The Parents' Review
A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture
"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
By The Way.
Might I bring before your readers one special point I have lately thought much about, in the hope that some one will take the subject up, and write an article for the Parents' Review? Is the power of reading character and the finer sense of judging the moral character of others as instinct, or can we teach it to our children, girls especially? Many girls do possess it naturally, and these always choose the right friends, and eventually marry men of high moral character. Others, gifted it may be in many ways, have no unconscious sense of this, and at first we see them making friends of girls below their level, and afterwards marry men whom the finer instincts could not even tolerate as acquaintances.
Lately an example of the latter class has been painfully brought home to me, and a life has been wrecked in consequence of this, the only weak point in her armour. One dreads making a child dissect and criticise others, but cannot we, by only putting before children that which is pure and holy, make it as impossible for them to stoop lower as for an artist to care to live with almanacks on his wall in place of pictures?
[Books and other "small type" matter must this month give place to the invaluable notes of matters concerning children discussed at the Congress of Hygiene.--ED.]
SYDNEY, N.S.W.--A public meeting was held on June 11 to take into consideration the necessity for forming Parents' Unions. The Most Reverend the Primate presided, and there were present many of the clergy and other influential persons. The Primate observed, in the course of his remarks, that "family rearing underlies all moral and social developments." The Rev. Dr. Corlette moved the first resolution:--"That this meeting desires to recommend the formation of Parents' Unions similar in principle to those which exist in England and elsewhere." Mr. Jackson, who has strenuously advocated, for five years or more, the establishment of "The Parents' Union system" in Australia, said in the course of his valuable address:-- "The Parents' Union is, in a word, the practical recognition of the parents' needs." Many parents need to be aroused from indifference to a sense of their responsibilities. In the words of Professor Seeley, "too many parents have, in a manner, abdicated." A central organisation may do a great deal by distributing leaflets, arranging lectures. &c. A great deal more will be done by example. "My impression is that the Parents' Unions, wherever formed, will exercise an important influence outside the circles of their respective members." Parents who are already awake to their duties feel strongly the need of more knowledge. "Speaking generally, all of us parents who are really anxious about our children are forced to feel that we want more knowledge than we possess for the adequate discharge of our duties as parents. How may this knowledge be gained? In two ways. We parents must be ready to learn from those who have made education in one or other of its many aspects their special study. And again, we parents must help one another and be ready to receive help one from the other. A great deal of knowledge is to be gained as parent meets parent in friendly and serious discussion. Now the Parents' Union system, as I understand it, exists for the purpose of enabling its parent-members to gain the needed knowledge, and in the two ways I have spoken of." Parents' Unions should tend directly to the prevention of disease, sickness, sin, and irreligion. "There are 'Mothers' Union' and 'Parents' Unions' as a recognised part of the Diocesan machinery in nearly a dozen of the Dioceses of my own State Church of England." "The exceedingly great importance of the movement from a social point of view has been recognised, and the 'Parents' National Educational Union,' which, insisting merely on 'a religious basis,' is open to all, is gaining ground rapidly." "What we want to see is a number of Parents' Unions growing up in all directions--alike in general principles, differing in details of methods and rules. It will be the work of the Provisional Committee (which you will be asked to appoint) to promote their formation in every possible way." "We may of a great central Society with its branches everywhere." "It will, I think, find a 'constitution' ready to hand in that which two years ago was formulated by the Parents' National Educational Union of England." Mr. Jackson concluded his address by reading the "Rules and Principles" of the P.N.E.U. The Provisional Committee was duly formed, consisting of Professor MacCullum, A. B. Weigall, Esq., the Revs. Principal Kinross, J.W. Debenham, Dr. Kelynack, W. Mathison, J. Fordyce, T.G Owens Mell, C.J. Prescott J.D Langley, H.L Jackson, and F.W.I. Harrinson, Esq.
Mrs. Gordon writes, "Will you put in an Extra Half-Guinea, adjudged as a Special Prize for the most excellent paper by Mrs. Pumphrey, which cam too late for the competition?" (Management of a Nursery.)
Owing to holiday irregularities, Mrs. Alfred Booth's Award will not be announced until our next number. For the same reason the following competitions are still open:--
1. Mrs. William S. Hall's Prize of One Guinea for a pretty little air to the words of "Mary, Mary, quite contrary."
2. Mrs. Duff's Prize of One Guinea for the best list of books for boys and girls of from twelve to fifteen. (See August Number.)
Competitions may be sent in (addressed to Editor, care of Publishers) until the 15th inst. So far, only two competitions have been received in each case.
Typed by A. C., April 2013