One should be very careful not to rebuke and punish when he feels cross or falls into a fit of anger and knows that his temper is out of eontrol; for then rebuke and punishment are given, more than once, not on account of the grievousness of the offence itself, but because of the displeasure it has roused.
Say a child, at play, tears his Coat, or, through wildness and clumsiness breaks some furniture in the house; all these accidents, after all are not State affairs, though Mammy does not precisely like them. Yet, when such catastrophes unfortunately happen, Mammy's first impulse is rather .,. .quick. So that the poor little bungler is rebuked and even punished more heavily than he generally deserves.
It is of all necessity to resist the first impulse; i t has no educational virtue of any kind. Remember that children possess a clear notion of right and wrong in matter of punishment and know well when punishment is beyond the .gravity of the offence. Thy will then feel aggrieved or rebel against it. Such a state of affairs does not help to form their conscience. Yet to form her children's conscience is the chief purpose of education, a truth that a mother should always keep in view.
A mother, therefore, must be able to make out the difference in the offences of her child; with the impartiality of a judge she must make the distinction between a serious trespass & a mere trifle, a fault against morals and a fault which is but the result of a levity of character and thoughtlessness, as generally is the case with our Kttle ones.
To show oneself more severe about a broken plate than for & saucy retort is a gross mistake which every mother should ever be on guard against. Therefore in this .momentous affair of children's education, one has perforce to practice self-denial. Self-denial is a virtue of absolute necessity to Christian parents, especially to the mother.
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, February 2nd, 1935 (1935.pdf pp45)