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Quotations about Parents




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


Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.  ~Elizabeth Stone


Always kiss your children goodnight - even if they're already asleep.  ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


Parenthood:  That state of being better chaperoned than you were before marriage.  ~Marcelene Cox


Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories.  ~John Wilmot


It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to beget children is a natural urge.  ~Phyllis Diller


To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.  ~Josh Billings


There comes a time when a woman needs to stop thinking about her looks and focus her energies on raising her children.  This time comes at the moment of conception.  A child needs a role model, not a supermodel.  ~Astrid Alauda, on the "hot mom" trend


Your children need your presence more than your presents.  ~Jesse Jackson


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


Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.  ~Robert Fulghum


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


It behooves a father to be blameless if he expects his child to be.  ~Homer


If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent.  ~Bette Davis


It kills you to see them grow up.  But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn't.  ~Barbara Kingsolver, Animal Dreams


Diogenes struck the father when the son swore.  ~Robert Burton, "Anatomy of Melancholy," Democritus to the Reader, 1621


Children are a great comfort in your old age - and they help you reach it faster, too.  ~Lionel Kauffman


Most of us become parents long before we have stopped being children.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.  ~Abigail Van Buren


The quickest way for a parent to get a child's attention is to sit down and look comfortable.  ~Lane Olinghouse


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.  ~C.G. Jung, Integration of the Personality, 1939


Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.  ~Robert A. Heinlein


Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.  ~Roger Lewin


Simply having children does not make mothers.  ~John A. Shedd


Although there are many trial marriages... there is no such thing as a trial child.  ~Gail Sheehy


Children have more need of models than of critics.  ~Carolyn Coats, Things Your Dad Always Told You But You Didn't Want to Hear


The beauty of "spacing" children many years apart lies in the fact that parents have time to learn the mistakes that were made with the older ones - which permits them to make exactly the opposite mistakes with the younger ones.  ~Sydney J. Harris


There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.  ~Hodding Carter, Jr.


Your children tell you casually years later what it would have killed you with worry to know at the time.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.  ~Edward, Duke of Windsor, Look, 5 March 1957


The problem with children is that you have to put up with their parents.  ~Charles DeLint


Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children.  ~Marilyn Penland


My mom used to say it doesn't matter how many kids you have... because one kid'll take up 100% of your time so more kids can't possibly take up more than 100% of your time.  ~Karen Brown


Children aren't happy with nothing to ignore,
And that's what parents were created for.
~Ogden Nash, "The Parent," Happy Days, 1933


Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.  ~Charles R. Swindoll, The Strong Family


How pleasant it is for a father to sit at his child's board.  It is like an aged man reclining under the shadow of an oak which he has planted.  ~Walter Scott


You will always be your child's favorite toy.  ~Vicki Lansky, Trouble-Free Travel with Children, 1991


What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give.  ~P.D. James, Time to Be in Earnest


If your children spend most of their time in other people's houses, you're lucky; if they all congregate at your house, you're blessed.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.  ~Haim Ginott


Give me the life of the boy whose mother is nurse, seamstress, washerwoman, cook, teacher, angel, and saint, all in one, and whose father is guide, exemplar, and friend.  No servants to come between.  These are the boys who are born to the best fortune.  ~Andrew Carnegie


Now the thing about having a baby - and I can't be the first person to have noticed this - is that thereafter you have it.  ~Jean Kerr


Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older they judge them; sometimes they forgive them.  ~Oscar Wilde


There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.  ~Chinese Proverb


Never raise your hand to your kids.  It leaves your groin unprotected.  ~Red Buttons


Smack your child every day.  If you don't know why - he does.  ~Joey Adams


Kids spell love T-I-M-E.  ~John Crudele


There may be some doubt as to who are the best people to have charge of children, but there can be no doubt that parents are the worst.  ~George Bernard Shaw


A parent who has never apologized to his children is a monster.  If he's always apologizing, his children are monsters.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


Mother Nature is wonderful.  Children get too old for piggy-back rides just about the same time they get too heavy for them.  ~Author Unknown


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


If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family.  ~Lawrence Housman


I don't believe professional athletes should be role models.  I believe parents should be role models.... It's not like it was when I was growing up.  My mom and my grandmother told me how it was going to be.  If I didn't like it, they said, "Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out."  Parents have to take better control.  ~Charles Barkley


Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, has instilled within each of us a powerful biological instinct to reproduce; this is her way of assuring that the human race, come what may, will never have any disposable income.  ~Dave Barry


The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.  ~Benjamin Spock, Dr. Spock's Baby and Child Care


Having babies is fun, but babies grow up into people.  ~M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter, "The Price of Tomato Juice"


My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.  ~Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant, 1968


When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen.  When they're finished, I climb out.  ~Erma Bombeck


I love to play hide and seek with my kid, but some days my goal is to find a hiding place where he can't find me until after high school.  ~Author Unknown


The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles.  A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom.  The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard.  ~Sloan Wilson


You don't have to deserve your mother's love.  You have to deserve your father's.  He is more particular.... The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.  ~Robert Frost


Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day.  It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.  ~Bill Dodds


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, from "If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again"


Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.  ~Gloria Steinem, New York Times, 26 August 1971


Good, honest, hardheaded character is a function of the home.  If the proper seed is sown there and properly nourished for a few years, it will not be easy for that plant to be uprooted.  ~George A. Dorsey


Hot dogs always seem better out than at home; so do French-fried potatoes; so do your children.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960


As a child my family's menu consisted of two choices:  take it, or leave it.  ~Buddy Hackett


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


Was there ever a grandparent, bushed after a day of minding noisy youngsters, who hasn't felt the Lord knew what He was doing when He gave little children to young people?  ~Joe E. Wells


Ma-ma does everything for the baby, who responds by saying Da-da first.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


Insanity is hereditary - you get it from your kids.  ~Sam Levenson


It is not a bad thing that children should occasionally, and politely, put parents in their place.  ~Colette, My Mother's House, 1922


Humans are the only animals that have children on purpose with the exception of guppies, who like to eat theirs.  ~P.J. O'Rourke


Likely as not, the child you can do the least with will do the most to make you proud.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


The one thing children wear out faster than shoes is parents.  ~John J. Plomp


Raising children is like making biscuits:  it is as easy to raise a big batch as one, while you have your hands in the dough.  ~E.W. Howe


A young lady is a female child who has just done something dreadful.  ~Judith Martin


Children are natural mimics who act like their parents despite every effort to teach them good manners.  ~Author Unknown


The secret of dealing successfully with a child is not to be its parent.  ~Mell Lazarus


No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids.  ~Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986


The ideal home:  big enough for you to hear the children, but not very well.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


Parenthood is a lot easier to get into than out of.  ~Bruce Lansky


Character is largely caught, and the father and the home should be the great sources of character infection.  ~Frank H. Cheley


When you teach your son, you teach your son's son.  ~The Talmud


A lot of parents pack up their troubles and send them off to summer camp.  ~Raymond Duncan


Being a child at home alone in the summer is a high-risk occupation.  If you call your mother at work thirteen times an hour, she can hurt you.  ~Erma Bombeck


Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell, the name will carry.  ~Bill Cosby


There are no illegitimate children - only illegitimate parents.  ~Leon R. Yankwich


Instant availability without continuous presence is probably the best role a mother can play.  ~Lotte Bailyn


If your parents didn't have any children, there's a good chance that you won't have any.  ~Clarence Day


A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it.  The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad.  ~John Andrew Holmes


Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age.  ~William Feather, The Business of Life, 1949


Parents are not interested in justice; they are interested in quiet.  ~Bill Cosby


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," Social Studies, 1981


A child, like your stomach, doesn't need all you can afford to give it.  ~Frank A. Clark


Your children vividly remember every unkind thing you ever did to them, plus a few you really didn't.  ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic's Notebook, 1966


These are my daughters, I suppose.
But where in the world did the children vanish?
~Phyllis McGinley, "Ballad of Lost Objects," 1954


Getting down on all fours and imitating a rhinoceros stops babies from crying.  (Put an empty cigarette pack on your nose for a horn and make loud "snort" noises.)  I don't know why parents don't do this more often.  Usually it makes the kid laugh.  Sometimes it sends him into shock.  Either way it quiets him down.  If you're a parent, acting like a rhino has another advantage.  Keep it up until the kid is a teenager and he definitely won't have his friends hanging around your house all the time.  ~P.J. O'Rourke


In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything.  You just need a lot of love and luck - and, of course, courage.  ~Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986


Ask your child what he wants for dinner only if he's buying.  ~Fran Lebowitz, Social Studies


The trouble with being a parent is that by the time you are experienced, you are unemployed.  ~Author Unknown


If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says "keep away from children."  ~Susan Savannah


In spite of the seven thousand books of expert advice, the right way to discipline a child is still a mystery to most fathers and... mothers.  Only your grandmother and Ghengis Khan know how to do it.  ~Billy Cosby


In bringing up children, spend on them half as much money and twice as much time.  ~Author Unknown


From the moment of birth, when the Stone-Age baby confronts the twentieth-century mother, the baby is subjected to these forces of violence called love, as its father and mother and their parents and their parents before them, have been.  These forces are mainly concerned with destroying most of its potential.  ~R.D. Laing


Human beings are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home.  ~Bill Cosby, Fatherhood, 1986


What's done to children, they will do to society.  ~Karl Menninger


If you must hold yourself up to your children as an object lesson, hold yourself up as a warning and not as an example.  ~George Bernard Shaw


You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once.  ~Polish Proverb


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