Friday, October 23, 2015

Theodore Roosevelt's Tough but True Child Raising Advice



"Into the woman’s keeping is committed the destiny of the generations to come after us. In bringing up your children you mothers must remember that while it is essential to be loving and tender it is no less essential to be wise and firm. Foolishness and affection must not be treated as interchangeable terms; and besides training your sons and daughters in the softer and milder virtues, you must seek to give them those stern and hardy qualities which in after life they will surely need. Some children will go wrong in spite of the best training; and some will go right even when their surroundings are most unfortunate; nevertheless an immense amount depends upon the family training. If you mothers through weakness bring up your sons to be selfish and to think only of themselves, you will be responsible for much sadness among the women who are to be their wives in the future. If you let your daughters grow up idle, perhaps under the mistaken impression that as you yourselves have had to work hard they shall know only enjoyment, you are preparing them to be useless to others and burdens to themselves. Teach boys and girls alike that they are not to look forward to lives spent in avoiding difficulties, but to lives spent in overcoming difficulties. Teach them that work, for themselves and also for others, is not a curse but a blessing; seek to make them happy, to make them enjoy life, but seek also to make them face life with the steadfast resolution to wrest success from labor and adversity, and to do their whole duty before God and to man. Surely she who can thus train her sons and her daughters is thrice fortunate among women."
~ Theodore Roosevelt, On American Motherhood, 1905

19 comments:

  1. Dear Jes, I love Theodore Roosevelt and love this. Wise words. True forever.
    Many thanks. Love Annabel.xxx

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    1. He shares lots of timeless advice that is important especially in this day and age. Especially good work ethic! Thank you for sharing.

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  2. Oh, how we need to teach our children with these very principles in mind. They do grow up to appreciate what's important in life. Absolutely love the photographs

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    1. Yes, timeless advice, especially for this new generation... I also love old family photographs! :)

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  3. Great Great advice! Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment Miranda! :)

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  4. Wow! What a blessing! So much wisdom here! Thank you so much for sharing, JES. I hope all is well with you and your family. God bless you!! :)

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    1. It is nice to hear from you Cheryl. So glad you were encouraged by this! :)

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  5. Thanks for sharing this great quote. I've always admired Teddy Roosevelt. Unfortunately, I'm not sure he's a bench-setter in the parenting dept. His daughter Alice was called "Queen Alice" by White House staff. She was notorious for acting unlady-like and even smoking in public. My daughter shared this with me after a report she made on TR. Also Alice openly boasted that she was entitled to being wealthy. Sad, I know. She didn't learn these good lessons from her father.

    Only Christ truly can make a difference in our children's hearts.
    Blessings,
    Leslie

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    1. Hi Leslie, Thank you for sharing this. I can't say as I am surprised but of course it is very disappointing. Sadly, this often is the case. I know many a dedicated Christian whose children are waywards despite the devoted and Biblical training. There is the cliche of the pastor's children being the wildest and so forth. Perhaps this is why Teddy included this as a caveat "Some children will go wrong in spite of the best training; and some will go right even when their surroundings are most unfortunate; nevertheless an immense amount depends upon the family training." You are right though, in the end it is Christ who makes the difference in the heart and only He can transform.

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  6. Since I am now a grandma I must just look back and hope I did well, my grown children are not perfect but lead stable productive lives, and I hope God can continue to form them into everything He wants. That is very good advice, I could wish I could have done better in all these areas, so I hope the younger mothers can take it to heart.

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    1. I think we all have regrets as no one is perfect Hannah... However, through prayer, God can make good despite all our wrongs. Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Since I am now a grandma I must just look back and hope I did well, my grown children are not perfect but lead stable productive lives, and I hope God can continue to form them into everything He wants. That is very good advice, I could wish I could have done better in all these areas, so I hope the younger mothers can take it to heart.

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    1. I think we all have regrets as no one is perfect Hannah... However, through prayer, God can make good despite all our wrongs. Thank you for sharing!

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  8. Developed a "thing" for Teddy when we visited Mount Rushmore five years ago, and have been meaning to take on a hefty biography about him ever since. You may have pushed me into starting to read it!

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    1. Thank you for sharing Michele. I do love his outdoorsy spirit and work ethic! :)

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  9. What wonderful advice..
    Thanks for sharing at the Our Simple Homestead blog hop!

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  10. Good, sound advice. Raising children is one of the demanding yet most fulfilling things in my life and I am sure of many of your reader's lives. Thanks Jes!

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  11. Wonderful advice...and thank you so very much for sharing it with us at Coffee & Conversation!!
    Nobody ever said motherhood was for the faint of heart ;-)

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