Can we learn parenting from someone who lived hundreds of years ago? If the success of her children are any indicator, we certainly can.
In a previous blog, I wrote about the phenomenal woman, Susanna Wesley. In case you missed that one and don’t know who Susannah Wesley was, she was the mother of John Wesley who became the founder of the Methodist movement. His brother Charles is a famous songwriter who wrote over 6,500 songs. A number of them are still sung in churches today.
Susanna Wesley was a disciplined self-learner who seemed to take-on any task that was set before her. To effectively and productively raise her ten surviving children, she compiled a list of “house rules” that everyone abided by. Here is a summary in my own words:
- No eating between meals
- Children must be in bed by 8 pm
- Medicine is to be taken without complaint
- Restraining a child’s will, works with God to save the child’s soul
- Teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak
- Children must sit still during Family Worship
- Never give a child anything they cry for. Only give them something when they ask politely
- In order to prevent lying, do not punish when there is first confession and repentance
- Always punish sinful acts
- Do not punish a child twice for the same offense
- Comment on, and reward, good behavior
- Demonstrate approval at any attempt to please, even if it doesn’t really work out
- Protect individual property rights even in small things
- Be certain to fulfill ALL promises
- Do not require a girl to work until she can first read well
- Teach children to be afraid of punishment
What do you think of this list? Do you think it still applies today?