A Hundred Necessary Rules of Conduct for Children

I recently came across my printed copy of “A Hundred Necessary Rules of Conduct for Children,” by Christopher Dock, Mennonite schoolmaster, originally published in 1764.

Occurred to me that (a) perhaps various parents of my acquaintance might find it useful in teaching their children how to behave :), and (b) it might be available online.

Sure enough. Turns out it was originally written in German (I think?), and was translated by Samuel W. Pennypacker, and there’s a free online copy of Pennypacker’s translation.

Some excerpts:

1. Dear child, accustom yourself to awaken at the right time in the morning without being called, and as soon as you are awake get out of bed without delay.


9. When you comb your hair do not go out into the middle of the room, but to one side in a corner.


16. Do not throw your clothes about in the room, but lay them together in a certain place, so that in the morning early you can easily find them again.


19. Should you wake in the night, think of God and His omnipresence, and entertain no idle thoughts.


24. At the table sit very straight and still, do not wabble with your stool, and do not lay your arms on the table. Put your knife and fork upon the right and your bread on the left side.


49. Do not stick the remaining bread in your pocket but let it lie on the table.


96. In sneezing, blowing the nose, spitting, and yawning be careful to use all possible decency. Turn your face to one side, hold the hand before it, put the uncleanliness of the nose in a handkerchief and do not look at it long, let the spittal fall upon the earth and tread upon it with your foot. Do not accustom yourself to continual hawking, grubbing at the nose, violent panting, and other disagreeable and indecent ways.

I hope your children will all take these guidelines to heart, especially the one about not wabbling.

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