Quotations on the Children Themselves
page VI

What greater pain could mortals have than this: To see their children dead before their eyes?

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82)


A ragged colt may prove a good horse. And so may an untoward slovenly boy prove a decent and useful man.

James Kelly


In the life of children there are two very clear-cut phases, before and after puberty. Before puberty the child's personality has not yet formed and it is easier to guide its life and make it acquire specific habits of order, discipline, and work: after puberty the personality develops impetuously and all extraneous intervention becomes odious, tyrannical, insufferable. Now it so happens that parents feel the responsibility towards their children precisely during this second period, when it is too late: then of course the stick and violence enter the scene and yield very few results indeed. Why not instead take an interest in the child during the first period?

Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), Italian political theorist


Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.

Fred Rogers (b. 1928)
host of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood"


I have often been downcast, but never in despair; I regard our hiding as a dangerous adventure, romantic and interesting at the same time. In my diary I treat all the privations as amusing. I have made up my mind now to lead a different life from other girls and, later on, different from ordinary housewives. My start has been so very full of interest, and that is the sole reason why I have to laugh at the humorous side of the most dangerous moments.

Anne Frank (1929-45), German Jewish refugee


The imagination of a boy is healthy, and the mature imagination of a man is healthy; but there is a space of life between, in which the soul is in a ferment, the character undecided, the way of life uncertain, the ambition thick-sighted: thence proceeds mawkishness.

John Keats (1795-1821), British poet


The arrogance of the young is a direct result of not having known enough consequences. The turkey that every day greedily approaches the farmer who tosses him grain is not wrong. It is just that no one ever told him about

Harry Golden


Children are natural Zen masters; their world is brand new in each and every moment.

John Bradshaw


Hate is the consequence of fear; we fear something before we hate it; a child who fears noises becomes a man who hates noise.

Cyril Connolley (1903-74), English writer


A child understands fear, and the hurt and hate it brings.

Epictetus (AD 55?-135?), Greek Stoic philosopher


[A] child laughs four hundred times a day, an adult twenty five...

Quartz and Sejnowski, What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are from


Little people [i.e., babies] should be encouraged always to tell whatever they hear particularly striking to some brother, sister, or servant, immediately before the impression is erased by the intervention of newer occurrences.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)
(As quoted in Hester Lynch Piozzi's _Anecdotes
of the Late Samuel Johnson_ [1786])


A truly appreciative child will break, lose, spoil, or fondle to death any really successful gift within a matter of minutes.

Russell Lynes


It is good to be children sometimes, and never
better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder
was a child Himself

Charles Dickens (1812-1870)


When I see birches bend to left and right
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

Robert Frost



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