children - children 2
children 3 - children 5

Children are like wet cement.
Whatever falls on them
makes an impression.

Haim Ginott

Unfortunately, we're used to thinking of childhood as a period of blindness and inadequacy, not as the richest time of all.  And yet, to convince yourself that it's so all you have to do is look carefully into the eyes of a newborn baby.  Try it if you get the chance; forget preconceptions and observe the child closely.  How do the eyes seem to you?  Empty, unconscious?  Or ancient, distant, wise?  Babies naturally know how to breathe deeply; it's we adults who have lost this ability.  At the age of four or five I had as yet learned nothing about God or religion, nor about any of the fine messes people have made in their name.

Susanna Tamaro


Know ye what it is to be a child?  It is to have a spirit yet streaming from the waters of baptism; it is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


Loving children doesn't mean giving in to all their whims; to love them is to bring out the best in them, to teach them to love what is difficult.

Nadia Boulanger


We must trust that what we're doing has a purpose.  We must realize that we're not here to make kids conform or perform, but that we're here to help them to develop their own unique skills and talents, not the ones we want them to have or the ones we think they should have.

tom walsh


There are two great injustices that can befall children.
One is to punish them for something they didn't do.
The other is to let them get away with doing something they know is wrong.

Robert Gardner


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Daily Meditations, Year One - Year Two - Year Three - Year Four

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Pay attention to the young, and make them just as good as possible.


Genius is childhood recaptured.

Charles Baudelaire

Every adult needs a child to teach; it's the way adults learn.

Frank A. Clark

Children are likely to live up
to what you believe of them.

Lady Bird Johnson

We have to get children to understand that not only do they have this
incredible uniqueness, but they also have something that sometimes
we forget about.  They are also potentiality.  They are much more
undiscovered than they are discovered.  And there's the wonder of it.
It doesn't matter where they are, they're only just beginning and
the big magical trip of life is digging it all out and discovering
the wonderful you.

Leo Buscaglia

I have found that 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


children - children 2
children 3 - children 5


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I've come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element
in the classroom.  It's my daily mood that makes the weather.  As a
teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable
or joyous.  I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can
humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that
decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated
and a child humanized or de-humanized.

Haim Ginott

We worry about what a child will become tomorrow,
yet we forget that that child is someone today.

Stacia Tauscher

Children need love, especially when
they do not deserve it.

Harold Hulbert

A child can ask questions that a wise
person cannot answer.


If you haven't time to respond to a tug at your
pants leg, your schedule is too crowded.

Robert Brault

Do not confine your children to your own learning,
for they were born in another time.

Hebrew proverb

The best inheritance one can give to one's children is
a few minutes of one's time each day.

O. A. Battista

Good parents give their children Roots and Wings.  Roots to know where
home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught them.

Jonas Salk


All children need to know they are loved and protected.  It's not
easy being a child.  Their small size and limited means make them
dependent and vulnerable.  We must all lend a hand in creating a
safe environment for them.  I accept my responsibilities
towards my own and other people's children.

Happiness One Day at a Time


Giving kids clothes and food is one of thing, but it's much more important to
teach them that other people besides themselves are important and that the best
thing they can do with their lives is to use them in the service of other people.

Dolores Huerta

If there is anything that 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


A low self-love in the parent desires that his or her child should repeat
his or her character and fortune.  I suffer whenever I see that common
sight of a parent or senior imposing his or her opinion and way of
thinking and being on a young soul to which he or she is totally unfit.
Cannot we let people be themselves, and enjoy life in their own way?
You are trying to make another you.  One's enough.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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!

To believe in a child is to believe in the future. Through their aspirations
they will save the world. With their combined knowledge the turbulent
seas of hate and injustice will be calmed. They will champion the causes
of life's underdogs, forging a society without class discrimination. They
will supply humanity with music and beauty as it has never known. They
will endure. Towards these ends I pledge my life's work. I will supply the
children with tools and knowledge to overcome the obstacles. I will pass
on the wisdom of my years and temper it with patience. I shall impact in
each child the desire to fulfill his or her dream. I shall teach.

Henry James

By teaching our children to stay in line we create well-behaved
followers.  While this may make parenting a bit easier, it has
enormous costs later in life.  These same children grow up to be
unhappy adults who desperately want to lead their own lives,
yet lack the necessary skills to do so.

Cheryl Richardson
Stand Up for Your Life


Children don't just come to us; they come for us.  They come into our
lives and show us where our capacity to love can still use improvement.
They shine a spotlight on our wounds and force us to deal with them.
They minister to our souls' growth and our personal growth even if we don't
like it.  The alternative is to pass on the dis-ease, to leave them an
inheritance that they'll have to sort out and try not to hand to the next
generation.  We have to let these small ministers do their very big work.

Laura Berman Fortgang

children - children 2
children 3 - children 5

One of the hard things about being a parent is understanding why children misbehave.  If we know why, we can discipline more successfully.
   Here are some of the possibilities.  First of all, attention.  Whether it's positive or negative, children want to make sure that we notice them.  Sibling rivalry is an example.  They will fight with each other just to get our attention.  Make sure that you're not becoming a cheerleader for opposing teams.
   Another possibility is power. All children want power, whether they are four or fourteen.  But they really don't want to be in control of the house and family.  Watch out for power struggles and refuse to participate.
   Revenge.  Children are very sensitive about justice and fairness.  If they think you have been unfair, they may misbehave just to get even.  Discipline, but don't retaliate, or you'll be setting a model for revenge.
   Feelings of inadequacy may be the most important reasons for trouble.  Children who don't think they are worthwhile may either stop trying or rebel out of fear or anger.
   See if you can figure out why your children are misbehaving.  It will be much easier to respond in a way that helps, and doesn't hurt.

Jennifer James
Success Is the Quality of Your Journey
For children mastery entails struggle.  This means they must be permitted to
struggle.  If parents inappropriately step in to "help"--out of impatience or
solicitude--they sabotage important learning.  Among other things, the child
is unlikely to discover the advantages of perseverance and self-discipline.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

If you are trying to appear calm and collected on the outside when actually
you are feeling upset and angry, your children may mirror this to you by
becoming wild and disruptive.  While you are trying to maintain control, they
pick up the chaotic energy inside of you and reflect it in their behavior.  If
you express directly what you are feeling, without trying to cover it up, they
will usually calm down.  They feel comfortable with the truth, the congruity
between your feelings and your words.  This is true of other relationships as well.

Shakti Gawain
Reflections in the Light


It seems the songs of our children may be in keys we've never tried.
The melody of each generation emerges from all that's gone before.

Fred Rogers
The World According to Mr. Rogers



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(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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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.