Parenting Quotes

Most popular parenting quotes

She discovered with great delight that one does not love one's children just because they are one's children but because of the friendship formed while raising them.

family

Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.

advisory children

If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

advisory

The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.

father

A person's a person, no matter how small.

children

Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.

children profound

Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.

children profound

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

children example role models

We worry about what a child will be tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.

children

There is no school equal to a decent home and no teachers equal to honest virtuous parents.

family home

If children grew up according to early indications, we should have nothing but geniuses.

children funny growing up

What we want is to see the child in pursuit of knowledge, and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.

children education for teachers

Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave
When they think that their children are naïve.

children

Children are a great comfort in your old age—and they help you reach it faster, too.

children

Parents are the bones on which children cut their teeth.

children parents

Children need admiration rather than affection.

admiration affection children

Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy.

Adulthood children

Don't set your wit against a child.
A child is fed with milk and praise.

praise

The first duty of love is to listen.

listening love relationships

Rebellion is the sign of a healthy ego.
So many children don't know how to pray!

children

It is a wise father that knows his own child.

father

A mother who is really a mother is never free.

mother

Never look for a worm in the apple of your eye.
One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.

father proverbs

What's done to children, they will do to society.

advisory

Correction does much, but encouragement does more.

criticism

When you teach your son, you teach your son's son.
— Talmud
Children have more need of models than of critics.

role models

I still live in and on the sunshine of my childhood.

childhood personal

What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.

Giving

Distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful.

forgiveness law revenge

Children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.
A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit.

advisory

We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.

dreams

The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.
If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

advisory

Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.

advisory children

What child can resist a mother who laughs freely and often?
One should never forbid what one lacks the power to prevent.

power

Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.

children

A baby is born with a need to be loved—and never outgrows it.
The one thing children wear out faster than shoes is parents.

children

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.

for teachers mind

Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur.

parents

Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.
The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent.
Telling a teenager the facts of life is like giving a fish a bath.

teenage

The joys of parents are secret, and so are their griefs and fears.
Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.
Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

curiosity education

Babies are always more trouble than you thought—and more wonderful.

babies children

You cannot train a horse with shouts and expect it to obey a whisper.

advisory

The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.
If you've never been hated by your child, you've never been a parent.
Govern your family as you would cook a small fish — very very gently.
— Chinese proverb

Chinese proverbs proverbs

To bring up a child in the way he should go—travel that way yourself.
We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves.
When we make children afraid we stop their learning dead in its tracks.

fear learning teaching

We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.

family human nature

A child, like your stomach, doesn't need all you can afford to give it.

advisory

Having children is like having a bowling alley installed in your brain.

children

What the mother sings to the cradle goes all the way down to the coffin.

mother proverbs

If you can't hold children in your arms, please hold them in your heart.

advisory

A torn jacket is soon mended; but hard words bruise the heart of a child.

words

Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time.
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.

memory

My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

father

There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep.

sleep

If you call a thing bad you do little; if you call a thing good you do much.

praise

An attitude of positive expectation is the mark of the superior personality.

for teachers

The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other.

advisory

[Kids] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are.

for teachers

A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.

mother

The best things you can give children, next to good habits, are good memories.

advisory

Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.
Successful parenting was like log rolling, and she'd often landed in the drink.
Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.
Warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.
You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.
A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty.
— Spotlight (Boise, Idaho)
The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.

family father parents

Having a baby dragged me, kicking and screaming, from the world of self-absorption.

babies self-centered

There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you.
Adolescence is perhaps nature's way of preparing parents to welcome the empty nest.

adolescence teenage

Parents don't make mistakes because they don't care, but because they care so deeply.

caring

Oh, what a tangled web do parents weave when they think that their children are naive.
The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.

America children

Children aren't coloring books.  You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors.
Your children will see what you're all about by what you live rather than what you say.
Although today there are many trial marriages, there is no such thing as a trial child.
Lucky parents who have fine children usually have lucky children who have fine parents.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.

caring marriage

Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore, 
And that's what parents were created for.

children

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

biblical children proverbs

If from infancy you treat children as gods they are liable in adulthood to act as devils.
Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.

human nature

If our children are to approve of themselves, they must see that we approve of ourselves.
The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.

advisory

A school system without parents at its foundation is just like a bucket with a hole in it.

education

In automobile terms, the child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.

parents

Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
Talk to your children while they are eating; what you say will stay even after you are gone.

Indian proverbs Native American proverbs proverbs

If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love.

love relationships

Any kid who has two parents who are interested in him and has a houseful of books isn't poor.

advisory books reading

The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well is that they have a common enemy.

children funny grandchildren grandparents

Instant availability without continuous presence is probably the best role a mother can play.

motherhood

The word no carries a lot more meaning when spoken by a parent who also knows how to say yes.
If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.
A master can tell you what he expects of you. A teacher, though, awakens your own expectations.

learning teaching

What a father says to his children is not heard by the world; but it will be heard by posterity.

father

The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.

advisory

The most assiduous task of parenting is to divine the difference between boundaries and bondage.
It's frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself.  It seems unfair.
The penalty for censoring what your children may be taught is children who are brighter than you.
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them.
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man's growth without destroying his roots.

criticism

If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.

praise

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.

Christmas contentment

Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.
By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.
The thorn from the bush one has planted, nourished and pruned, pricks most deeply and draws more blood.

family

Before I got married I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.

funny

To show a child what once delighted you, to find the child's delight added to your own—this is happiness.

children happiness

Just to try to be as good a father to them as my father was to me. I think about that every day of my life.
The art of parenting: how constantly to break a lot of bad news—without destroying all confidence and hope.
Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's really in trouble.

funny

The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.

advisory

Despite the increasing complexity of the task, parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur.
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming.

for teachers

The finest inheritance you can give to a child is to allow it to make its own way, completely on its own feet.
When your children are teenagers it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.

teenage

Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him and to let him know that you trust him.

helping others

If you treat a sick child like an adult and a sick adult like a child, everything usually works out pretty well.

children illness

A boy becomes an adult three years before his parents think he does, and about two years after he thinks he does.

adolescence growing up

I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: Checkout Time is 18 years.
A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron.

for teachers

A child's nature is too serious a thing to admit of its being regarded as a mere appendage to another human being.

children

Parents who tell their offspring that sex is an act performed only for procreation do everyone a serious disservice.

sex

Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow.

advisory relationships

The hearts of small children are delicate organs.  A cruel beginning in this world can twist them into curious shapes.

children

Every parent is at some time the father of the unreturned prodigal, with nothing to do but keep his house open to hope.
Children require  guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.  They will educate themselves under right conditions.

children instruction

Parentage is a very important profession; but no test of fitness for it is ever imposed in the interest of the children.
For many children, joy comes as the result of mining something unique and wondrous about themselves from some inner shaft.
If you treat an individual as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.
Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze.
I have found that the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want, and then advise them to do it.

advice

At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experiences of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.

experience

Making the decision to have a child—it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.

family father motherhood

The only moral lesson which is suited for a child--the most important lesson for every time of life--is this: 'Never hurt anybody.'
Parents need to fill a child's bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can't poke enough holes in it to drain it dry.

advisory self-esteem

Only a mother and a father can say with joy, with pride, and with responsibility: we are going to be parents; we have conceived our child.
You don't raise heroes; you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they'll turn out to be heroes, even if it's just in your own eyes.
Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent.

aspiration

When I was a child, love to me was what the sea is to a fish: something you swim in while you are going about the important affairs of life.

children love

Loving a child doesn't mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult.

advisory love parents potential

How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board. It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.
How many times has every wayward child heard, "When you grow up I hope you have a child just like you so you'll know what I'm going through!''
How can a society that exists on instant mashed potatoes, packaged cake mixes, frozen dinners, and instant cameras teach patience to its young?

patience

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.

motherhood

Parents can plant magic in a child's mind through certain words spoken with some thrilling quality of voice, some uplift of the heart and spirit.

communication conversation

Perhaps parents would enjoy their children more if they stopped to realize that the film of childhood can never be run through for a second showing.

children

Without these three attitudes — tenderness, hope, and patience — it's impossible to respect life and the growth of the child who is waiting to be born.
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to relax a little more, to worry a little less, to remember the big picture and not let the details overwhelm us.

worry

A wise woman once said to me that there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children.  One of these she said is roots, the other, wings.
In the little world in which children have their existence, whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice.
Good breeding differs, if at all, from high breeding only as it gracefully remembers the rights of others, rather than gracefully insists on its own rights.
If there is anything 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.

how to live life

He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.
Men who provide much wealth for their children but neglect to improve them in virtue, do like those who feed their horses high, but never train them to be useful.
No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behaviour, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behaviour is always normal.
Parenthood changes one's world. It's almost like a switch gets flipped inside you, and you can feel a whole new range of feelings that you never thought you'd have.
How we deal with the big disappointments in life depends a great deal on how the people who loved us helped us deal with smaller disappointments when we were little.

disappointment

It's frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself. It seems unfair. You can't assume the responsibility for everything you do— or don't do.
The last step in parental love involves the release of the beloved; the willful cutting of the cord that would otherwise keep the child in a state of emotional dependence.
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music that he hears, however measured or far away.
You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around—and why his parents will always wave back.

children family human nature

Adults find pleasure in deceiving a child. They consider it necessary, but they also enjoy it. The children very quickly figure it out and then practice deception themselves.

children

Proper parenting is an act of love for one's neighbor.  It is the act of training a child such that the child will treat other people properly and make America a better place.
Every conversation, every cuddle, aver kiss and caress, even every disagreement, adds another brushstroke to the picture of home you paint with the days and hours of your life.

family

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.
There are two great injustices that can befall a child. One is to punish him for something he didn't do. The other is to let him get away with doing something he knows is wrong.
The question that is so clearly in many potential parents minds: Why should we stunt our ambitions and impoverish our lives in order to be insulted and looked down upon in our old age?
We don't yet know, above all, what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people.
Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise... specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.

aspiration

Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaking need for an unshakable God.

God

People commonly educate their children as they build their houses, according to some plan they think beautiful, without considering whether it is suited to the purposes for which they are designed.

education

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

adolescence

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.
Home is the nest where children are raised and the place where they are the most important inhabitants. In homes in which this is not true, the parents are not making the sacrifices which are necessary.

home

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder...he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.

for teachers wonder

If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, the excitement, and the mystery of the world we live in.

for teachers

Children can't be a center of life and a reason for being. They can be a thousand satisfying things that are delightful, interesting, satisfying, but they can't be a wellspring to live from. Or they shouldn't be.
The trick, which requires the combined skills of a tightrope walker and a cordon bleu chef frying a plain egg, is to take your daughter seriously without taking everything she says and does every minute seriously.
Our young must be taught that racial peculiarities do exist, but that beneath the skin, beyond the differing features, and into the true heart of being, fundamentally, we are more alike, my friend, than we are unalike.

brotherhood of man race

Eagles: When they walk, they stumble. They are not what one would call graceful. They were not designed to walk. They fly. And when they fly, oh, how they fly, so free, so graceful. They see from the sky what we never see.

adversity

The beauty of "spacing" children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones—which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.

funny

What the world needs is not romantic lovers who are sufficient unto themselves, but husbands and wives who live in communities, relate to other people, carry on useful work and willingly give time and attention to their children.

family society

When it comes to our children, we do not have the luxury of despair. If we rise, they will rise with us every time, no matter how many times we've fallen. Remembering that is the most important work we can possibly do as parents.
All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.
A Prayer For My Son: Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.

prayers

If we have someone who loves us—I don't mean who indulges us, but who loves us enough to be on our side—then it's easier to grow resilience, to grow belief in self, to grow self-esteem. And it's self-esteem that allows a person to stand up.

love self-esteem

Your mindful breath and your smile will bring happiness to you and to those around you. Even if you spend a lot of money on gifts for everyone in your family, nothing you could buy them can give as much true happiness as your gift of awareness.

buddhist

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one's family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one's own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

enlightenment health mind

I love my son and I loved him when he was growing up, but I was not in love with him which means that I did not dote and I was willing to make the hard decisions. One should never let the love of one's child prevent or hinder the vital and necessary work of parenting.
Parental trust is extremely important in the guidance of adolescent children as they get further and further away from the direct supervision of their parents and teachers.  I don't mean that trust without clear guidance is enough, but guidance without trust is worthless.

adolescence trust

What law is it that says a woman is a better parent simply by virtue of her sex? I guess I've had to think a lot about whatever it is that makes somebody a good parent: constancy, patience, understanding ...love. Where is it written that a man has any less of those qualities than a woman?
— Kramer vs. Kramer

men and women parents

I suffer whenever I see that common sight of a parent or senior imposing his opinion and way of thinking and being on a young soul to which they are totally unfit. Cannot we let people be themselves, and enjoy life in their own way? You are trying to make that man another you. One's enough.
Do not be cross with the child; you cannot afford it. If you are cultivating a plant, developing it into something finer and nobler, you must love it, not hate it; be gentle with it, not abusive; be firm, never harsh. I give the plants upon which I am at work...the best possible environment.
Children who live surrounded by rules, instead of learning about principles, end up becoming adept at getting around rules, finding the loopholes in rules, disguising non-compliance, or deflecting blame for non- compliance (i.e. lying about what they did). These are the skills that they then bring into adult life.
I think it's quite a natural curiosity for adopted people to want to understand where certain traits come from. But I'm mostly an environmentalist. I think the way you are raised and your values and most of your world view come from the experiences you had as you grew up. But some things aren't accounted for that way. I think it's quite natural to have a curiosity about it. And I did.
Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, water-bugs, tadpoles, frogs, mud-turtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, water-lilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hay-fields, pine-cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education.

nature

The problem with praising kids for their innate intelligence -the "smart" compliment-is that it misrepresents the neural reality of education. It encourages kids to avoid the most useful kind of learning activities, which is learning from mistakes. Unless you experience the unpleasant symptoms of being wrong, your brain will never revise its models. Before your neurons can succeed, they must repeatedly fail. There are no shortcuts for this painstaking process.

for teachers

One of the things I feel is that, right now, if you ask who are the customers of education, the customers of education are the society at large, the employers who hire people, things like that. But ultimately I think the customers are the parents. Not even the students but the parents. The problem that we have in this country is that the customers went away. The customers stopped paying attention to their schools, for the most part. What happened was that mothers started working and they didn't have time to spend at PTA meetings and watching their kids' school. Schools became much more institutionalized, and parents spent less and less and less time involved in their kids education. What happens when a customer goes away and a monopoly gets control, which is what happened in our country, is that the service level almost always goes down. And that's certainly what the public school system is. They don't have to care.

America education school