Future Catholic child students might do well to analyse from the standpoint of educational psychology some of the great heritage of proverbs concerning the training of little children which are found in Catholic countries. Here are a few from a hundred that have been collected from many lands.
Up to his fifth year, the child is your master; up to his tenth, he is your servant; up to his fifteenth your counsellor; and after that he is either your friend or your enemy.
Children are the pledge of wedded life, mother's best playmates, the blessing on the house, the poor man's riches. Children have their angels.
Children speak the truth. (Sincerity). Little children tread on your feet; grown children tread on your heart.
Children learn as much with their eyes as they do with their ears.
Children ought not to know that their parents have money, Children notice more what old folks do than what they say.
A child can never get another mother, but the father can get another wife.
Much loved children have many names. One-third of a child takes after its father.
Little children. Little cares; big children, big cares.
A poor child is as happy in playing with pennies as a rich child with gold coins.
A child that does not play and does not wag its tongue is not healthy.
A lively child wants to see everything; you should go along with it and show it.
If the child has no appetite for bread do not give it cake.
A child regards every man as that man regards his own parents.
A short time suffices to learn to talk; a lifetime may not teach how to keep silence.
A child must learn to pray at its mother's knees.
The child will tell you that it has been whipped, but it will not tell you what for.
Man lasts so short a while; yet it costs so much to raise him! Children are the parents' bridge to heaven.
Why folk wisdom is so unduly hard on stepmothers I do not know (one saying declares that they "look best in a green dress," like Prince Lennart of Sweden and his plebeian bride). Yet many a little one has found another mother, despite the old saws. In general tl:e proverbs hit the mark: temper authority with mildness, and lead the child to God. Who is the centre of his "adjustment" and of all his "poise."
MALAYA CATHOLIC LEADER, SATURDAY. 17th FEBRUARY, 1940, page 7, women's page.