffered to as a “forbidden book”.

    It is not forbidden in my home each of my children have their own Bible and we have many in our home.

    The purpose of posting this passage is that it gives an example of how to dicipline without anger, yet teaching children the value of obedience.

    Whether it’s a forbidden book or a forbidden family heirloom the dicipline should be carried out in such a way that it brings correction with love.


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