Stubbornness ~ The Catholic Teacher’s Companion


Painting by Henry Hintermeister

This book was written at the turn of the 20th century for Catholic teaching nuns. It is called The Catholic Teacher’s Companion  – A book of Inspiration and Self-Help by Rev. Felix M. Kirsch, O.M.C. (1924). The lessons between the covers are valuable for parents, educators and all who work with children.


Most of the stubbornness among children can probably be traced to false methods of education either in the home or in the school. Many parents and teachers are forever issuing orders without once pausing to consider whether all their orders can be carried out.

Again, they will never offer a word of praise, but instead are liberal of reprimands no matter how hard the effort of the child may have been. With such treatment the child will finally come to disregard all commands and to take a peculiar delight in acting contrary to the wishes of his superiors.

But pupils spoiled in this way are not at all hopeless. Proper treatment is all that they require to be cured. They must be led to realize that they must submit to authority.

Before giving a command the teacher must make sure that she is right, but after that she must insist on obedience to her order.

The stubborn child may never be allowed to triumph over the teacher. Instead, he should be trained to spend his strong will power on the proper objectives, and he may then prove a leader among men.

The teacher should discriminate between the stubborn and the independent boy. The independent boy acts contrary to the teacher’s commands not for the mere satisfaction of following his own sweet will, but rather because he is convinced that he knows the matter in hand better than the teacher.

He feels very keenly the “humiliation” of being compelled to follow in all things the teacher’s guidance. He is eager to break away from the leading strings and to follow his own initiative.

Such a boy may be very gifted and may possess the invaluable asset of having both a keen mind and strong will power. Properly directed he will make his mark in the world or in the Church.

On the other hand, it is difficult to give him, when found in a large class, the special training required for the full development of his powers. Yet it is a safe rule for the teacher to give him as much opportunity for personal initiative as is consonant with class management.

He should not be nagged at for trifles but should be kept busy with tasks that make real demands upon his ability and industry. He should feel that the teacher is glad to assist him in his laudable ambition, yet may not demand that the teacher attend to him to the neglect of the rest of her class.

The proud pupil offers peculiar difficulties to the teacher. If his pride is only a form of vanity springing from the consciousness of good looks, pretty clothes, etc., the check will come naturally enough from his companions, who are not apt to tolerate in their midst any such priggishness.

But where the pride springs from the consciousness of superior ability, the remedy is not so near at hand. Though the boy is proud he may not be censured undeservedly, but may be reformed by exposing certain faults of which he is guilty but not conscious.

But it is rarely advisable to reprimand him in public. It will generally be more effective to direct his attention to what is truly great and admirable, and in this way he may be encouraged to make virtue and saintliness the goal of his striving.

The lazy pupil may be the despair of the zealous and ambitious teacher. But she must be on her guard lest she mistake dullness for laziness. If the Lord has not given a boy sufficient ability to pass the sixth-grade examinations, it would be wrong to punish the pupil for the lack of talent.

Again, the teacher perhaps demands too much of the children, and the less gifted are discouraged in consequence and lack the stimulus to make any further effort whatsoever. The teacher and not the pupils are to blame for their apathy and listlessness. The pupils should not be punished, but should be encouraged to try anew.

Other cases of apparent laziness may be traced to physical defects of various kinds, and should be referred to the physician rather than to the teacher. But if the laziness be real and not merely apparent, the teacher will have a hard task.

She must, first of all, arouse the pupil’s interest and thus release his energy. She must make him work and work hard. This may require some time, but if in the end she brings him to appreciate the fruits of hard labor, she has done her part to fit him for life.

Treat your boys as young men. You want them to grow up to be hardworking and confident. Is it not true, that the more productive we are, the better we feel? Then structure your children’s day to be active and busy—they will thrive under these conditions. -Finer Femininity, Painting by Mark Keathley, 1963

Lecture on raising a man in a society of boys. Modern society has effeminate males even in their 40s & 50s so how do you raise a man to be an actual man of virtue?


Penal Rosaries!

Penal rosaries and crucifixes have a wonderful story behind them. They were used during the times when religious objects were forbidden and it was illegal to be Catholic. Being caught with a rosary could mean imprisonment or worse. A penal rosary is a single decade with the crucifix on one end and, oftentimes, a ring on the other. When praying the penal rosary you would start with the ring on your thumb and the beads and crucifix of the rosary in your sleeve, as you moved on to the next decade you moved the ring to your next finger and so on and so forth. This allowed people to pray the rosary without the fear of being detected. Available here.

Most wives possess a deep, existential intuition that they bear primary responsibility for creating the home environment, in cooperation with their husbands, who protect and provide for it. When Leila Lawler started out as a young wife and then became a mother, she had no idea how to keep a house, manage laundry, or plan and prepare meals, let alone entertain and inspire toddlers and select a curriculum to pass on the Faith.

She spent decades excavating deeply rooted cultural memories that had been buried under an avalanche of feminist ideology. Lawler developed and meticulously presented these on her popular website, Like Mother, Like Daughter, and has now collected them in this comprehensive, three-volume set to help women who desire a proficient and systematic approach to home life.

The Summa Domestica comprises three volumes: Home Culture, which delves into establishing a home and a vision for raising children; Education, which offers a philosophy for the primary vocation of parents to form their children and give them the means to learn on their own; and Housekeeping, which offers practical details for meals, laundry, and a reasonably clean and organized busy and thriving household.

All at once lively, funny, calming, and complete, The Summa Domestica an indispensable how-to book on making and keeping a home that will serve your family best.

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