children - children 3
children 4 - children 5

The world was not left to us by our parents;
it was lent to us by our children.

African Proverb

   
If it's hard for you to daydream, hang around children and ask them to tell you stories.  They are experts at using their imagination.  Boys and girls freely use fantasy to cope with the pressures of life.  Unfortunately, many of us take ourselves much too seriously and, in the name of maturity and responsibility, work too hard.  Take time for make-believe.  Abandon yourself in play.  I think God gives us an imagination for a reason.  Christ knows the pressures we endure. Perhaps this is one reason He encourages us to "become as little children."

Jean Lush

      

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

Ogden Nash

  

It is infinitely more useful for a child to hear a story told by a person than by computer.  Because the greatest part of the learning experience lies not in the particular words of the story but in the involvement with the individual reading it.

Frank Smith

   

To become mature is to recover that sense of seriousness which one had as a child at play.

Friedrich Nietzsche
  
   
I advise the young to tell themselves constantly that most often it is up to them alone.

Andre Gide

  

Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the
offspring themselves arrive?  The value of marriage is not
that adults produce children but that children produce adults.

Peter DeVries

   

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Children not only have to learn what their parents
learned in school, but also have to learn how to learn.
This has to be recognized as a new problem which is only partly solved.

Margaret Mead

   
The best compliment to children or friends is the feeling
you give them that they have been set free to make their
own inquiries, to come to conclusions that are right for
them, whether or not they coincide with your own.

Alistair Cooke
   

I think that the ideals of youth are fine, clear and
unencumbered; and that the real art of living consists
in keeping alive the conscience and sense of values
we had when we were young.

Rockwell  Kent

  

Youth is a wonderful thing.
What a crime to waste it on children.

George Bernard Shaw

  
I love working with children and around children.  I love being with children when we go to a picnic or a party because while the adults sit around and talk, the children do.  They find things, they invent things, they're active.  I can sit and talk with another adult on a cold rainy day when it's not a good idea (for health reasons) to get cold and wet, but on a bright spring or summer or fall day, even a winter day, I want to be alive--I want to feel my blood flow, I want to feel my muscles being used.  Kids do that naturally, and when I'm with them, I can feel their energy, their aliveness.

Being with children also gives me a much healthier perspective.  while there are of course exceptions, most kids don't judge as harshly as the adults tend to do--they want to know things, but they don't need to judge, to put value on something; cynical children come few and far between, but cynical adults are a dollar a dozen (due to inflation, of course).

There is a very real tendency among many adults to romanticize childhood, to make it sound as if it's the best of all possible times, but we also have to remember the temper tantrums, the hissy fits, the not wanting to share, the crankiness when they're tired (but that's me, too), the not listening when they're told to do something, even (especially?) when that something is dangerous.  I think we must take the best from children, though, and I think that has to do with perspective, appreciation, awe, and action.

I think we need to think less--we overvalue our cognitive capabilities, without realizing just how often we complicate things much more than they need to be complicated, or we think too much and assign designs and motives to other people's actions and words that just aren't there.  Everyone's a psychoanalyst these days, thanks to poor television programs and movies, and few people are willing just to let people be people, and accept them for what they are.

We can be like kids in seeing the wonder of the trees and the flowers and the cows by the side of the road (FORGET the methane!).  We can be like kids when we see the extraordinary power and beauty of the mountains.  We can be like children when we meet other people and want to find out who they are, not what they make or what their social class is.

I'm glad there are children around, for, as much as I hate to say it, I would get incredibly bored being around adults all the time.  Adults seem rarely to want to play, to want to enjoy themselves, to want to take chances and discover new things and draw or paint without worrying what people will say about their art or their abilities.

Thanks, kids, for brightening my life.

tom walsh

  

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children - children 3
children 4 - children 5

Children need models more than they need critics.

Joseph Joubert
   

We can't form our children on our own concepts; we must take
them and love them as God gives them to us.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

   

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:  Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path
of the infinite, and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.


Khalil Gibran
The Prophet

children - children 3
children 4 - children 5

  

Nurse's Song

When the voices of children are heard on the green,
And laughing is heard on the hill,
My heart is at rest within my breast,
And everything else is still.

"Then come home, my children, the sun is gone down,
And the dews of the night arise;
Come, come, leave off play, and let us away
Till the morning appears in the skies."

"No, no, let us play, for it is yet day,
And we cannot go to sleep;
Besides, in the sky the little birds fly,
And the hills are all cover'd with sheep."

"Well, well, go and play till the light fades away,
And then go home to bed."
The little ones leaped and shouted and laughed
And all the hills echoed.

William Blake

   
As children, we are not jaded by the sophistication of the world.
We're real.  We're humble.  We're willing to admit our needs and
trust that others can help us.  We're unpretentious and adventurous.
We're lighthearted and imaginative.  And we're fearless, willing to
take a risk--a juvenile version of what the early twentieth-century
Bible teacher Oswald Chambers calls "reckless joy."
   And then, of course, we grow up.  And what happens?  In many
cases, we get jaded by the world.  Instead of being real, we rationalize
behaviors.  We learn to put our personal spin on our shortcomings
rather than deal with them.  We become pretentious.  We throw
ourselves into all sorts of physical adventure but are cowardly
regarding relationships, flitting from one person
to the next, lacking the courage to commit.

Bob Welch
52 Little Lessons from It's a Wonderful Life
  

I hear babies cry
I watch them grow
They'll learn much more than I'll ever know
And I think to myself,
"What a wonderful world."

Weiss/Thiele

  

The Children's Hour

Between the dark and the daylight,
When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations,
That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
Descending the broad hall stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old mustache as I am
Is not a match for you all!

I have you fast in my fortress,
And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeon
In the round-tower of my heart.

And there I will keep you forever,
Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
And moulder in dust away!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

  
  
Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.

Robert A. Heinlein
  

A happy childhood can't be cured.  Mine'll hang around
my neck like a rainbow, that's all, instead of a noose.

Hortense Calisher

  

The spiritual interests of children have a lot to teach us. . . . I have listened
to children of eight or nine or ten getting to the heart of the Bible.
I have found in elementary schools a good deal of spiritual curiosity
that does not reflect mere indoctrination.

Robert Coles

  

  
When my little daughter Margaret was about five years old, I was awakened one morning by the sound of her childish voice in the nursery next to my room.  It was about six o'clock, and she was carrying on a great conversation with herself, interspersed with bubbling laughter.

I went into the nursery and interrupted the monologue by saying:  "Margaret, this is a strange time for you to be talking so noisily to yourself.  You are disturbing everyone who is trying to sleep in this house.  Furthermore," I continued, "it seems to me rather foolish for you to lie there talking to yourself and laughing at your own remarks."

"Oh, Daddy," she said in that tone with which children immemorially have put parents in their proper place, "Oh, Daddy, you don't understand.  I have an awful good time with myself."

Norman Vincent Peale
  

   

   

children - children 3
children 4 - children 5

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When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them
seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to
them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making
them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning.
That’s if you want to teach them to think.

Bertrand Russell
   

What can we make of the inexpressible joy of children?  It is a kind of gratitude,
I think—the gratitude of the ten-year-old who wakes to her own energy and the
brisk challenge of the world.  You thought you knew the place and all its routines,
but you see you hadn’t known.  Whole stacks at the library held books devoted
to things you knew nothing about.  The boundary of knowledge receded, as you
poked about in books, like Lake Erie’s rim as you climbed its cliffs.  And each
area of knowledge disclosed another, and another.  Knowledge wasn’t a body, or
a tree, but instead air, or space, or being—whatever pervaded, whatever never
ended and fitted into the smallest cracks and the widest space between stars.

Annie Dillard
An American Childhood

   

Returning from the pantry, she sees that her two-year-old has climbed onto
the table, opened the egg carton and, two-handed, is transferring one egg at
a time into the egg container.  "No, no," she cries out in alarm, "that's not for
little girls, you'll break them," and she lifts her daughter who has begun to cry
down from the table and puts away the rest of the eggs herself.  Fourteen
years later she will probably still be putting the eggs away herself and
perhaps cleaning up her daughter's room as well.

Chances are that any helpful two-year-old will break some eggs.  We are
often not very good at things when we are new.  But there may be an important
choice to make at such moments.  Do we support and protect the innate wish
to be of help to others in our children, or do we protect the eggs?  Hard as it
seems, the greater mother wisdom may lie in a willingness to clean up broken
eggs or replace a mitten and a box of crayons.

Rachel Naomi Remen
My Grandfather's Blessings

    



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Children are happy because they don't yet have a file in their minds
called "All the Things That Could Go Wrong."  They don't have a
mind-set that puts "Things to Fear" before "Things to Love."  Unless
we can be like little children, we can't enter into the kingdom of
heaven; unless we can be like little children, we can't be happy.
Children are happy because they don't have all the facts yet.

Marianne Williamson
Illuminata
   

Children who are not encouraged to do, to try, to explore, to master, and
to risk failure, often feel helpless and inadequate. Over-controlled by anxious,
fearful parents, these children often become anxious and fearful themselves.
This makes it difficult for them to mature. Many never outgrow the need for
ongoing parental guidance and control. As a result, their parents continue to
invade, manipulate, and frequently dominate their lives.

Susan Forward
Toxic Parents

  

Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.

William Martin
The Parent's Tao Te Ching
Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

  

   

  

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