Poisoning The Child Mind

One of the recent discoveries in the art of healing is the therapeutic value of suggestion. That is to say, the physician, by suggesting to the patient, particularly the patient suffering from nervous disorder, sane and helpful thoughts about himself, can work a cure better oftentimes than by the use of drugs.

The force of mental suggestion is so great that many fads, and even new religions, have arisen which are based upon it.

If the influence of good suggestion be so great, the influence of bad suggestion is even greater.

I wish to call attention to one form of character poisoning of which parents are frequently guilty.

Perhaps the worst misfortune that can happen to a person is to be infested with germs of fear, to lack decision and self-confidence, to be a prey to the terrors of morbidity and doubt of self. Who can tell the mortal pain, shame, and self-torture of the innumerable victims of chronic fear?

Frequently parents are responsible for this. A boy, for instance, develops some inborn trait of waywardness; he is untruthful, will not apply himself, is careless, disobedient, or persists in keeping bad company; the parent naturally tells him of his fault, and, as it seems to do no good, drops into a constant practise of scolding. Over and over the boy is reminded that he is “bad,” that he will never amount to anything, and so on. This finally filters in the child’s subconsciousness, and then the irretrievable damage; for when he comes to believe in his sub-mind that he is bad, he is bad.

Why not try to find the CAUSE of your child’s defects and remove it? When you KNOW that blame and reproof do no good, why go on?

We do not realize that it is a CRIME to say to any child, under any circumstances, that he is bad, weak, or vicious. When you do that you are planting a seed of damage in his mind.

Many a woman has been wrecked because her life was poisoned when she was a child by unceasing mental suggestions from her mother that she was naughty, wicked, unreliable, or untruthful.

Many a man is a weak failure in the struggles of mature life simply because the cult of failure was carefully instilled into his childish mind by his thoughtless parents.

Dwell upon and encourage the good that is in your child. Ignore his defects as far as possible. Learn how to shut your eyes. Above all, do not tell him he is wicked. Show him his faults, but never in public, but in sacred intimacy. Show him the consequences of wrongdoing; but enlist his aid in opposing his bad traits. Persistently suggest to him that he is good, brave, strong, and truthful. In after-life this belief of yours in him will tone up his self-respect and give him strength in his hours of crisis.


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