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|Susannah Wesley's Rules for Children|
Susannah Wesley had nineteen children, including John (the famous preacher) and Charles (the famous hymn writer). To manage her very large family successfully, she followed these rules:
1. Eating between meals is not allowed.
2. Children are to be in bed by 8 p.m.
3. They must take medicine without complaining.
4. Teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak.
5. Require all to be still during family worship.
6. Give them nothing they cry for, and only that which they ask for politely.
7. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented.
8. Never punish a child twice for a single offense.
9. Commend and reward good behavior.
10. Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.
11. Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended.
12. Preserve property rights, even the smallest matters.
13. Strictly observe all promises.
14. Require no daughter to work before she can read well.
15. Teach children to fear the Lord.
16. Subdue self-will in a child, and thus work together with God to save the child’s soul.
As all mothers today, Mrs. Wesley was concerned with the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional growth of her children. Not even today’s child psychologist experts could improve on these rules she used nearly 300 years ago. In the Biblical story of Hannah and Samuel: “For this whole life shall he be given over to the Lord.” 1 Sam. 1:28
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