Quotations: Parenting

The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he’s born.
— William R. Inge, American playwright (1913-1973)

If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance. Children must learn to identify the forms and content of those traits.
— William J. Bennett, author and former U.S. Secretary of Education (b. 1943)

The formation of character in young people is educationally a different task from and a prior task to, the discussion of the great, difficult ethical controversies of the day.
— William J. Bennett, author and former U.S. Secretary of Education (b. 1943)

To educate a person in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.
— Theodore Roosevelt, American adventurer and president (1858-1919)

Don’t worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you.
— Robert Fulghum, American author (b. 1937)

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
— Proverbs, 22:6

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
— Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American novelist and poet (1883-1931)

Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
— John Locke, English philosopher (1632-1704)

The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.
— Peter de Vries, American novelist (1910-1993)

Children need models rather than critics.
— Joseph Joubert, French essayist (1752-1824)

It takes a whole village to raise a child.
— Ashanti proverb

The best way to teach morality is to make it a habit with children.
— Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384-322 B.C.)

The question for the child is not Do I want to be good? but Whom do I want to be like?
— Bruno Bettelheim, Austrian-American child psychologist, author (1903-1990)

Example has more followers than reason.
— Christian Nevell Bovee, American author and lawyer (1820-1904)

If we are to reach real peace in this world . . . we shall have to begin with the children.
— Mohandas Gandhi, Indian nonviolent civil rights leader (1869-1948)

No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
— Emma Goldman, Lithuanian-American anarchist writer, lecturer and activist (1869-1940)

If you want to work for world peace, go home and love your families.
— Mother Teresa (Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu), nun and founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (1910-1997), Nobel Prize for Peace acceptance speech, 1979

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.
— Carl Jung, Swiss founder of analytical psychology (1875-1961)

We are the people our parents warned us about.
— Jimmy Buffett, American songwriter, performer (b. 1946)

Act so as to elicit the best in others and thereby in thyself.
— Felix Adler, American educator and reformer (1851-1933)

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
— Cicero (Marcus Tullius), Roman orator, philosopher and statesman (106-43 B.C.)

As long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence.
— George Bernard Shaw, Anglo-Irish dramatist and wit (1856-1950)