Excerpts from “The Book of Etiquette” by Lady Troubridge.
(The version of this book sitting on my bookcase was published in 1958, looks like it’s been very well used and has the name of a convent school stamped inside the front cover.)
Children & Development
It is not enough to give children the material things in life…It is a part of the heavy responsibility of parents to lead the children in their charge into the paths of right thinking and right living, and the task should be a joyous one for every child born into the world has infinite possibilities and at its very worst the task is illuminated by a ray of hope. Even the ugly duckling became a swan.
Teaching by Example
The strongest force that effects the moulding of children’s character and deportment is the character and deportment of their parents. Young people cannot find the beautiful gift of good manners in some unknown place; whatever they do and say is an immitation of whatever they have heard their elders do and say. The whole life of a man or woman is coloured by the environment and atmosphere of his or her early childhood.
To be weak and sentimental in your treatment of a child is unforgivable, but to show sympathy with and comprehension of his difficulties is your duty. Parents of “difficult” children should remember that all children of fine mental calibre and vivid imagination are “difficult”, but in the end may become finer men and women than those who are of a more stolid and straight-forward character.
The Development of Personality
Games, books, music, toys and friends all have their due effect on the moulding of the child’s character. Surround the child with beauty, good thought and joyousness, and throughout the years he lives in your care help him to develop all that is best in himself…Let him as far as possible use his own brains and follow the dictates of his own heart, for only by doing so can be rightly develop his personality.