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Hints on Child Training: A Book That's Been Helping Parents Like Your...for More Than 100 Years

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  298 ratings  ·  47 reviews
This may be the only child training book you will ever need! You will discover, as thousands of other parents have, the valuable insights written a hundred years ago by Henry Clay Trumbull. He shares very frankly from his lifetime experiences with teaching children and raising eight of his own. These are working principles, written with warmth, love, and wisdom, not untrie ...more
Paperback, 208 pages
Published May 3rd 1999 by Great Expectations (first published 1893)
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  298 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Chad Warner
Oct 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents
Recommended to Chad by: Pastor Anderson
Shelves: christian, parenting
A practical guide to parenting, with advice on many specific issues such as discipline, fears, and bedtime. It's written from a Christian perspective, but there aren't many verses. It's not a formal, systematic treatise on parenting. A friend of the author asked him for his theory on child training. He replied, "I have no theory on that matter. I had lots of theories before I had any children. But now I do, with fear and trembling, in every case, just that which seems to be the better thing for ...more
Jul 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My only fear is that I will over idolize this book in our parenting. My husband & I read this together and gleaned so much wisdom. This book was to parenting as Tim Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage" was to marriage. It opened my eyes to how the gospel plays into the role.
I started to list the chapters I loved & it got ridiculous. We listened to the audiobook but will be buying a hard copy to mark up lovingly.
Anna Mussmann
Sep 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is incredibly helpful to read parenting advice from other eras. Often it’s wise advice. Alternatively, sometimes it’s quaint or silly, and this is good too. We need to remember that today’s parenting standards might be tomorrow’s chuckle and stop getting stressed out if we aren’t doing all the things The Book of the Year told us to do.

This particular volume is from the nineteenth century and was interesting in three ways: 1. The thesis is a good one. 2. The author’s comments about “parents t
Feb 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
Now that I've completed this practical and encouraging read on parenting, I'm ready to read it straight through again immediately, partly to share particularly applicable pasages with my husband, and partly to soak in the wise ideas more deeply. Highly recommended to all thoughtful parents who want to be the best possible guides for their children!
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the only books on parenting I consistently return to.
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of THE best books on parenting.
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019-finished
I wrote chapter summaries of each chapter- I really enjoyed the book overall. It was recommended by Clay Clarkson as a practical application sort of book, and it certainly was. It's probably something I could stand to read over and over again.
Jul 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Perhaps the chief strength of this book is its focus on one key dynamic or principle of parenting, namely that parents have a responsibility to train (not force or manipulate) their children in a variety of important areas. Training is different than teaching, Trumbull insists. His approach seeks to sensitize parents to the needs and potentialities of their particular child(ren).

I'll just mention two chapters that have stood out to my wife and I. First, the chapter on table conversation provides
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is an outstanding practical resource for parents.

I've now read this twice, the second time leading a group of parents through it at church. This book is one of the very best resources a parent could have, outside of their Bible and a good church.

These chapters are short, to the point, and full of wisdom and truth. This book is precious for parents and should be read over and over through their childrearing years.
Anda P
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love reading old books. They give such a fresh perspective. I definitely learned things about parenting from this book. I found it so funny that he thought the kids of his generation so spoiled compared to the previous one. He said a little girl of his generation has three dolls whose eyes roll open and shut and she doesn’t appreciate them the way her mom appreciated her one rag doll. If only he saw us today.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Turns out a 60-year-old grandpa/pastor writing whatever is in his head about raising kids in 1890 makes for a pretty good read. Some of it was a bit rich, and I would have liked more practical advice. There was a lot of stuff along the lines of, "this is a process requiring tenderness, patience, and wisdom." (Ok, so what I do if I don't have any of that? 🤣)

But on the whole, the foundation was good and working through it was a worthy endeavor. There were a lot of great nuggets of wisdom that I'll
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful unique hints on child training. The author is spot on in most cases, and his writing style is wonderful.
Cole Ramirez
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Had I not known this was written over a century ago, I would have had absolutely no idea. It very much seems like he's writing about today, which confirms that child rearing is likely no harder nor easier now than it was a century ago. It just is what it is. It has always and will always require intentionality and effort on behalf of the parent to raise good, tenderhearted, respectful, responsible, God fearing children.

Trumball aims to strike a balance between the necessary firmness a parent mu
The kind of book I hope to read once every year or two. There were dozens of insights I learned for the first time, along with hundreds of practical thoughts and reminders I needed to hear.

Trumbull writes with conviction, yet his deep compassion as a father also shines throughout. Knowing this book was written in 1890, I had assumed it would at times sound out-of-date or harsh to modern ears. For me, this turned out not to be the case at all.

I was really convicted as a father in a great many are
Hope Eifert
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Someone gave me this book when Brody was a baby, and it sat on my shelf for SEVEN YEARS. A book on child training written in the 1890's with a very Victorian illustration on the front? (Not to mention someone told me that it's method was like animal training--which turned out to be the furthest thing from the truth.) I was sure it was going to be full of admonitions to have children sit silently and ramrod straight through every meal and form into lines like the VonTrapp children. I finally deci ...more
Hollie Bergels hajdukovic
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I wish I could give this book a 4.5 because I really did love it. I also wish I had gotten it when my kids were born so we could develop some of these habits as they were growing up. It will be a little hard to make some changes but we will try. The reason I won’t give it a 5 is because some parts within the chapters were a little redundant and he doesn’t give enough examples of how to actually implement during day to day situations - i.e. my 2 1/2 year old (need I say more). Sometimes I was lef ...more
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rich Patenting Advice

I highly recommend this book for those parents needing encouragement and direction in parenting. He has so many excellent tips and insights I haven’t even thought of, and I have 8 children!! Such a rich treasury of advice!
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is one I'll definitely be coming back to the years! A wealth of wisdom for parents in here.
Jordan Carlson
I gleaned quite a few important insights from this book, though it did require some effort on my part, particularly because it was written in 1890 and I often had to sort of ‘dig’ to understand certain things...some words had different meanings or emphasis in other ages...but that same difference of time makes this book that much more interesting because it is completely different in tone and focus than many modern parenting books, and comes to me as being fresh, a novelty. His angle on issues i ...more
Aug 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
I am dangerously close to five-starring this book, but am not going to do it because I haven't read *every* chapter. But it's a solid four stars in my opinion. This book is further proof of the fact that some principles are just ageless. You'd think a 100-year old parenting book would be outdated or (as I thought) even overly harsh. This is an excellent book--with short chapters guiding parents on everything from training a child's appetite to dealing tenderly with nighttime fears. The chapter a ...more
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hints is definitely the right word for it.....

I don't disagree with much of what the author was hinting at, ( Some I would, some are outdated) but being that it's just hints, it felt like this: "Punishing in anger is bad, I shall expound on why it is bad. Endeavor not to do it." Hardly any application suggestions or any demonstrative stories that aren't completely obvious. I started skimming at about 37% stopping at a few hints that interested me and got nothing out of the reading worthwhile, bu
Sep 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Written over a hundred years ago but surprisingly fresh and relevant. It's short, which I liked, and each chapter's just a few pages so as a busy parent I could read and digest bits at a time. The sections on a child's will (don't break their will!) and sabbath-keeping are like gold. Paraphrase of a quote I loved: If keeping the sabbath means to sit quietly in church, anyone can do that; all you need are a whip and a dark closet. Children should look forward to the sabbath as their favorite day ...more
Kristen Rendall
Aug 04, 2007 rated it liked it
I really only skimmed this one, and it had some ideas that were fairly helpful, but I really think the distinction he draws between training a child's will and killing a child's will is fuzzy at best. Or maybe I'm just to dense to understand it. . . It's pretty amazing, however, that examples given more than one hundred years ago could sound like ones I could give from my own family today. I liked his thoughts on bedtime. . .
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: parenthood
What a challenging book! I was expecting an old-fashioned heavy-handed discipline style from this book, but was surprised to find a father who wrote with compassion and caring about intentional parenting. He puts heavy responsibility on parents to set the tone for the home and child's upbringing. They are to evaluate everything that is done for the child and everything that is part of the child's life. Highly Recommended!
Catherine Gillespie
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
Written in the 1800s but still fresh and compelling, H. Clay Trumbull’s very helpful Hints on Child Training casts a great vision for a coherent philosophy/theology of parenting. If you’re looking for something that balances vision with practical suggestions, this book would be a great choice.

{Read my full review here}
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Very wise and good reading. Henry Trumbell, the writer was a Christian elder and a father of more than five kids. I especially found the chapter on "bending the child's will, not breaking it" particularly helpful with my strong-willed Daniel's potty-training. This was written nearly a hundred years ago, but the wise advice is timeless...timely and refreshing for our generation.
Jodi Kendall
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mr. Trumbull is a wordy fellow but I enjoyed this book and found a lot of value in it. For a book written in 1890 I was somewhat surprised to find such grace-filled wisdom. It reminded me often of Charlotte Mason's teaching on respect of a child.
Aug 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
First published in 1890, there is still much wisdom in this book for parents today. Examples of some gems include his discussion on the value of family table talk and good night words. Check out the audible unabridged reading of this book.
Joanna Fig
Nov 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
great ideas even if written 100 years ago. Its the same parenting issues we face today approached well and with thoughtfulness.
Oct 14, 2008 rated it really liked it
very Christian-bent. a staple for charlotte mason enthusiasts. one thing that really stood out for me was the admonition to never scold a child.
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Henry Clay Trumbull was an American clergyman and author. He became a world famous editor, author, and pioneer of the Sunday School Movement.

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