- Susannah lived in the early 1700′s, was the mother of 19 children, and dealt with the loss of ten of those children before the age of 2.
- She was the mother of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Christian denomination
- She was also the mother of Charles Wesley who is remembered for writing thousands of Christian hymns
Clearly Susannah Wesley, as a mother, had her share of joys as well as profound sorrow during her lifetime. Someone asked her once what was the secret in raising her children. Many of her guidelines, now 300 years later, are still good ones to follow (exluding a few of the more obvious ones, and modified slightly). The principle behind the guidelines was always for the child’s good and the glory of God.
Some of these have great validity for forming good character in our children. Susannah learned to read at the age of 3, and was learning other languages at the age of 5. She educated her girls in the same manner that she educated her sons. The problem at the time was that to find a mate for a well educated young lady was a very difficult task. He daughters had difficulty finding educated mates worthy of them, and consequently made some poor decisions.
Each should be considered and prayed over to see if these would be a help for the child given to you by the Lord.
Susannah Wesley’s Guidelines for Raising Children
- Allow no eating between meals.
- Put all children to bed by 8:00 PM
- Require children to take their medicine without complaining.
- Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together with God to save his or her soul.
- Teach each child to pray as soon as they can speak.
- Require all children to be quiet during family worship.
- Give a child nothing that they cry for, and only that which they ask for politely.
- To prevent lying, punish no fault that is first confessed and repented of.
- Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.
- Never punish a child twice for a single offense.
- Commend and reward good behavior.
- Commend any attempt to please, even if poorly performed.
- Preserve property rights in even the smallest of matters.
- Strictly observe all promises.
- Require no daughter to work before she can read well.
- Teach children to fear the rod.