The rather biased advice in “Give Your Child a Paper” reminds us that The Youth’s Companion was intended for parents, as well as children. It also emphasizes the Companion’s focus on reading as a way to affect the human soul—seen also in such pieces as “Pleasant and Profitable" and “Hints to Young Men.”
[Variety] “Give Your Child a Paper” (from The Youth’s Companion, 23 August 1855; p. 72)

A child beginning to read, becomes delighted with a newspaper, because he reads the names of things which are familiar, and will make progress accordingly. A newspaper in one year is worth a quarter’s schooling to a child, and every father must consider that substantial information is connected with advancement. The mother of a family being one of the heads, and having a more immediate charge of children, should herself be instructed. A mind occupied, becomes fortified against the ills of life, and is braced for an emergency.—Children amused by reading, or study, are, of course, more considerate and more easily governed. How many parents who have not spent twenty dollars for books for families, would have given hundreds to reclaim a son or daughter who had ignorantly or thoughtlessly fallen into temptation!

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