mothers - fathers

Parenthood. . . It's about guiding the next
generation, and forgiving the last.

Peter Krause

 

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment, and especially on their children, than the unlived life of the parents.

Carl Jung

     
Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did--that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain.  The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that--a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.

Debra Ginsberg
   

Of course, everyone's parents are embarrassing. It goes with the territory.  The nature of parents is to embarrass merely by existing, just as it is the nature of children of a certain age to cringe with embarrassment, shame, and mortification should their parents so much as speak to them on the street.

Neil Gaiman
Anansi Boys

   
We realized that the version of the world they rendered for us was not the version of the world they really believed in.

Jeffrey Eugenides
The Virgin Suicides
  
Parents can only give good advice or put children on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in his or her own hands.

Anne Frank

  

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.

Mitch Albom

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

   

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The job of every generation is to discover the flaws of the one
that came before it. That's part of growing up, figuring out all the
ways your parents and their friends are broken.

Justine Larbalestier
Zombies Vs. Unicorns

   

Avoid providing material for the drama that is always stretched
tight between parents and children; it uses up much of the childrenís
strength and wastes the love of the elders, which acts and warms
even if it doesnít comprehend. Donít ask for advice from them and
donít expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being
stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this
love there is strength and blessing so large that you can travel
as far as you wish without having to step outside it.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Letters to a Young Poet

    

No matter how far we come, our parents are always in us.

Brad Meltzer
The Inner Circle

    
Our parents can show us a lot of things: they can show us how we are
to be and what things we ought to strive for, or they can show us how
not to be and what things we ought to stray from, then you may have
the kind of parents that show you all the things about you that you want
to get rid of and you realize those traits aren't yours at all but are merely
your parents' marks that have rubbed off onto you.

C. JoyBell C
   

You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child
on a merry-go-round will wave at his or her parents every time around--
and why the parents will always wave back.

William D. Tammeus

   
If you have one parent who loves you, even if they can't buy you clothes, they're so poor and they make all kinds of mistakes and maybe sometimes they even give you awful advice, but never for one moment do you doubt their love for you--if you have this, you have incredibly good fortune.

If you have two parents who love you? You have won life's Lotto.

If you do not have parents, or if the parents you have are so broken and so, frankly, terrible that they are no improvement over nothing, this is fine.

It's not ideal because it's harder without adults who love you more than they love themselves. But harder is just harder, that's all.

Augusten Burroughs
This Is How
   

   
It's not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as
we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they
are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can't tell my
children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.

Joyce Maynard
   

Parents often talk about the younger generation as if
they didn't have anything to do with it.

Haim Ginott

    

Parents who have never apologized to their children are monsters.
If they're always apologizing, their children are monsters.

Mignon McLaughlin
The Second Neurotic's Notebook

   

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As parents, we guide by our unspoken example. It is only when
we're talking to them that our kids aren't listening.

Robert Brault
  

The guys who fear becoming fathers don't understand that fathering is
not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man.
The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent.

Frank Pittman
Man Enough

   

Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that
what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but
on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for
all eternity--a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother.

Rose Kennedy

  
   
If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

Diane Loomans
"If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"
 

Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need
not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion-picture
star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word
"collectible" as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.

Fran Lebowitz
"Parental Guidance"

   
If I Had to Do It All Over Again (Parenting)
Zig Ziglar

This question is frequently asked of people after they've reached a certain age.  One unknown father came up with some answers I believe have a lot of merit:

1.  "I would love my wife more in front of my children."  That is, he would speak more words of affection, hold her hand more, put his arm around her more, and hug her more.

2.  "I would laugh with my children more at our mistakes and joys."  Laughter breeds happiness, and a happy home has far fewer problems.

3.  "I would listen more, even to the smallest child."  It is amazing what little ones can teach us as the pearls of wisdom often come tumbling out.

4.  "I would be more honest about my own weaknesses and stop pretending perfection."  Kids know we are not perfect, and it's comforting to know we can acknowledge our humanness.

5.  "I would pray differently for my family.  Instead of focusing on them, I'd focus on me."  After all, that's where it really starts.

6.  "I would do more things together with my children."  We repeatedly hear about fathers who get too busy to spend precious moments walking, talking, playing, shopping, fishing, and cycling with their children.  That's where bonding takes place.

7.  "I would be more encouraging and bestow more praise."  It is said that encouragement is the fuel of hope, and praise, particularly for effort, brings about even more effort in the future.

8.  "When I made a mistake in the way I dealt with my children, I would admit it and ask them to forgive me."

9.  "I would pay more attention to little things, deeds and words of love and kindness."  When you add up all those little things over a lifetime, they make a huge difference.

10.  "I would share God more intimately with my family through ordinary things that happen in a day."

This unknown father has some marvelous lessons for us.  Take his approach, and you will have a happier, more fulfilled life as a parent.

~from his book, Staying Up, Up, Up in a Down, Down World
   

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I get so sick and tired of hearing people gripe about what their parents
did to them.  You know what your parents did to you?  The best thing
they could do.  The best thing they knew how, the only thing in many
cases that they knew how.  Nobody has set out maliciously
to hurt their child, unless they were psychotic.

Leo Buscaglia
Living, Loving, and Learning

  

Children are naturally inquisitive and love to try new things.  But they
cannot find these things by themselves; someone must offer them the
choices.  Years ago, when the Quiz Kids were astonishing American
radio audiences with their brilliance, a writer set out to discover what
common denominators there were in the backgrounds of these extraordinary
children.  He found that some were from poor families, some from rich;
some had been to superior schools, some had not.
   But, in every case investigated, there was one parent, sometimes two, who
shared enthusiasms with the child, who watched for areas of interest, who
gave encouragement and praise for achievement, who made a game of
searching out the answers to questions, who went out of the way to supply
the tools of learning.  No doubt the capacity for outstanding performance
was already there, but it took the love and interest and
companionship of a parent to bring it out.

Arthur Gordon
A Touch of Wonder

  

As parents, we must be convinced of our beliefs.  We must know
where we stand, so that our children will know where they stand.

Kim Boyce

    
  
Wanting what's best for your kids is all about the child. It's
about helping them find something they are passionate about
so they are intrinsically driven to reveal the strengths that
God gave them, whether in art, music, sports, writing,
academics, or community service.
   Wanting them to be the best is all about me. My expectations.
My fears. So I yell at them from the stands, correct them after
lessons, and coax them into activities that suck the fun out of
childhood. And in the process, I teach them that their worth is
wrapped up in how they perform. I teach them that second
place is losing. I teach them that judgment is more
important than love and acceptance.
    And it is so wrong.

Scott Dannemiller
  

Parents are often so busy with the physical rearing of children
that they miss the glory of parenthood, just as the grandeur
of the trees is lost when raking leaves.

Marcelene Cox

   

In the giving of help, a parent experiences one of the best feelings
that any of us can have:  that life has meaning because we are needed
by someone else.  Watching a baby grow with our help tells us other
things we like to feel about ourselves:  that we are competent and loving.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers

If the day ever came when we were able to accept ourselves and
our children exactly as we and they are, the, I believe, we would
have come very close to an ultimate understanding of what "good"
parenting means.  It's a part of being human to fall short of that
total acceptance--and often far short.  But one of the most important
gifts a parent can give a child is the gift of accepting that child's uniqueness.