Children are offspring of a parental entity; though generally the word child refers to a human between birth and puberty it also is used to refer to sons or daughters of any age. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority. Metaphorically the term "child" can signify inclusion in clans, tribes, religions or general cultural traditions of a specific time, place, or circumstance, as in "a child of nature" or "a child of the Sixties."
- See also:
- Alphabetized by author
- Some of my youthful readers are developing wonderful imaginations. This pleases me. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine, and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams — day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing — are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it.
- L. Frank Baum, Introduction to The Lost Princess of Oz (1917).
- Not a day passes, but I get a letter from a child. They come sometimes singly, sometimes in batches of 50 or 100. Entire classes, where school teachers have read my stories, have written to me. I answer every one personally. When I was a child I know how, if I had received a real letter from an author whose book I’d read, I would have been the happiest boy alive. And if I am to do any good in this world my highest ambition will be to make children happy.
- My God, how can you stand such things, children? They say, "Mom, don't you know it is only television, it is not real."
- There's no such thing as a normal child.
- She does not believe that Wonder Woman tends to masochism or sadism. Furthermore, she believes that even if it did-you can teach either perversion to children-one can only bring out what is inherent in the child. However she did make the reservation that if the woman slaves wore chains (and enjoyed them) for no purpose whatsoever, there would be no point in chaining them.
- Every age and degree of understanding should have its proper measure of discipline. With regard to boys and adolescents, therefore, or those who cannot understand the seriousness of the penalty of excommunication, whenever such as these are delinquent let them be subjected to severe fasts or brought to terms by harsh beatings, that they may be cured.
- Benedict of Nursia Rule of St. Benedict: Chapter 30: How Boys Are to Be Corrected
- Love for children is perhaps the most intense love; for it knows that it has nothing to hope for.
- Werner Bergengruen, Dichtergehäuse (Zurich-Munich, 1966), p. 40.
- Monday's child is fair in face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for its living;
And a child that's born on a Christmas day,
Is fair and wise, good and gay.
- The first duty towards children is to make them happy. If you have not made them so, you have wronged them. No other good they may get can make up for that.
- Charles Buxton, Notes of Thought (1883). London: John Murray, p. 147.
- Scripture points out this difference between believers and unbelievers; the latter, as old slaves of their incurable perversity, cannot endure the rod; but the former, like children of noble birth, profit by repentance and correction.
- John Calvin Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, pg. 57
- That they may not become too complacent or delighted in married life, he makes them distressed by the shortcomings of their partners, or humbles them through willful offspring, or afflicts them with the want or loss of children. But, if in all these matters he is more merciful to them, he shows them by diseases and dangers how unstable and passing all mortal blessings are, that they may not be puffed up with vain glory.
- John Calvin Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, pg. 69
- Look! Sons are an inheritance from Jehovah; the fruitage of the belly is a reward.
- Over at our place, we're sure of just one thing: everybody in the world was once a child. So in planning a new picture, we don't think of grown-ups, and we don't think of children, but just of that fine, clean, unspoiled spot down deep in every one of us that maybe the world has made us forget and that maybe our pictures can help recall.
- Walt Disney Recorded statement (1938) used in The Pixar Story (2008)
- Nothing matters more to a child than a place to call home.
- Brenda Donald, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources, "Brenda Donald: Mission possible for Maryland: 1,000 new foster parents by 2010", Examiner.com (5 February 2008).
- Sometimes, you have to take a risk to give your kids what you want to give them.
- Noel Edmonds, from the gameshow, Deal or no Deal, (5 November 2008).
- In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child's.
- As I traveled, talking about these issues, I met so many young people who had lost hope. Some were depressed; some were apathetic; some were angry and violent. And when I talked to them, they all more or less felt this way because we had compromised their future and the world of tomorrow was not going to sustain their great-grandchildren.
- Jane Goodall "Then & Now: Jane Goodall", CNN (June 19, 2005)
- It is terrible, absolutely mindless, ... Hundreds of children die every minute. But instead of giving them the basics of life we spend more than a million dollars a minute on arms. And all we buy is more and more insecurity, more and more instability.
- And all your sons will be persons taught by Jehovah, and the peace of your sons will be abundant.
- Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea...Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
- If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
- Carl Jung, The Integration of the Personality (1939)
- People now began bringing him young children for him to touch them, but the disciples reprimanded them. At seeing this, Jesus was indignant and said to them: “Let the young children come to me; do not try to stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such ones. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a young child will by no means enter into it.” And he took the children into his arms and began blessing them, laying his hands on them.
- Mark 10: 13-16 (NWT).
- If you could meet your grandkids as elderly citizens in the year 2100 … you would view them as being, basically, Greek gods… that's where we're headed.
- The children wear military uniforms and become used to handling the anti-aircraft artillery flak guns. Fifteen and sixteen-year-old children as warriors! If the war still continues to last for a long time, perhaps the babies will also be employed. Total war!!
- Friedrich Kellner, My Opposition, 1943.
- Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.
- John F. Kennedy, Re: United States Committee for UNICEF July 25, 1963," Box 11, President's Outgoing Executive Correspondence Series, White House Central Chronological File, Presidential Papers, Papers of John F. Kennedy.
- Put a child in a den of thieves (but the child must not remain there so long that it is corrupted itself); that is, let it remain there only for a brief time. Then let it come home and tell everything it has experienced. You will note that the child, who is a good observer and has an excellent memory (as does every child), will tell everything in the greatest detail, yet in such a way that in a certain sense the important is omitted. Therefore someone who does not know that the child has been among thieves would least suspect it on the basis of the child’s story. What is it, then, that the child leaves out, what is it that the child has not discovered? It is the evil. Yet the child’s story about what it has seen and heard is entirely accurate. What then does the child lack? What is it that so often makes a child’s story the most profound mockery of the adults? It is knowledge of evil, that the child lacks knowledge of evil, that the child does not even feel inclined to want to be knowledgeable about evil.
- Soren Kierkegaard Works of Love 1847 Hong 1995 p. 285-286
- The Negro constitutes half the poor of the nation. Like all poor, Negro and white, they have many unwanted children. This is a cruel evil they urgently need to control. There is scarcely anything more tragic in human life than a child who is not wanted. That which should be a blessing becomes a curse for parent and child. There is nothing inherent in the Negro mentality which creates this condition. Their poverty causes it. When Negroes have been able to ascend economically, statistics reveal they plan their families with even greater care than whites. Negroes of higher economic and educational status actually have fewer children than white families in the same circumstances.
- Martin Luther King Jr., Family Planning - A Special and Urgent Concern
- All I know is Nanhoï's love. My son is my life. I believe in the magic of this love. He is the embodiment of life to me. The embodiment of beauty. Through him I'll find redemption and salvation. Then the wound in my soul - the wound I thought would never scar over - will stop bleeding.
- Klaus Kinski, Kinski Uncut : The Autobiography of Klaus Kinski (1996), p. 316.
- C'est l'honneur de l'homme de retrouver dans ses enfants l'ingratitude qu'il eut pour ses pères, et de finir ainsi, comme Dieu, par un sentiment désintéressé.
- Translation: It is the honor of man to find again in his children the ingratitude which he showed towards his own parents, and thus to conclude, like God, by a disinterested sentiment.
- Henri Lacordaire, "Trente-neuvième Conférence: De l'établissement du regne de Jésus-Christ" (1846), Conférences de Notre-Dame de Paris, Tome III (Paris: Libraire Ch. Poussielgue, 1893), p. 73.
- Paraphrased variant: "It is an honor for you to find again in your children the same ingratitude you showed toward your own fathers and thus attain to the perfection of loving, like God, without self-interest." In Josef Pieper, Faith, Hope, Love (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1997), p. 255.
- A child born today in the United Kingdom stands a ten times greater chance of being admitted to a mental hospital than to a university … This can be taken as an indication that we are driving our children mad more effectively than we are genuinely educating them. Perhaps it is our way of educating them that is driving them mad.
- R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience.
- Sexual play was a regular practice among the children from the earliest period. The adult attitude toward it, if not one of active encouragement, was at least that of mild amusement. [...] Regular intercourse began before puberty with patterns of group sexual play, two or three girls in the gang serving a number of boys in rapid succession with the other boys looking on. Occasionally there were individual affairs. Sexual techniques were learned through imitation of the adults. [...] Homosexuality was present in the form of mutual masturbation, but I have no data as to its frequency. [...] The gap between adults and children was such that it was impossible for an adult to win the child’s confidence. Relations between them were amiable but entirely dissociated.
- Ralph Linton [Linton, Ralph. Marquesan Culture (July 1925), American Anthropologist Volume 27. Issue 3 (p. 474-478)]
- The next day, as soon as it was light, we were surrounded by a still greater multitude of these people. There were now a hundred females at least; and they practised all the arts of lewd expression and gesture, to gain admission on board. It was with difficulty I could get my crew to obey the orders I had given on this subject. Amongst these females were some not more than ten years of age. But youth, it seems, is here no test of innocence; these infants, as I may call them, rivalled their mothers in the wantonness of their motions and the arts of allurement.
- Children should be obscene, and not heard.
- Reverend Loveshade as quoted in Ek-sen-trik-kuh Discordia: The Tales of Shamlicht edited by Reverend Loveshade.
- Wer anders lehret, denn ich hierinn gelehret hab, oder mich darinn verdammt, der verdamt Gott, und muß ein Kind der Höllen bleiben.
- Whoever teaches differently from what I have taught, or whoever condemns me therein, he condemns God and must remain a child of hell.
- Deutsche Antwort Luthers auf König Heinrichs von England Buch. German answer of Martin Luther to the Book of King Henry of England, 1522.
- Dr. Martin Luther's Sämtliche Werke, Polemische Deutsche Schriften, Johann Konrad Irmischer, Erlangen, 1833, vol. 28, p. 347. 
- Children hallow small things. A child is a priest of the ordinary, fulfilling a sacred office that absolutely no one else can fill. The simplest gesture, the ephemeral movement, the commonest object all become precious beyond words when touched, noticed, lived by one's own dear child.
- Mike Mason, The Mystery of Children (Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 2001), p. 27.
- Children have rights that adults do not have, and these rights come before the rights of adults.
- With the birth of each child you lose two novels.
- Candia McWilliam, as quoted in The Guardian (5 May 1993).
- The welfare of a child is not to be measured by money only, nor by physical comfort only.
- Nathaniel Lindley, Baron Lindley, L.J., In re McGrath (Infants), L. R. 1 C. D. (1893), p. 148; reported in James William Norton-Kyshe, Dictionary of Legal Quotations (1904), p. 188.
- Look around you. Everywhere. They are there. In every home — lurking in dark corners … small, bi-pedal entities with almost human brains play their games in which adults are the pawns. They play and wait for the time when they will take over the world!
- John Blair Moore, Invaders from Home, Piranha Press, 1990, Book 1 of 6.
- A child is innately wise and realistic. If left to himself without adult suggestion of any kind, he will develop as far as he is capable of developing.
- But she didn't laugh. "When you have children," she said, staring at her glass, "you accept life. Do you accept life?"
- Cesare Pavese, Among women only.
- Neither of you have a need for children in your present personalities. You are almost finished with incarnations on the earth, so much so that the physical bodies will return completely and unfragmented upon your physical death. This is always the case in the final earth life. The physical property is left behind, no portion of it being carried on that plane through children.
- Jane Roberts, The Early Sessions: Book 1, Session 9, Page 46.
- A close watch must be kept on the children, and they must never be left alone anywhere, whether they are in ill or good health. This constant supervision should be exercised gently and with a certain trustfulness calculated to make them think that one loves them, and that it is only to enjoy their company that one is with them. This will make them love their supervision rather than fear it.
- Advice to Jesuit school ushers at Port Royal 1615; as quoted in Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter comics, 1941-1948 pp. 99-100
- A person's lifeworm is a tangle of atomic worldlines. A braid. The dotty little atoms trace out smooth lines in spacetime: you are the pattern that these lines make up. There is no one single atom that is exclusively yours. I breathe an atom out, you breathe it in. Your garbage helps my tomatoes grow. And so the little spacetime threads weave us all together. The human race is a single vast tapestry, linked by our shared food and air. There are larger links as well: sperm, egg and umblilicus. Each family tree is an organic whole. Your spacetime body tapers back to the threads of mother's egg and father's sperm. And children, if you have them, are forever rooted in your flesh.
- Rudy Rucker in The Sex Sphere, p. 108.
- Children who willingly participate in sexual acts have the right to make that decision as well, even if it's distasteful to us personally. Some children will make poor choices just as some adults do in smoking and drinking to excess; this is part of life. When we outlaw child pornography, the prices paid for child performers rise, increasing the incentives for parents to use children against their will.
- Children are the keys of Paradise … They alone are good and wise, Because their thoughts, their very lives, are prayer.
- Richard Henry Stoddard, Songs of Summer (1856), p. 113.
- The fear that seeing naked people in some way harms children is not supported, however, by academic research. The small handful of studies on this topic in psychology and sociology have shown, instead, that children reared in an atmosphere containing family social nudity may benefit from the practice. If this is true, then proposed laws outlawing either social nudity in the home or children's participation at naturist (or nudist) settings are unjustified.
- Mark Storey in Children, Social Nudity and Scholarly Study.
- Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
- Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) Emotions.
- Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds (1916).
- Paraphrased variants:
- Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity
- The birth of a child, is God's way of saying, life must go on.
- I honestly don't understand the big fuss made over nudity and sex in films. It's silly. On TV, the children can watch people murdering each other, which is a very unnatural thing, but they can't watch two people in the very natural process of making love. Now, really, that doesn't make any sense, does it?
- Sharon Tate as quoted in Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders (2000) by Greg King
- You'll never know how I watched you
From the shadows as a child
You'll never know how it feels to be the one
Who's left behind
- Tina Turner GoldenEye theme
- You do not chop off a section of your imaginative substance and make a book specifically for children, for — if you are honest — you have no idea where childhood ends and maturity begins. It is all endless and all one.
- P. L. Travers, as quoted in Sticks and Stones : The Troublesome Success of Children's Literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter (2002) by Jack Zipes.
- So what if a kid dies? God will take care of him.
- Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in April 2013, as quoted in "Boston Bombing Day 1: The Stunning Stop the Killers Made After the Attack" (18 April 2016), by Brian Ross, ABC News
- I think there's a lot of people out there who say we must not have horror in any form, we must not say scary things to children because it will make them evil and disturbed... That offends me deeply, because the world is a scary and horrifying place, and everyone's going to get old and die, if they're that lucky. To set children up to think that everything is sunshine and roses is doing them a great disservice. Children need horror because there are things they don't understand. It helps them to codify it if it is mythologized, if it's put into the context of a story, whether the story has a happy ending or not. If it scares them and shows them a little bit of the dark side of the world that is there and always will be, it's helping them out when they have to face it as adults.
- Joss Whedon to Michael Silverberg of NPR; quote featured in the Buffy Monster Book (2000)
- These experiences are not 'religious' in the ordinary sense. They are natural, and can be studied naturally. They are not 'ineffable' in the sense the sense of incommunicable by language. Maslow also came to believe that they are far commoner than one might expect, that many people tend to suppress them, to ignore them, and certain people seem actually afraid of them, as if they were somehow feminine, illogical, dangerous. 'One sees such attitudes more often in engineers, in mathematicians, in analytic philosophers, in book keepers and accountants, and generally in obsessional people'. The peak experience tends to be a kind of bubbling-over of delight, a moment of pure happiness. 'For instance, a young mother scurrying around her kitchen and getting breakfast for her husband and young children. The sun was streaming in, the children clean and nicely dressed, were chattering as they ate. The husband was casually playing with the children: but as she looked at them she was suddenly so overwhelmed with their beauty and her great love for them, and her feeling of good fortune, that she went into a peak experience . . .
- Colin Wilson in New Pathways In Psychology, p. 17 (1972)
- Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.
- Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance (1893), Act 2.
- A child, not knowing what is extraordinary and what is commonplace, usually lights midway between the two, finds interest in incidents adults consider beneath notice, and calmly accepts the most improbable occurrences.
- Gene Wolfe, "The Fifth Head of Cerberus", Orbit 10 (1972), ed. Damon Knight. Reprinted in a set of three novellas, The Fifth Head of Cerberus (1972).
- I’m feeling honored that I am being chosen as a Nobel laureate and I have been honored with this – this precious award, the Nobel Peace Prize. And I’m proud that I’m the first Pakistani and the first young woman or the first young person who is getting this award. It’s a great honor for me. And I’m also really happy that I’m sharing this award with a person – with a person from India whose name is Kailash Satyarthi and his great work for child’s right, his great work against – against child slavery.
- Malala Yousafzai's Nobel Peace Prize Winner Speech (October 10, 2014)
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- Train them to virtue; habituate them to industry, activity, and spirit. Make them consider every vice as shameful and unmanly. Fire them with ambition to be useful. Make them disdain to be destitute of any useful knowledge. Fix their ambition upon great and solid objects, and their contempt upon little, frivolous, and useless ones.
- John Adams, p. 50.
- Never despair of a child. The one you weep the most for at the mercy-seat may fill your heart with the sweetest joys.
- Theodore L. Cuyler, p. 50.
- Precious Saviour! come in spirit, and lay Thy strong, gentle grasp of love on our dear boys and girls, and keep these our lambs from the fangs of the wolf.
- Theodore L. Cuyler, p. 50.
- Jesus was the first great teacher of men who showed a genuine sympathy for childhood. When He said "Of such is the kingdom of heaven," it was a revelation.
- Edward Eggleston, p. 49.
- As in the Master's spirit you take into your arms the little ones, His own everlasting arms will encircle them and you. He will pity both their and your simplicity; and as in unseen presence He comes again, His blessing will breathe upon you.
- James Hamilton, p. 50.
- Bring your little children to the Saviour. Place them in His arms. Devote them to His service. Born in His camp, let them wear from the first His colors. Taking advantage of timely opportunities, and with all tenderness of spirit, seek to endear them to the Friend of Sinners, the Good Shepherd of the lambs, the loving Guardian of the little children. And not only teach them, but govern them. And in order to govern them, govern yourselves.
- James Hamilton, p. 50.
- Children have more need of models than of critics.
- Joseph Joubert, p. 49.
- Let us be men with men, and always children before God; for in His eyes we are but children. Old age itself, in presence of eternity, is but the first moment of a morning.
- Joseph Joubert, p. 51.
- Johnny is but gone an hour or two sooner to bed as children are wont to do, and we are undressing to follow. And the more we put off the love of this present world, and all things superfluous beforehand, we shall have the less to do when we lie down.
- Robert Leighton, p. 51.
- God has given you your child, that the sight of him, from time to time, might remind you of His goodness, and induce you to praise Him with filial reverence.
- Christian Scriver, p. 50.
- We speak of educating our children. Do we know that our children also educate us?
- Lydia Sigourney, p. 51.
- The glorified spirit of the infant is as a star to guide the mother to its own blissful clime.
- Lydia Sigourney, p. 53.
- We are but children, the things that we do
Are as sports of a babe to the Infinite view,
That sees all our weakness, and pities it too.
And oh! when aweary, may we be so blest
As to sink, like an innocent child, to our rest,
And feel ourselves clasped to the Infinite breast.
- F. Burge Smith, p. 51.