Benjamin Spock

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Benjamin McLane Spock (2 May 190315 March 1998) was an American pediatrician and author.


I really learned it all from mothers.
  • I really learned it all from mothers.
    • Time magazine (8 April 1985)
  • I've come to the realization that a lot of our problems are because of a dearth of spiritual values.
    • Associated Press interview (1992)
  • People have said, "You've turned your back on pediatrics." I said, "No. It took me until I was in my 60s to realize that politics was a part of pediatrics."
    • Associated Press interview (1992)
  • I would say that the surest measure of a man's or a woman's maturity is the harmony, style, joy, and dignity he creates in his marriage, and the pleasure and inspiration he provides for his spouse.
    • Quoted in Older & Wiser Edited by G. B. Dianda and B. J. Hofmayer (1995)

Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care (1945)[edit]

Quotations from Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care first published in 1945, with many updated editions since.
  • You know more than you think you do.
    • First sentence. This is printed beneath the heading "Trust Yourself" , and thus is often quoted as "Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. "
  • Don't take too seriously all that the neighbors say. Don't be overawed by what the experts say. Don't be afraid to trust your own common sense.
  • The more people have studied different methods of bringing up children the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is usually best after all. All parents do their best job when they have a natural, easy confidence in themselves. Better to make a few mistakes from being natural than to try to do everything letter-perfect out of a feeling of worry.
  • The fact is that child rearing is a long, hard job, the rewards are not always immediately obvious, the work is undervalued, and parents are just as human and almost as vulnerable as their children.
  • There are only two things a child will share willingly—communicable diseases and his mother's age.
  • In automobile terms, the child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.

Quotes about Spock[edit]

  • An entire generation grew up unacquainted with the thwack of paddle against bottom.
    • Jonathan Yardley, in American Heritage (April 1985)
  • Some physicians who have called him excessively permissive just didn't understand and gave his understanding approach to child rearing a negative label. He was blamed for the radical behavior of the youth in the '60s. But that didn't emerge from Spock's teachings. It was far more a reflection of the social and political climate.
    • Dr. Marvin Drellich, professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College

External links[edit]

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