Parenting is a beautiful, life-changing experience. But sometimes, it can get scary and confusing. That’s why Child Guidance by Ellen G. White is one of the best parenting books for new parents.
Do you ever feel alone and helpless, and wonder if you’ll ever be a better parent? You’re not alone.
I became a mother barely 10 months ago. And every day of this motherhood journey has been a revealer of abilities and uncertainties.
On some days, I feel like a super woman. But on other days, I feel inadequate. And singled out for misery. Like a dummy who everyone else in class laughs at.
Now, you’ll wonder if there was ever a way to do parenting right. Trust me, I share your thoughts.
However, who said we couldn’t learn a thing or two (or three) from some of the best parenting books out there?
As a Christian parent, it matters a whole lot to me to train my son in the way of the Lord. But does this means I’ll always know what to do?
Not always. But I can trust God. And one of such ways is to leverage child guidance resources within my reach.
One of which is Ellen White’s Child Guidance. Let’s go through this summary together.
Child Guidance by Ellen G. White Summary
I started reading this book about two months ago.
And I still haven’t completed it. (Lazy, you say.)
I’m on page 73 of 569 pages. Wow! A long journey still lies ahead.
So you’re probably saying, “why write a summary when you’re not even one-fifth of the way?”
Here’s the thing:
In the first three sections of Child Guidance, Ellen White has taught me so much about parenting.
And I’ve found it impossible to read further without pausing to practice these lessons with my son.
For example, she shares the importance of educating your child right from the moment he or she can reason.
Which means once they’re getting out of the “baby-baby” phase into the infant phase.
Say 6 months and on.
But how do you teach a child of this age?
Ellen White recommends using nature as the child’s classroom.
Plants. Animals. Trees. And so on.
So I decided to start taking my son for daily walks. Morning and evening. To educate him about other creatures in the world.
Good for us, our neighborhood has a lot of trees and plants. And animals too – dogs, fowls, birds, goats, lizards, snails, squirrels, cats, rats, and (what am I missing). Mostly these.
As we walk on the streets, I’ll show him the animals and plants. And tell him that God made them. And made him too. We’d use songs and rhymes. To make it stick.
Now tell me how he won’t get it.
Lessons in Child Guidance for Parents
• Train Your Child Early
In Child Guidance, Ellen White emphasizes the need for parents to start educating their kids from an early age.
Don’t wait till they’re toddlers or older than 3. And don’t delay with helping them imbibe virtues such as patience and self-control.
When your child knows that he can’t throw tantrums because he’s hungry, he’ll learn to wait patiently while you prepare his food.
Quoting Ellen G White on Child Guidance page 17, “Teach your children to be kind and patient. Teach them to be thoughtful of others.”
When your child knows that the world doesn’t revolve around them alone, they develop a sense of sharing and caring for others.
• Use the Bible and Nature as Your Textbooks
When you decide to train your kids early, you might worry about how to go about it.
What child guidance resources do you use?
Do you need a “baby textbook” or something of that sort?
As Ellen White puts it on page 43, “Teach your children that the commandments of God must become the rule of their life.”
On that same page, she encourages parents “to teach their children lessons from the Bible, making them so simple that they can readily be understood.”
By emphasizing the importance of the Bible, Ellen White shows how broad the Bible is for life. It’s a great book for everything.
She even adds that Jesus learned from the Scriptures and nature.
Talking about nature, she says on page 48, “The little children should come especially close to nature.”
“Instead of putting fashion’s shackles upon them, let them be free like the lambs, to play in the sweet, fresh sunlight.”
After I read this, I began to take my son out more often. Even if it’s just within our home.
Once I saw a snail, and I bent to the ground and explained to him how slow a creature it is.
We watched the snail move for about 10 minutes or so. And I explained to him how the same God who made and loves him is the same God who made the snail.
Well…did he understand? I don’t know. But I know it’ll make better sense someday.
And best of all – even Christ loved nature and taught lessons using the natural world.
You remember Matthew 5 where he talked about the lilies of the field and how we shouldn’t worry about food, water or clothing.
So teach your kids with nature and the Bible.
• Depend on God, not Yourself
It’s so easy to think that we have to do it all by ourselves.
Even when my husband helps with my son’s laundries or cleans up his toys before bedtime, I still sometimes feel overwhelmed.
And ask myself if I’m doing everything right.
But here’s the truth:
If we lean on ourselves, we’ll never truly be sufficient. Never good enough.
But we’re not alone. On Child Guidance page 64, Ellen White says, “God alone is their sufficiency, and if they leave Him out of the question, seeking not His aid and counsel, hopeless indeed is their task.”
“But by prayer, by study of the Bible, and by earnest zeal on their part, they may succeed nobly in this important duty, and be repaid a hundredfold for all their time and care….”
No doubt, in God, we have all the wisdom we need to be great parents.
As parents, it falls on us to seek his help for them. We can’t parent with our own wisdom.
Professional Deficiency in Parenting
Ellen G. White goes further to talk about mothers who don’t know how grave the responsibility of motherhood and parenting is.
She states on page 63, “They may be qualified to conduct business or to shine in society; they may have made creditable attainments in literature and science; but of the training of a child they have little knowledge….”
And she adds the remedy below:
“Before taking upon themselves the possibilities of fatherhood and motherhood, men and women should become acquainted with the laws of physical development—with physiology and hygiene, with the bearing of prenatal influences, with the laws of heredity, sanitation, dress, exercise, and the treatment of disease; they should also understand the laws of mental development and moral training….”
This may sound overwhelming. But I think her goal is to help us parents see what really lies ahead of us.
For me, it’s a major call to duty. And I was a bit threatened when I read this line on page 64:
“To assume the responsibilities of parenthood without such preparation is a sin.”
I wish she were alive today to explain this to me.
But I quite agree with her.
Because any parent who is clueless about what it is to shape another human being is committing a crime.
What do you think?
In all, in Child Guidance Chapter 8, Ellen White focuses on preparation for parenting. Steps to take. Things to do. How to learn.
I’m just on Chapter 9, so let’s stop here for now.
The Bottom Line
Being a mother or father is one of the sweetest blessings in life. And it could be daunting and frightening at times. No doubt.
But with the lessons in this amazing Christian parenting book, Ellen G. White shows you that you can do it.
I’ve just read 73 pages of Child Guidance, but I’ve learned so much.
Which I’m living out with my son. And I’m sure I’ll learn more to share with him and his sibling after him.
Finally, I leave you with the greatest lesson of all:
“By prayer you may gain an experience that will make your ministry for your children a perfect success.”
So go on your knees in your corner. Pour out your heart to God. Listen carefully to the whispers.
And trust that He’s holding your hand as you train your kids. You are never alone. And the host of heaven is parenting with you!
Would you love to read a copy of Child Guidance by Ellen G White?
Or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll share my copy with you.