Reflective Quotations on Parenting and Children
Page IV

By re-activating our childhood feelings and memories, children help us to highlight that which wants healing inside each of us; and thus they furnish us with countless opportunities for personal growth. Our children make us better parents, but also better people, and in that regard they give us as much as we give them. Without knowing it, they help to shape our emotional intelligence as we contribute to theirs.

Robin Grill, Cultivating your Child's Emotional Intelligence, Sydney’s Child


Why are children the last ones to be protected against the potential evils of power and authority? Is it that they are smaller, or that adults find it so much easier to rationalize the use of power with such notions as 'Father knows best' or 'It's for their own good'?

My own conviction is that as more people begin to understand power and authority more completely and accept its use as unethical, more parents will apply those understandings to adult-child relationships; will begin to feel that it is just as immoral in those relationships; and then will be forced to search for creative new nonpower methods that all adults can use with children and youth.

Thomas Gordon, Ph.D., Parent Effectiveness Training


Society chooses to disregard the mistreatment of children, judging it to be altogether normal because it is so commonplace.

Alice Miller, Pictures of a Childhood


Nothing is more important in the world today than the nurturing that children receive in the first three years of life, for it is in these earliest years that the capacities for trust, empathy, and affection originate.

If you haven’t cluttered the airwaves between you and your child with a thousand stupid 'don’ts' over your Royal Doulton china, or not eating their dessert before the main course, or not finishing their spinach, or not doing this or that, then those few situations where it really matters because of safety and impropriety don’t need anything approaching the connotation of 'discipline' to ensure appropriate behavior.

Dr. Elliott Barker, Director, Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children


Never leave a baby alone to cry. This is an absolute rule. He may be crying because he is hungry, cold, too hot, wet, etc; if so, these things may be attended to. But he may be none of these things; he may be crying because he is frightened, and if not reassured early this is a dangerous condition. If an infant in the early weeks and months of life is allowed to remain frightened and alone, his first impression of the world into which he has come is that it is inhospitable, dangerous and lonely, and there is no use seeking help. He must try to fend for himself and not expect help; but he cannot fend for himself; he is helpless. It is not a matter for surprise that such impressions may color his view of the world and the people in it permanently. Much of his subsequent conduct will be devoted to the object of making himself as secure as he can in an insecure world.

Kids who have their needs met early by loving parents ... are subjected totally and thoroughly to the most severe form of 'discipline' conceivable: they don’t do what you don’t want them to do because they love you so much!

M. Bevan-Brown, M.D. The Sources of Love and Fear


For success in training children the first condition is to become as a child oneself, but this means no assumed childishness, no condescending baby-talk that the child immediately sees through and deeply abhors. What it does mean is to be as entirely and simply taken up with the child as the child himself is absorbed by his life.

Ellen Key, The Century of the Child (1909)


When we are polite to children, we show in the most simple and direct way possible that we value them as people and care about their feelings.

Dr. David Elkind


It was our belief that the love of possessions is a weakness to overcome. Its appeal is to the material part, and if allowed to find its way it will in time disturb one's spiritual balance. Therefore, children must early learn the beauty of generosity. They are taught to give what they prize most, that they may taste the happiness of giving. "If a child is inclined to be grasping or to cling to any of his or her little possessions, legends are related about the contempt and disgrace falling upon the ungenerous and mean person. . .

    The Indians in their simplicity literally give away all that they have to relatives, to guests of other tribes and clans, but above all to the poor and the aged, from whom they can hope for no return.

Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa) Santee Sioux


In conversation, every person expressed without constraint their wishes and opinions; and wherever these differed, reason and the general good were the standards to which they appealed. The elder and younger part of the family were not separated from each other; even the youngest child in the house seemed to form part of the society, to have some share and interest in the general occupations or amusements. The children were treated neither as slaves nor as playthings, but as reasonable creatures. . . . the taste for knowledge, and the habits of application, were induced by example, and confirmed by sympathy.

Maria Edgeworth, Belinda


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