1919: Cheerfulness

Since today is mother’s day, I thought I’d bring you a little something from the parenting side of advice books. The following is from one called The Mother’s Book. My own mom has raised me with a cheerful outlook on life, I think, so this one seemed fitting as a way to honor her and all she’s done for me.

Cheerfulness has been delightfully called “the bright weather of the heart.” Let the mother smile down upon the babe that gazes tearfully up into her eyes, and often out of a peevish humor a happy spirit is at once evoked, for an infant is most sensitive to look and tone. Let her meet its childish woes and hurts with an encouraging word, and very early it will begin to take a cheerful view of life; and how easily it attaches itself to anyone with a bright face and a merry heart! We are generous in the education of our children, but do we not sometimes neglect the very important art of cheerfulness? Draw the child’s attention to the beauty of a rainy day, and to the different blessings associated with merry spring, glowing summer, gorgeous autumn, and brisk winter. Teach them to look more often up into the sky with its wonderful cloud effects; for the cheerful ones are always those who look out and up. It is easier now than in the olden days to teach the young lessons of cheer; for more and more their social betterment is made a subject of study. It was not until late in the nineteenth century, for example, that children were taught to sing, and does not the music thus brought into their lives impart genuine pleasure?

Some mothers who read these words will sigh and say that withal life is a chapter of many and varied experiences, and that it is hard always to be bright. Well, there are clouds it is true, but there is a rift somewhere; the best way is to walk hand in hand with the children right up to manhood and womanhood, trying to carry the cheer together, and cheerfulness has an abiding element that overcomes many obstacles.

On that note, Happy Mother’s Day all you mothers out there, particularly my own!