Link to Ferris Homepage
Print this window
Collapse of the United States Home. (Address.)

World peace is dependent upon the American home and the American home has disintegrated.

To insure peace we must avoid overlegislation, oversupervision, overspecialization, and overorganization. We must teach obedience to law and that teaching must start in the home. The task cannot be left entirely to churches and schools. Husband and wife must unite in rebuilding the home. When parents realize this and set about the task of accomplishing it, then, and only then, will all accept the responsibilities of real citizenship and the loyalty that is necessary for the success of any program of world peace.

The success of our country has been founded on unity. It is a cardinal principle of democracy that we work for all of the people all of the time. To this and let us advocate and defend the democracy of Woodrow Wilson. Wilson at the peace table faced the hardest task ever tackled by a diplomat. His program failed for no other reason than humanity's greed. Time will prove the wisdom of his fourteen points for a brotherhood of nations is essential to world prosperity and world happiness.

I am deeply concerned over the modern home with its many short cuts to make life easier. In the old fashioned home boys and girls learned obedience.

But what obedience can parents expect when they make jokes about the Eighteenth Amendment and violate it at their dining table?

What can they expect of their children when over their glasses they exchange vulgar stories and covert insinuations? In the home of the past, parents set an example of sobriety.

Not only do modern parents disobey the law but they do not demand obedience in the home and their children know it. When you eliminate the 'have-to' from domestic education, you can say goodbye to the American home.

The growing girl in the home today should be made to wash dishes and help in the manual labor. It is far better to have your daughter spend her Saturday afternoon scrubbing the kitchen floor than sitting on the front porch holding her boy friend's hand.

It is strange that mothers today submit to the 'have-to' in the home life themselves, but try in every way to relieve their daughters. Mothers will wash dishes and explain that their daughters don't like to. No sane women likes to wash dishes, but girls should be made to wash dishes as part of their home discipline.

The summer camp is another form of disintegration.

The modern family is seldom together. In the summer instead of keeping children home and teaching them to do the work of the home, parents send them to summer camps. Father and son and mother and daughter weeks were unnecessary in the past because parents and children were together in the home. I am not criticizing the movement, it is necessary that fathers and sons and mothers and daughters should see one another at least once a year.

Parents should not shirk the responsibility of moral, religious and economic education on the church, the school and the bank. Don't give children money; let them earn it. Parents who give freely to spare children the struggle they endured are doing them a grave wrong. Teach them the meaning of the word thrift. There is no human development without the element of struggle, and to take it out of the American home is invitiing peril.

Source: Newton, Roy, editor. Life and Works of Woodbridge N. Ferris. (Big Rapids, Michigan: n.p., 1960), 287-288.