"The mother has most to do with the child's character while yet in the flexible state in which it receives its shape. The earliest exercises of thought, emotion, will, and conscience are all carried under her eye. She has to do not only with the body in its infancy, but with the soul in it's childhood.
Both mind and heart are in her hands at the period when they take their first start for good or for evil. The children learn to lisp their first words and to form their first ideas under her teaching. They are almost always in her company and are insensibly to themselves and imperceptibly to her receiving a right or wrong bias from her.
She is the first model of character they witness; the first exhibitions of right and wrong in practice are what they see in her.
They are the constant observers of the passions, graces, virtues, and faults, which are shown in her words, temper, and actions. She is therefore, unconsciously to herself, educating them not only by designed teaching, but by all she does or says in their presence....It is therefore of immense importance that everyone who sustains this relation should have a high idea of her own power. She should be deeply and duly impressed with the potency of her influence on her children's lives."
~John James Engell (19th century preacher),