Quotes of the Month for 1999
"Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy.
Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow."
The Education of the Feelings, 1838
"Five is a wonderful time of life for a little kid... It is a
time when the eyes are wide open and the patterns are not yet set; a
time when one has not yet been hammered into accepting everything as
immutable and hopeless; a time when the hands cannot do enough, the mind
cannot learn enough, the world is infinite and colorful and filled with
mysteries. Five is a special time before they take the questing,
unquenchable, quixotic soul of the young dreamer and thrust it into
dreary schoolroom boxes. A time before they take the trembling hands
that want to hold everything, touch everything, figure everything out,
and make them lie still on desktops. A time before people begin saying
'act your age' and 'grow up' or 'you're behaving like
a baby'. It is a time of delight, of wonder, of
"Jeffty Is Five" in The Magazine of Fantasy
and Science Fiction, July, 1977.
"Except in rare times of great stress or danger, there is no
reason why we cannot say 'No' to children in just as kind a way as we
say 'Yes'. Both are words. Both convey ideas which even tiny
children are smart enough to grasp. One says, 'We don't do it that way',
the other says 'That's the way we do it'. Most of the time, that is what
children want to find out. Except when overcome by fatigue, curiosity,
or excitement, they want to do it right, do as we do, fit in, take
"It's so sad how abusive our world has become. I think the
majority of people in this world have forgotten, or perhaps never knew,
what happiness is possible when there is love."
Duen Hsi Yen,
"Kids who have their needs met early by loving parents ... are
subjected totally and thoroughly to the most severe form of 'discipline'
conceivable: they don't do what you don't want them to do because
they love you so much!
"If you haven't cluttered the airwaves between you and your
child with a thousand stupid 'don'ts' over your Royal Doulton china, or
not eating their dessert before the main course, or not finishing their
spinach, or not doing this or that, then those few situations where it
really matters because of safety and impropriety don't need anything
approaching the connotation of 'discipline' to ensure appropriate
Dr. Elliott Barker,
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children
"You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find
it within himself."
"When we are polite to children, we show in the most simple and
direct way possible that we value them as people and care about their
Dr. David Elkind
"All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed.
Then it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as
1788 - 1860
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
"For success in training children the first condition is to
become as a child oneself, but this means no assumed childishness, no
condescending baby-talk that the child immediately sees through and
deeply abhors. What it does mean is to be as entirely and simply taken
up with the child as the child himself is absorbed by his life."
The Century of the Child (1909).
"What distinguishes a human being from a computer? The ability
to add up numbers? The ability to understand language? The ability to be
logical? It is, of course, none of the above. It is the ability to play.
Computers cannot have fun. They cannot fantasize. They cannot dream,
they cannot experience emotion or summon intuition. These rare, precious
qualities come naturally to every child on this earth yet they tend to
be seen, by well meaning adults, as faults, foibles and failings. In
pushing tiny toddlers to 'perform', we rob them of the ability to
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