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Abigail Advice to Her Son John Quincy

To mold her son into a successful and virtuous man, Abigail Adams wrote many letters to John Quincy Adams, who was always on the road with his father. In her letters, Abigail Adams often reminds John how he has been endowed with special privileges. She explains that the easy passage does not make a proper man, but it makes the person better when they undergo difficulties. Abigail believes that hardships help build a person’s character, so she tries her best to encourage him to put extra effort into whatever he does. At some point in the letter, she asks her son always to pay attention, be steady and diligent. She is trying to instill a mentality of being patient always. Besides, Abigail is setting her son the standards of not engaging in the dangers of sin and vice and adhering to moral rules.

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Using a pressuring undertone voice, Abigail encourages her son to be keen while moving around the world, experiencing different issues that will also build his character. When she talks about the “instructive eye of a tender parent,” she tells her son that she will always be there for him; however far he travels (Adams, 137). Abigail is brilliant on her word choice, and even when she stresses some point, it sounds as though she is commanding but still being tender. For instance, when she writes, she ends the sentence forcefully, saying, “Your improvements should bear some proportion to your advantages” (Adams, 138). The tone might be motherly, but her word choices show the kind of expectation John’s mother Abigail has on him. It shows the kind of mother Abigail is, one who does not like to be disappointed and has full belief that her son can achieve great feats with just a little if he does not lose focus of the end goal.

The woman I can remember from my childhood is Mrs. Keagan, my neighbor, who was also my music teacher while I was in junior school. Being a single mom, she had a duty of taking care of her three sons: Mark, Trevor, and Scott. Even though the boys were older than me, they liked me, and I would spend lots of time with them. It is during that period that I had seen the kind of woman Mrs. Keagan was. First, she was strict when it came to the discipline of her children; commanded an unwithering respect from them. The sons always had to maintain a respectful demeanor because of the fear of being punished whenever they made mistakes.

Second, Mrs. Keagan expected each of her children to have an attainable goal in life. Her firstborn Mark had always envisioned to be like his late father by joining the Army. Trevor wanted to be an astronaut while Scott was targeting of being a soccer star. Their mother never deviated from what her children wanted to be but rather pushed them into better versions of themselves. She always kept reminding them of the fruits of hard work and its rewards. That frequent reminder by their mother may have been their drive to whatever they were doing in achieving their goals. That is the same mentality she would try and instill in us even at our younger age. She always talked of the value of hard work and having a winning attitude in everything we did.

Today, as I look back at her teaching and how she pushed her boys, I think it is the best formula to implement: always keep pushing people towards their goals. Nowadays, Mark is a general in the army and has served many tours. Scott plays in La Liga, Spain’s top football division, while Trevor just graduated as a pilot. I look at Mrs. Keagan and see her teachings similar to those of Abigail Adams.

Work Cited

Adams, Abigail. Letters of Mrs. Adams, the Wife of John Adams. C. C. Little and J. Brown, 1848.

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