Reflective Quotations on Parenting and Children
Page VII

The purpose of parenting is to provide steady and wide-ranging opportunities for a child. The child does the rest.

Michael (Saunders) Gazzaniga (b. 1939), American writer


To endure is the first thing that a child ought to learn, and that which he will have the most need to know.

Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), French philosopher


All the time a person is a child he is both a child and learning to be a parent. After he becomes a parent he becomes predominantly a parent reliving childhood.

Benjamin McLane Spock, American pediatrician


Those sweetly smiling angels with pensive looks, innocent faces, and cash-boxes for hearts.

Honore de Balzac (1799-1850)
La Cousine Bette [1846], Chapter 15


People came to accept the idea that relevant knowledge about children and childbirth was vested in professional experts who stood outside the network of family and community relationships.

David Cayley. Ideas. Doctoring the Family. CBC radio. April 85


When I grow up I want to be a little boy.

Joseph Heller (1923-1999) "Something Happened."


When you have a fortune that is almost hard to imagine, the best thing is not to pass that on to one's children. That distorts their life situation.

Bill Gates


Life begins as a quest of the child for the man and
ends as a journey by the man to rediscover the child

Laurens Van Der Post The Lost World of the Kalahari


Childhood is measured out by sounds and smells and
sights, before the dark hour of reason grows

John Betjeman, Summoned by Bells


Only those who look with the eyes of children can lose themselves in the object of their wonder.

Eberhard Arnold (1883-1935)


Children don't need toys to play. My one-year-old is never happier than when he is unraveling an audio tape, wearing underwear on his head or making music by clinking a crystal ornament against the glass coffee table. And his favorite part of birthdays and Christmas is the chance to taste so many kinds of colored wrapping paper while everyone else is distracted with whatever is inside. Even my older children don't need toys--they are quite content reprogramming my computer, taking apart the lens of my camera or face-painting with the makeup in my bathroom. It is parents who need toys. We need toys to keep our children away from our things.

Susan Lewis


The practical question, then, is what to do with the children. Tolerate them at home we will not. Let them run loose in the streets we dare not until our streets become safe places for children, which, to our utter shame, they are not at present, though they can hardly be worse than some homes and some schools.

George Bernard Shaw
A Treatise on Parents and Children


. . . perhaps a child who is fussed over gets a feeling of destiny; he thinks he is in the world for something important and it gives him drive and confidence.

Dr. Benjamin Spock


In bringing up a child, think of its old age.



Childhood has no forebodings; but then it is soothed by no
memories of outlived sorrow

George Eliot


It has, I believe, been often remarked that a hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.

Samuel Butler, "Life and Habit"


A moral society will not set standards for becoming a parent, but it will establish irreducible minimums for maintaining that sacred status.

Andrew Vachss, Parade Magazine, October 13, 1985


That's the wonderful thing about crayons . . . they can take you to more places than a spaceship.

Guinan, Star Trek: The Next Generation, "Rascals"


My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.

Quentin Crisp



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