"It will be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher. Then suddenly they disappear."
- Dorothy Eislin
"Children's liberation is the next item on our civil
rights shopping list."
- Letty Cottin Pogrebin,
The First Ms. Reader, 1972.
"The child is curious. He wants to make sense out of
things, find out how things work, gain competence and control
over himself and his environment, and do what he can see other
people doing. He is open, perceptive, and experimental. He does
not merely observe the world around him. He does not shut
himself off from the strange, complicated world around him, but
tastes it, touches it, hefts it, bends it, breaks it.
"To find out how reality works, he works on it. He is
bold. He is not afraid of making mistakes. And he is patient. He
can tolerate an extraordinary amount of uncertainty, confusion,
ignorance, and suspense. ... School is not a place that gives
much time, or opportunity, or reward, for this kind of thinking
- John Holt,
"Should a child develop a fever, all kinds of measures
are taken to insure his comfort and improvement. No one would
think of telling a child to 'behave himself and get rid of the
flu.' We would consider it insane to punish a child because he
"What a blessing it would be if there were a
'thermometer' to measure the emotional health of our children.
We who rush to our children's assistance when they have a fever,
might then also rush to our children's aid when they signal a
lack of love, or wonder, or appreciation.
"Since there is no method for measuring our children's
emotional needs, perhaps it would be wise for us to offer them a
little extra love, a little extra care, and a little extra
understanding, just in case."
- John A. Taylor,
on an Unhurried Journey
"Loving a baby is a circular business, a kind of
feedback loop. The more you give, the more you get, and the more
you get, the more you feel like giving."
- Penelope Leach
"Pausing to listen to an airplane in the sky, stooping
to watch a ladybug on a plant, sitting on a rock to watch the
waves crash over the quayside - children have their own agendas
and timescales. As they find out more about their world and
their place in it, they work hard not to let adults hurry them.
We need to hear their voices."
- Cathy Nutbrown
"Our survival as a species depends on our ability to
recognize that our well-being and the well-being of others are
in fact one and the same."
- Marshall Rosenberg
"When I was five years old, my mother always told me
that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they
asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down
'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I
told them they didn't understand life."
- John Lennon
"Listening is where love begins."
- Fred Rogers