Monday, September 8, 2008

Mabel Hubbard Bell

I'm having a little love affair with the Bells. If you peruse their notebooks on the Library of Congress you get to see all kinds of interesting notes about flight, children, ponies, sheep, potato bugs, and science. Mabel Hubbard Bell was deaf and that is at least part of why Alexander Graham Bell studied sound so thoroughly. The Bells were friends with Helen Keller as well, and letters from her appear in the family archive.

In one of Mabel's journals there are notes on child raising... She tells a story about how her daughter Daisy took three candies, two for herself and one for her sister and she ate up two and then ate part of the other. The notebook asks, "What should her punishment be?" and different handwriting chimes in to answer that you should let Daisy punish herself. "Be very sorry when the next time comes that she has already eaten up the candy you wanted her to have. Give Elsie hers but don't give Daisy any. Don't treat it as a punishment. You wanted her to have it and you are very sorry she ate it up too soon."

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