Susanna Wesley, wife of a pastor and mother of 19 children, has gone down in Christian history as the ideal mother. In spite of poverty, sickness, disappointment, she managed her household well. She early drew up for herself some rules and observed them:
(1) No child was to be given a thing because he cried for it. If a child wanted to cry, “cry softly!” In her house was rarely heard loud cries by children.
(2) No eating and drinking between meals, except when sick.
(3) Sleeping was also regulated. When very small, a child was given three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon. This was shortened until no sleeping was allowed during the daytime.
(4) Punctually, the little ones were laid in the cradle and rocked to sleep. At 7 PM, each child was put to bed; at 8 PM she left the room. She never allowed herself to sit by the bed until the child sleeps.
(5) The little ones had their own tables near the main table. When they could handle fork and knife, they were “promoted” to the family table.
(6) Each one must eat and drink everything before him.
(7) Children must address each other as “Sister ___” or “Brother ___.”
(8) She never allowed herself to show through her ill-temper or by scolding. She would always explain and explain.
Thus, when John Wesley was in college, he wrote asking his Mother what books to read. And her recommendation influenced his life.*
Geesh. Controlling mommy issues, John?
*Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 849–850.