Be the parent your child needs…

Don’t try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.

Russell Baker (1925 โ€“ 2019)

It’s a great mistake, I think, to put children off with falsehoods and nonsense, when their growing powers of observation and discrimination excite in them a desire to know about things.

Anne Sullivan Macy (1866 โ€“ 1936)

What feeling is so nice as a child’s hand in yours? So small, so soft and warm, like a kitten huddling in the shelter of your clasp.

Wilson Mizner (1876 โ€“ April 3, 1933)

Loving a child doesn’t mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult.

Nadia Boulanger (1887ย โ€“ 1979)

The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering.

Benjamin Spock (1903 โ€“ 1998)

There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you’d be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of her or her own life and nature.

Ayelet Waldman (b. 1964)

Every clichรฉ about kids is true; they grow up so quickly, you blink and they’re gone, and you have to spend the time with them now. But that’s a joy.

Liam Neeson (b. 1952)

At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses.

Ellen Key (1849 โ€“ 1926)

Parenting now is a two-way relationship where you learn from each other.

Juhi Chawla (b. 1967)

My children are the reason I laugh, smile and want to get up every morning.

Gena Lee Nolin (b. 1971)

41 thoughts on “Be the parent your child needs…”

  1. Good quotes! Having a child relatively late in life has proven to be a unpredictable and great blessing for me, a daily constant masterclass in shedding selfishness. Also it renews my belief in spirit, for what else is confronting me in this little boy but a unique and blossoming spirit to nurture. Children make us realize that all things are possible.

    1. ๐Ÿ’™ Rob ๐Ÿ’™ – My younger brother is nearly 20 years younger than me (same Mom & Dad)… my Dad was 51 when he was born, and I think he felt just like you describe!


  2. All of them are terrific, but the first one absolutely takes the cake!
    How are you, David?
    I just had my teaching load doubled, to the end of semester, so I’ll be absent from blogosphere for long stretches of time, until the end of December. I apologize in advance.
    Much love,

  3. An excellent parent compilation. The one by Nadia Boulanger stood out to me. Staying firm with a child isn’t easy, but important and worthwhile (in my experience)

      1. For me either. Very difficult! Especially when tears, followed by anger flowed. As hard as it was for her, hearing no or losing a privilege because of behavior, it was much harder for me. No one said being a parent would be easy, but rewarding. Most days. ๐Ÿ˜†

  4. Excellent post, David. I am a parent of two boys, the older deceased and the younger one now 41. I didnโ€™t receive that hardbound copy of the Parenting Book for their first Christmas, so like most of us, I remembered the good from my upbringing and tried to filter out my parentsโ€™ faults. I gave no trophies but did give accolades when earned and some when not achieved, just to build confidence. I listened more than I spoke, and that made a difference. Good quotes to share.

  5. I don’t know about Ayelet Waldman, who claims to love her husband more than her children. I’m not a fan of ranking things anyhow, but how can love, especially, ever be measured in that way? She may and should love him differently. But more?
    That in no way detracts from the fact that, as most of these quotes note, the parent is not the child’s best friend, but an example and guide. (K)

  6. Observe, listen, react and love. Hug and hold and kiss. Never lie, always protect. Never force or wish things to be different. Influence but do not decide. Be present. Love.
    I think I have lived my life as a parent as above. Mostly.

      1. Three children, born in 1981, 1984 and 1993. All grown up now, but i feel my mothering skills are more and more important the older they get. Being a mother I think is the most important feature of my life. It drives almost everything I do.

  7. Children turn us into better humans. They make us want to care more about the world. We care more, period. And before we realize it weโ€™re walking around with bigger hearts. What a joy.
    The best job in the world.
    Lovely curation of great quotes. Thanks.

  8. Each quote seems to fold into one another, or embrace an idea of each other in one way or the other.
    Each quote is a valuable advice at different stages of a child’s life; growing and getting older as parents there is, found in these great quotes help and assistance along the wayโค, thank you David.

          1. I have two
            My heart is with the bravevand bighearted folks with five to ten children
            But, yes can understand those feelings of yours with one child.

  9. … there is also such a thing as self-parenting: Someone I know was sent to church when she was 9 – to be out of the way yes, but she found an open door far beyond religion, and yes, she had scars and grew up too quickly but she could learn to understand. And love.

          1. That’s true. But the people for whom being parented by their parents (assuming that their parents are capable of parenting) isn’t ideal are a tiny minority – there are exceptions to every rule, of course.

  10. If I could ‘like’ this post a 100 times, David, I would! This is a fabulous collection of quotes, especially the one from Ayelet Waldman. There is truth in each one of them. Thank you, David!

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