it came to that — is yet made the scapegoat of that parent's moods, or occupations, or nerves!
The tender mother could not hear without tears, in a police report, the tale of a child whom some brutal father had kicked because he himself was surly or disappointed; and yet she herself that morning has perhaps vented some temporary vexation, half unconsciously, on her child, and then has thought the little thing unreasonable because it cried.
How much of what we call moodiness in children is in reality fatigue or dyspepsia in the parent!
I remember well that when I taught a school in a suburb of Boston
, just after leaving college, there were days when everything went wrong, and the best boys in the school seemed filled with a spirit of restlessness and irritation.
At first it seemed to me that it must be the weather; and at last, on serious reflection, I made the discovery that these exceptional days of discord were invariably the days after I had myself been out unusually late the night before.
The nervous irritation of the pupils simply reflected that of the teacher; he was the sinner, they only the scapegoats.
Could one simply be reasonable with children, it would go a great way towards making them reasonable with us. Could we always be to them what we are on Christmas-day, it would certainly help them towards having a Christmas all the year round.