The good habits you instill in your child’s life are an endowment. There is a subtle difference between an endowment and an investment.
Habit-training yourself is an investment with a large return. An investment is something you usually do for yourself; you put in the capital.
An endowment is like an inheritance; someone else supplies the capital. That’s what you are giving your child as you contribute to his “habit account.”
Think of the habits of attention, obedience, kindness, observation, truthfulness, and diligence as contributions you are making to his life. The more good habits you can help deposit into his future, the smoother his life will be.
Those habits—that he did not work hard over—will pay him benefits for the rest of his life. In fact, he may not realize the significance of that gift while he is young. He might not appreciate the true value of the endowment until later in life; but you will know what a wonderful treasure you are building into his future.
And as an added bonus, you will also get to reap the dividends of smoother and easier days in your home as each new habit is deposited and secured in his life.
As Charlotte put it,
“The mother who takes pains to endow her children with good habits secures for herself smooth and easy days” (Vol. 1, p. 136).
Good habits are a valuable commodity. Give your child the benefit of a large endowment of them.
(Read more about investing in your own good habits in Laying Down the Rails for Yourself: Good Habits Are Not Just for Kids, a new book from Simply Charlotte Mason.)