Parenting

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A father meets his son for the first time

Parenting or child rearing is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood.

Quotes[edit]

  • What. . . should be the effort on the part of parents and educators?...
1. An atmosphere of love, wherein fear is cast out and the child realises he has no cause for timidity, shyness or caution, and one in which he receives courteous treatment at the hands of others, and is expected also to render equally courteous treatment in return...
2. An atmosphere of patience, wherein the child can become, normally and naturally, a seeker after the light of knowledge; wherein he is sure of always meeting with a quick response to inquiry, and a careful reply to all questions, and wherein there is never the sense of speed or hurry... Impatience on the part of those upon whom they are so pathetically dependent, sows in them the seeds of irritation, and more lives are ruined by irritation than can be counted.
3. An atmosphere of ordered activity, wherein the child can learn the first rudiments of responsibility... the shouldering of small duties and the sharing of responsibilities is a potent factor in determining a child's character and future vocation.
4. An atmosphere of understanding, wherein a child is always sure that the reasons and motives for his actions will be recognized, and that those who are his older associates will always comprehend the nature of his motivating impulses, even though they may not always approve of what he has done, or of his activities . . .
  • It is the older generation who foster in a child an early and most unnecessary sense of guilt, of sinfulness and of wrongdoing. So much emphasis is laid upon petty little things that are not really wrong, but are annoying to the parent or teacher, that a true sense of wrong (which is the recognition of failure to preserve right relations with the group) gets overlaid and is not recognized for what it is. The many small and petty sins, imposed upon the children by the constant reiteration of "No", by the use of the word "naughty", and based largely on parental failure to understand and occupy the child, are of no real moment. If these aspects of the child's life are rightly handled, then the truly wrong things, the infringements upon the rights of others, . . . the hurting or damaging of others in order to achieve personal gain, will emerge in right perspective and at the right time.
  • Mrs. Darling first heard of Peter when she was tidying up her children's minds. It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage through their minds and put things straight for next morning, repacking into their proper places the many articles that have wandered during the day. If you could keep awake (but of course you can't) you would see your own mother doing this, and you would find it very interesting to watch her. It is quite like tidying up drawers. You would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake up in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind; and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.
  • Let France have good mothers, and she will have good sons.
    • Napoleon Bonaparte, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 441.
  • The greatest gift you can bestow upon your children is your time and undivided attention.
  • I learned the right way to live from my parents. I never heard any hate in my house. I never heard my father say a mean word to my mother, or my mother to my father, either. During the war, when food was hard to get, my parents fed their children first and they ate what was left. They always thought of us.
    • Roberto Clemente, as quoted in "Clemente, 32, Pays Tribute to Parents" by Les Biederman, in The Sporting News (September 3, 1966), p. 12
  • “There’s a moment of disrecognition that I think occurs for all new parents. One minute you’re looking at your child lovingly, marveling how lucky you are; the very next instant you’re wondering, ‘Who let this loathsome reptilian thing into my life? Whose good idea was this?’ Eventually the perception shifts again, this time stabilizing into a more natural and permanent state. This isn’t a loathsome reptilian thing after all; it’s just a short person with some serious opinions of its own. And it expects to be listened to. Parenting is the acceptance of that other person’s existence as a person, not a thing.”
  • “What’s the matter?”
    “What if I'm really not good enough?” I said. “That’s what I'm worried about—I can’t shake that feeling.”
    “Oh, that—” she said, lightly. “That’s normal. That’s the proof that you’re going to do okay. It’s only those parents who don’t worry who need to.”
  • One of the things I tell new parents is something that was told to me when my daughter still had that new-baby smell: “Prepare for long days but short years.” No statement more succinctly captures the exhaustion, excitement, and melancholy nostalgia that come with parenthood. I have no doubt whole books have not covered it more eloquently.
  • The commonest fallacy among women is that simply having children makes one a mother, which is as absurd as believing that having a piano makes one a musician.
    • Sidney J. Harris, as reported in The Westminster Collection of Christian Quotations (Westminster John Knox Press: 2001), p. 253
  • When we talk of parental influence we do not think of terror in connection with it—that is not the primary idea—it is not terror and coercion, but kindness and affection, which may bias the child's mind, and induce the child to do that which may be highly imprudent, and which, if the child were properly protected, he would never do.
    • William Wood, 1st Baron Hatherley, L.C., Turner v. Collins (1871), L. R. 7 Ch. Ap. Ca. 340; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 188.
  • When parents know how to assign the task with authority, when the coachman knows from seasoned experience how to assign the task, it is indescribably helpful. So it is also for the adult when the task is firmly set with the authority of eternity, which is indescribably helpful in carrying out the task. If a child is so unfortunate as to have a father who does not know how to command, or the horses a second-rate driver, it seems as if the child and the horses would not have half of the powers they actually do have. Alas, and when the adult who is the sufferer surrenders his soul to the power of vacillation, he is actually weaker than a child. But then it is indeed also a joy that hardship is the road, because then the task is immediately at hand and stands unshakably fixed and firm. Hardship is the road-and this is the joy: that it is not a quality of the road that it is hard, but it is a quality of the hardship that it is the road; therefore the hardship must lead to something; it must be passable and practicable, not suprahuman.
  • I suppose that every parent loves his child; but I know, without any supposing, that in a large number of homes the love is hidden behind authority, or its expression is crowded out by daily duties and cares.
    • Abbott Eliot Kittredge, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 442.
  • Long before a thermonuclear war can come about, we have had to lay waste our own sanity. We begin with the children. It is imperative to catch them in time. Without the most thorough and rapid brainwashing their dirty minds would see through our dirty tricks. Children are not yet fools, but we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high I.Q.s if possible.
From the moment of birth, when the Stone Age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence, called love, as its mother and father, and their parents and their parents before them, have been. These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potentialities, and on the whole this enterprise is successful.
  • They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
       They may not mean to, but they do.
    They fill you with the faults they had
       And add some extra, just for you.
  • But they were fucked up in their turn
       By fools in old-style hats and coats,
    Who half the time were soppy-stern
       And half at one another's throats.
  • Man hands on misery to man.
       It deepens like a coastal shelf.
    Get out as early as you can,
       And don't have any kids yourself.
  • A father would do well, as his son grows up, and is capable of it, to talk familiarly with him; nay, ask his advice, and consult with him about those things wherein he has any knowledge or understanding. By this, the father will gain two things, both of great moment. The sooner you treat him as a man, the sooner he will begin to be one; and if you admit him into serious discourses sometimes with you, you will insensibly raise his mind above the usual amusements of youth, and those trifling occupations which it is commonly wasted in. For it is easy to observe, that many young men continue longer in thought and conversation of school-boys than otherwise they would, because their parents keep them at that distance, and in that low rank, by all their carriage to them.
    • John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693), § 95
  • Parental feeling, as I have experienced it, is very complex. There is, first and foremost, sheer animal affection, and delight in watching what is charming in the ways of the young. Next, there is the sense of inescapable responsibility, providing a purpose for daily activities which skepticism does not easily question. Then there is an egoistic element, which is very dangerous: the hope that one's children may succeed where one has failed, that they may carry on one's work when death or senility puts an end to one's own efforts, and, in any case, that they will supply a biological escape from death, making one's own life part of the whole stream, and not a mere stagnant puddle without any overflow into the future. All this I experienced, and for some years it filled my life with happiness and peace.
  • Kids are a great analogy. You want your kids to grow up and you don't want your kids to grow up. And you can't have it both ways. You want your kids to become independent of you, but it's also in a way a parent's worst nightmare: for them to not need you. So, how do you reconcile those two very strong emotions? You don't. You live with that problem. It's the real tragedy of parenting. And maybe there's some sense in which in art you can have it both ways whereas in life you can't.
  • Walter Slezak says he's tired of arguing with his kids about borrowing the car. "The next time I want it," he says, "I'm just going to take it."
    • Walter Slezak, as paraphrased and quoted in "Gag Bag" by Larry Wolters, in The Chicago Tribune (September 1, 1963), Sec. 6, pg. 9
  • Parenting is the science of art of upbringing children.
  • Many children harbor hidden anger and resentment toward their parents and often the cause is inauthenticity in the relationship. The child has a deep longing for the parent to be there as a human being, not as a role, no matter how conscientiously that role is being played. you may be doing all the right things and the best you can for your child, but even doing the best you can is not enough.
  • Children in particular find strong negative emotions too overwhelming to cope with and tend to try not to feel them. In the absence of a fully conscious adult who guides them with love and compassionate understanding into facing the emotion directly, choosing not to feel it is indeed the only option for the child at that time. Unfortunately, that early defense mechanism usually remains in place when the child becomes an adult.
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • Children's painbodies sometimes manifest as moodiness or withdrawal. The child becomes sullen, refuses to interact, and may sit in a corner, hugging a doll or sucking a thumb. They can also manifest as weeping fits or temper tantrums. The child screams, may throw him or herself on the floor, or become destructive. Thwarted wanting can easily trigger the painbody, and in a developing ego, the force of wanting can be intense. Parents may watch helplessly in incomprehension and disbelief as their little angel becomes transformed within a few seconds into a little monster.
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • Highly sensitive children are particularly affected by their parents' painbodies. Having to witness their parents' insane drama causes almost unbearable emotional pain, and so it is often these sensitive children who grow into adults with heavy painbodies. Children are not fooled by parents who try to hide their painbody from them, who say to each other, “We mustn't fight in front of the children.” This usually means while the parents make polite conversation, the home is pervaded with negative energy.
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • While the child is having a painbody attack, there isn't much you can do except to stay present so that you are not drawn into an emotional reaction. The child's painbody would only feed on it. Painbodies can be extremely dramatic. Don't buy into the drama. Don't take it too seriously. If the painbody was triggered by thwarted wanting, don't give in now to its demands. Otherwise, the child will learn: “The more unhappy I become, the more likely I am to get what I want.” This is a recipe for dysfunction in later life. The painbody will be frustrated by your nonreaction and may briefly act up even more before it subsides. Fortunately, painbody episodes in children are usually more shortlived than in adults.
    • Eckhart Tolle, in A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (2005)
  • You that are parents, discharge your duty; though you cannot impart grace to your children, yet you may impart knowledge. Let your children know the commandments of God. "Ye shall teach them your children." You are careful to leave your children a portion; leave the oracles of heaven with them; instruct them in the law of God. If God spake all these words, you may well speak them over again to your children.
    • Thomas Watson, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 441.
  • The more boring a child is, the more the parents, when showing off the child, receive adulation for being good parents-- because they have a tame child-creature in their house.
  • Your Lord has ordained that you must not worship anything other than Him and that you must be kind to your parents. If either or both of your parents should become advanced in age, do not express to them words which show your slightest disappointment. Never yell at them but always speak to them with kindness.
    Be humble and merciful towards them and say, "Lord, have mercy upon them as they cherished me in my childhood."

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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