Wise Words on Parenting
"An Exciting Thought"
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, very challenging and exciting thought for a mother.
"In Their Own Hands"
How true Daddy's words were when he said: 'All children must look after their own upbringing.' Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.
Where parents do too much for their children, the children will not do much for themselves.
"When Possible: Friendly Inducement"
Not by authority is your sway to be obtained ; neither by reasoning, but by inducement. Show in all your conduct that you are thoroughly your child's friend, and there is nothing that you may not lead him to. The faintest sign of your approval or dissent will be his law.
"Assuage Not Life's Consequences"
It is the function of parents to see that their children habitually experience the true consequences of their conduct.
Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see
Our children give us the opportunity to become the parents we always wished we'd had.
"Why We Teach Them Young"
The Law of Primacy...states that the earlier an experience the more potent its effect since it influences how later experiences will be interpreted.
J. A. C. Brown
"Strengthen Your Children"
Children thrive when parents set before them increasingly difficult, but always meetable, challenges.
"Teach Meaningful Productivity"
An Idle youth, a needy Age.
"Mr. Rogers' Rules On Rules"
Call them rules or call them limits, good ones, I believe, have this in common: They serve reasonable purposes; they are practical and within a child's capability; they are consistent; and they are an expression of loving concern.
"Provide Challenges. Be Immovable"
Growing up is a dialectical process that requires things that one can push against in order to become stronger. It takes limited war against worthy opponents; a child matures by testing himself against limits set by loving adults.
Making the decision to have a child - It's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
“She Braided My Spirit into Her Own”
She's so strong, and I remember one time she came to see me and I was having a very hard time And I have this sense that my mother took her spirit, braided it into my own and gave me her strength so that I could keep going. Over and over again my mother has been that for me.
"The Kingliest Warrior Born: Your Mother"
The bravest battle that ever was fought!
Shall I tell you where and when?
On the maps of the world you will find it not;
'Twas fought by the mothers of men.
Nay not with the cannon of battle-shot,
With a sword or noble pen;
Nay, not with eloquent words or thought
From mouth of wonderful men!
But deep in a walled-up woman's heart --
Of a woman that would not yield,
But bravely, silently bore her part --
Lo, there is the battlefield!
No marshalling troops, no bivouac song,
No banner to gleam and wave;
But oh! those battles, they last so long --
From babyhood to the grave.
Yet, faithful still as a bridge of stars,
She fights in her walled-up town --
Fights on and on in her endless wars,
Then silent, unseen, goes down.
Oh, ye with banners and battle-shot,
And soldiers to shout and paise!
I tell you the kingliest victories fought
Were fought in those silent ways.
O spotless woman in a world of shame,
With splendid and silent scorn,
Go back to God as white as you came --
The Kingliest warrior born!
Joaquin Miller (1839-1913)
"In A Letter To A Son"
While you were a child, I endeavored to form your heart habitually to virtue and honor, before your understanding was capable of showing you their beauty and utility.
Endurance Or Indolence
Laziness is sometimes mistaken for patience.
"Turn Not A Blind Eye"
There...is a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue."
"Prayer For The Prodigal"
If goodness lead him not, yet weariness may toss him to My breast.
“Discipline Is Benevolence”
I see today’s parents as terrified by their children, not least because they have been deemed the proximal agents of this hypothetical social tyranny, and simultaneously denied credit for their role as benevolent and necessary agents of discipline, order and conventionality. They dwell uncomfortably and self¬ consciously in the shadow of the all-too-powerful shadow of the adolescent ethos of the 1960s, a decade whose excesses led to a general denigration of adulthood, an unthinking disbelief in the existence of competent power, and the inability to distinguish between the chaos of immaturity and responsible freedom. This has increased parental sensitivity to the short-term emotional suffering of their children, while heightening their fear of damaging their children to a painful and counterproductive degree. Better this than the reverse, you might argue—but there are catastrophes lurking at the extremes of every moral continuum...
But human beings are evil, as well as good, and the darkness that dwells forever in our souls is also there in no small part in our younger selves. In general, people improve with age, rather than worsening, becoming kinder, more conscientious, and more emotionally stable as they mature. Bullying at the sheer and often terrible intensity of the schoolyard rarely manifests itself in grown-up society...children are damaged when those charged with their care, afraid of any conflict or upset, no longer dare to correct them, and leave them without guidance... It is an act of responsibility to discipline a child; it is not anger at misbehavior. It is not revenge for misdeeds. It is instead a careful combination of mercy and long-term judgement. Proper discipline requires effort - indeed, is virtually synonymous with effort...because of this combination of responsibility and difficulty, any suggestion that all constraints placed on children are damaging can be perversely welcome. Such a notion, once accepted, allows adults who should know better to abandon their dear duty to serve as agents of enculturation and pretend that doing so is good for their children......the fundamental moral question is not how to shelter children completely from misadventure and failure, so they never experience any fear or pain, but how to maximize their learning so that useful knowledge may be gained with minimal cost.
...parents must reward those attitudes and actions that will bring their child success in the world outside the family, and use threat and punishment when necessary to eliminate behaviors that will lead to misery and failure... Poorly socialized children have terrible lives...Rules should not be multiplied beyond necessity...Nature and society will punish in draconian manner whatever errors of childhood behavior remain uncorrected.
Limit the rules. Use minimum necessary force. Parents should come in pairs... We should not pretend that all family forms are equally viable. They're not. Period. It is the primary duty of parents to make their children socially desirable... Polite and engaging..If their actions make you dislike them, think what an effect they will have on other people, who care much less about them than you do.”
They want to triumph over danger. they weren't trying to be safe. They were trying to become competent - and it's competence that makes people as safe as they can truly be….I say “sufficiently safe” about the demolished playgrounds because when playgrounds are made too safe, kids either stop playing in them or start playing in unintended ways. Kids need playgrounds dangerous enough to remain challenging. People, including children (who are people too, after all), don’t seek to minimize risk. They seek to optimize it. They drive and walk and love and play so that they achieve what they desire, but they push themselves a bit at the same time, too, so they continue to develop. Thus, if things are made too safe, people (including children) start to figure out ways to make them dangerous again. When untrammeled—and encouraged—we prefer to live on the edge. There, we can still be both confident in our experience and confronting the chaos that helps us develop. We’re hard-wired, for that reason, to enjoy risk (some of us more than others). We feel invigorated and excited when we work to optimize our future performance, while playing in the present. Otherwise we lumber around, sloth-like, unconscious, unformed and careless. Overprotected, we will fail when something dangerous, unexpected and full of opportunity suddenly makes its appearance, as it inevitably will.