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

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


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


quotations - contents - welcome page - obstacles
the people behind the words - our current e-zine - articles and excerpts
Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

Sign up for your free daily spiritual or general quotation
~ ~ Sign up for your free daily meditation



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.  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


HOME - contents - Daily Meditations - abundance - acceptance - achievement - action - adversity - advertising - aging - ambition
anger - anticipation - anxiety - apathy - appreciation - arrogance - art - attitude - authenticity - awakening - awareness - awe
balance - beauty - being yourself - beliefs - body - brooding - busyness - caring - celebration - challenges -
change - character
charity - children - choices - Christianity - coincidence - commitment - common sense - community - comparison - compassion
competition - complaining - compliments - compromise - confidence - conformity - conscience - contentment - control - cooperation
courage - covetousness - creativity - crisis - criticism - cruelty -  death - decisions - desire - determination - disappointment
discipline - discouragement - diversity - doubt - dreams - earth - education - ego - emotions - encouragement - enlightenment
enthusiasm - envy - eternity - ethics - example - exercise - experience - failure - faith - fame - family - fate - fathers - fault-finding
fear - feelings - finances - flowers - forgiveness - freedom - friendship - frustration - fun - the future - garden of life - gardening
generosity - gentleness - giving - goals - God - goodness - grace - gratitude - greatness - greed - grief - growing up - guilt - habit
happiness - hatred - healing - health - heart - helpfulness - home - honesty - hope - hospitality - humility - hurry - ideals - identity
idleness  - idolatry - ignorance - illusion - imagination - impatience - individuality - the inner child - inspiration - integrity - intimacy
introspection - intuition - jealousy - journey of life - joy - judgment - karma - kindness - knowledge - language - laughter - laziness
leadership - learning - letting go - life - listening - loneliness - love - lying - magic - marriage - materialism - meanness - meditation
mindfulness - miracles - mistakes - mistrust - moderation - money - mothers - motivation - music - mystery - nature - negative attitude
now - oneness - open-mindedness - opportunity - optimism - pain - parenting - passion - the past - patience - peace - perfectionism
perseverance - perspective - pessimism - play - poetry - positive thoughts - possessions - potential - poverty - power - praise
- prejudice - pride - principle - problems - progress - prosperity - purpose - reading -recreation - reflection - relationships
religion - reputation - resentment - respect - responsibility - rest - revenge - risk - role models - running - ruts - sadness - safety
seasons of life - self - self-love - self-pity - self-reliance - self-respect selfishness - serving others - shame - silence - simplicity
slowing down - smiles -solitude - sorrow - spirit - stories - strength - stress - stupidity - success - suffering - talent
the tapestry of life - teachers - thoughts - time - today - tolerance - traditions - trees - trust - truth - unfulfilled dreams - values
vanity - virtue - vulnerability - walking - war - wealth - weight issues - wisdom - women - wonder - work - worry - worship
youth - spring - summer - fall - winter - Christmas - Thanksgiving - New Year - America - Zen sayings - articles & excerpts
Native American wisdom - The Law of Attraction - obstacles to living life fully - e-zine archives - quotations contents
our most recent e-zine - Great Thinkers - the people behind the words


children - children 3
children 4 - children 5

Children need models more than they need critics.

Joseph Joubert

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


I believe that infants and babies whose mothers give them
loving comfort whenever and however they can are truly
the fortunate ones.  I think they're more likely to find life's
times of troubles manageable, and I think they may also
turn out to be the adults most able to pass loving concern
along to the generations that follow after them.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers


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


Because I was once a child, I know how often and how deeply
I needed to be comforted and made to feel safe.  I was very
lucky because I was always made to feel wanted and loved.
Today, I love children and I strive to understand and help them.
I accept the responsibility of protecting children,
of being a reassuring and helpful presence in their lives.

Happiness One Day at a Time

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."



Talk to your children and listen to them, no matter what they say.  Let
them know that you're interested and that they have all your attention.
Listening to them doesn't mean that you agree with them;
it simply means that you agree to hear them out.

Janet Woititz



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

We have some inspiring and motivational books that may interest you.  Our main way of supporting this site is through the sale of books, either physical copies or digital copies for your Amazon Kindle (including the online reader).  All of the money that we earn through them comes back to the site in one way or another.  Just click on the picture to the left to visit our page of books, both fiction and non-fiction!

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

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

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


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



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
sources from various social media pages.  They're too nice
not to share!)


Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.