Susannah Wesley, mother of 19 children, didn’t go to textbooks for her theories on child guidance. Though over 200 years old, her rules are still valid today for teaching a child to be obedient and to “cry softly”. Here are those rules:
(1) Allow no eating between meals.
(2) Put all children in bed by 8:00 o’clock.
(3) Require them to take medicine without complaining.
(4) Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together with God to save his/her soul.
(5) Teach each one to pray as soon as he/she can speak.
(6) Require all to be still during family worship.
(7) Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that which they ask for politely.
(8) To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of.
(9) Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.
(10) Never punish a child twice for a single offence.
(11) Commend and reward good behavior.
(12) Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended.
(13) Preserve property rights, even in the smallest matters.
(14) Strictly observe all promises.
(15) Require no daughter to work before she can read well.
(16) Teach children to fear the rod.
I have listed some Scriptures regarding “Children’s Duties” that the Lord has given to us in His Eternal Word:
Colossians 3:20, “Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the LORD”
Luke 18:20, “ … Honor your father and mother”
Leviticus 19:3, “Each of you must respect his mother and father”
Deuteronomy 5:16, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you”
Proverbs 6:20, “My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching”
Proverbs 13:1, “A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke”
Proverbs 23:22, “Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old”
I will conclude with Proverbs 23:24-26, “The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice! My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways”