These quotations include wise words about children: being children, being around children, raising children.

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It takes a village to raise a child.

— African proverb

The secret of genius is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.

— Aldous Huxley

No child should ever be too sad to play.

— Andrew Galasetti

Recently a young mother asked for advice. What, she wanted to know, was she to do with a 7-year-old who was obstreperous, outspoken, and inconveniently willful? ‘Keep her,’ I replied…. The suffragettes refused to be polite in demanding what they wanted or grateful for getting what they deserved. Works for me.

— Anna Quindlen

A child loves his play, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.

— Benjamin Spock

Beyond all sciences, philosophies, theologies, and histories, a child’s relentless inquiry is truly all it takes to remind us that we don’t know as much as we think we know.

— Criss Jami, Killosophy

The fundamental emotional need of every child is being-with.

— Dragos Bratasanu, Ph.D.

It takes a village to raise a child. It takes a child with autism to raise the consciousness of the village.

— Elaine Hall

Children don’t need much advice but they really do need to be listened to and not just with half an ear.

— Emma Thompson

We should teach our children nothing which they shall ever need to unlearn; we should strive to transmit to them the best possessions, the truest thought, the noblest sentiments of the age in which we live.

— Felix Adler

When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.

— Fred Rogers

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.

— Fred Rogers

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.

— Fred Rogers

You can’t be too careful what you tell a child because you never know what he’ll take hold of and spend the rest of his life remembering you by.

— Frederick Buechner

A person’s maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because some day in life you will have been all of these.

— George Washington Carver

Never advise anyone to go to war or to get married. Write down the advice of him who loves you, though you like it not at present. He that has no children brings them up well.

— Germaine Greer

As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past. As weather reporters and restaurant workers they make sense of reality; as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal.

— Gretchen Owocki

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.

— Groucho Marx

Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring, and integrity, they think of you.

— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

We teach children how to measure and how to weigh. We fail to teach them how to revere, how to sense wonder and awe.

— Harold S. Kushner

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.

— Harry S Truman

Time is a game played beautifully by children.

— Heraclitus, Fragments

Look well to the growing edge! All around us worlds are dying and new worlds are being born; all around us life is dying and life is being born. The fruit ripens on the tree, the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new leaves, fresh blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge! It is the extra breath from the exhausted lung, the one more thing to try when all else has failed, the upward reach of life when weariness closes in upon all endeavor. This is the basis of hope in moments of despair, the incentive to carry on when times are out of joint and men have lost their reason, the source of confidence when worlds crash and dreams whiten into ash. The birth of the child — life’s most dramatic answer to death — this is the growing edge incarnate. Look well to the growing edge!

— Howard Thurman

For nothing is fixed, forever and forever and forever, it is not fixed; the earth is always shifting, the light is always changing, the sea does not cease to grind down rock. Generations do not cease to be born, and we are responsible to them because we are the only witnesses they have. The sea rises, the light fails, lovers cling to each other, and children cling to us. The moment we cease to hold each other, the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

— James Baldwin

America’s future will be determined by the home and the school. The child becomes largely what he is taught; hence we must watch what we teach, and how we live.

— Jane Addams

It is doubtless only during a time of war that the men and women of Chicago could tolerate whipping for children in our city prison, and it is only during such a time that the introduction in the legislature of a bill for the re-establishment of the whipping post could be possible. National events determine our ideals, as much as our ideals determine national events.

— Jane Addams

Give kids the space to learn and grow.

— Jessica Joelle Alexander, The Danish Way of Parenting

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

— John Adams

The real magic wand is the child’s own mind.

— José Ortega y Gasset

Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.

— Kay Redfield Jamison

It is time for a return to childhood, to simplicity, to running and climbing and laughing in the sunshine, to experiencing happiness instead of being trained for a lifetime of pursuing happiness. It is time to let children be children again.

— L. R. Knost

It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.

— L.R. Knost, Two Thousand Kisses a Day: Gentle Parenting Through the Ages and Stages

Parenting has nothing to do with perfection. Perfection isn’t even the goal, not for us, not for our children. Learning together to live well in an imperfect world, loving each other despite or even because of our imperfections, and growing as humans while we grow our little humans, those are the goals of gentle parenting. So don’t ask yourself at the end of the day if you did everything right. Ask yourself what you learned and how well you loved, then grow from your answer. That is perfect parenting.

— L.R. Knost, The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline

Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.

— L.R. Knost

Want to help stop the bullying epidemic? Don’t act like a bully. Don’t hit, threaten, ignore, isolate, intimidate, ridicule, or manipulate your child. Children really do learn what they live…

— L.R. Knost, The Gentle Parent: Positive, Practical, Effective Discipline

Parents, choose your words wisely, carefully, thoughtfully. In the same way that violence begets violence and anger begets anger, kindness begets kindness and peace begets peace. Sow words of peace, words that build, words that show respect and belief and support.

— L.R. Knost, Whispers Through Time: Communication Through the Ages and Stages of Childhood

It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.

— Leo F. Buscaglia

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.

— Maria Montessori

Play is the work of the child.

— Maria Montessori

If you as parents cut corners, your children will too. If you lie, they will too. If you spend all your money on yourselves and tithe no portion of it for charities, colleges, churches, synagogues, and civic causes, your children won’t either. And if parents snicker at racial and gender jokes, another generation will pass on the poison adults still have not had the courage to snuff out.

— Marian Wright Edelman

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 the old man had learned in seven years.

— Mark Twain, attributed in error

It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.

— Maya Angelou

It should be noted that children at play are not playing about; their games should be seen as their most serious-minded activity.

— Michel de Montaigne

No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly; and this self-deceit is yet stronger with respect to the offspring of the mind.

— Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived within him and who he will miss terribly.

— Pablo Neruda

Bitter are the tears of a child: Sweeten them.
Deep are the thoughts of a child: Quiet them.
Sharp is the grief of a child: Take it from him.
Soft is the heart of a child: Do not harden it.

— Pamela Glenconner

The belief that young people are incapable of making reasonable decisions is a cornerstone of our system of compulsory, closely monitored education.

— Peter O. Gray, Free to Learn

A child of today can detect a lie quicker than the wisest adult of two decades ago. When I want to know what is true, I ask my children.

— Philip K. Dick

I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them.

— Phyllis Diller
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