Saturday, December 29, 2012

The powerful influence a mother has over her child (Part 3)

Due to the influence that each mother exercises upon her own child,
mothers are capable of molding children after their own character, just as a potter
molds clay in the manner he wishes.

Diogenis would say the following concerning the easily pliable years of
childhood: “The education of children can be likened to potters’ vessels. Just as
they shape and form clay as they wish while it is still soft, but are unable to shape
it once it is fired, similarly children who are not painstakingly disciplined cannot
be changed once they grow up.”

Plutarch further asserts: “youth is easily pliable and workable, and while
such souls are still tender, teachings are embedded deep within the soul.”
Hence, during the tender childhood years, mothers are capable of
effectively and profoundly impacting a child’s soul, mindset, feelings, nous,
imagination, and ethos.

 After this age, the youthful heart begins to harden, and
instruction becomes—if not impossible—very difficult, as the divine Chrysostom
correctly attests: “it was necessary right from the beginning when you noticed
these evils developing, while your child was still young and obedient, to restrain
him rigorously, to make him grow accustom to the essentials, to regulate and
chastise the ailments of his soul.

 You should have removed the thorns when it
was easy to do so; when it was easy to uproot them on account of the tender
age. Now it has become difficult to do so because, due to negligence, the
passions have multiplied and increased. For this reason, it is written: ‘bend his
neck while he is still young,’ when discipline is easier to implement.”

—by St. Nektarios—
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