"Then comes a mother's love, more tender than a father's. There is more instinct, if not of reason, in her affection. She has had more to do with the physical being of her child, having borne him in her womb, fed him at the breast, and watched him in his cradle...
The mother has much to do with the child's character--while yet in the flexible state in which it receives its shape. The earliest exercises of thought, emotion, will, and conscience are all carried on under her eye. She has to do not only with the body in its infancy, but with the soul in its childhood. Both mind and heart are in her hand at that period when they take their first start for good or for evil.
The children learn to lisp their first words and to form their first ideas under her teaching. They are always in her company, and are, insensibly to themselves and imperceptibly to her, receiving a right or wrong bias from her. She is the first model of character that they witness; the first exhibitions of right and wrong in practice are what they see in her.
They are the constant observers of the passions, graces, virtues, and faults which are shown in her words, temper, and actions. She is therefore, unconsciously to herself, educating them not only by designed teaching, but by all she does or says in their presence."
-John Angell James,
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