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- 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.
- Jim Brozina, in Alice Ozma, The Reading Promise ISBN 978-0-441-01179-7 (2011), Foreward, p. xiv
- 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.
- Søren Kierkegaard Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits, Hong p. 299-300 (1847)
- 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.
- R. D. Laing, The Politics of Experience (1967), p. 58
- 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.
- Philip Larkin, "This Be The Verse," High Windows (1974)
- 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.
- Jonathan Safran Foer, in "Those Things Tumbling Around Inside" (2013)
- 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
- Cherish the children your love gave life.
- Parenting is the science of art of upbringing children.
- Simon Soloveychik in Parenting for Everyone, (1996).
- Have children to your heart's content.
- [H]e who does not support a child, has no cause for celebration.
- Marrying is human. Having children is divine.
- 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."