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Previous Quotes of the Month for 2000

January

"A society is best judged by how it treats its children."

Author unknown

February

"We are always too busy for our children; we never give them the time or interest they deserve. We lavish gifts upon them; but the most precious gift - our personal association, which means so much to them - we give grudgingly."

Mark Twain

March

"Grown men can learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss."

Black Elk

April

"Coercion or compulsion never brings about growth. It is freedom that accelerates evolution."

Paramahansa Yogananda

May

"Never leave a baby alone to cry. This is an absolute rule. He may be crying because he is hungry, cold, too hot, wet, etc; if so, these things may be attended to. But he may be none of these things; he may be crying because he is frightened, and if not reassured early this is a dangerous condition. If an infant in the early weeks and months of life is allowed to remain frightened and alone, his first impression of the world into which he has come is that it is inhospitable, dangerous and lonely, and there is no use seeking help. He must try to fend for himself and not expect help; but he cannot fend for himself; he is helpless. It is not a matter for surprise that such impressions may color his view of the world and the people in it permanently. Much of his subsequent conduct will be devoted to the object of making himself as secure as he can in an insecure world."

M. Bevan-Brown, M.D.
The Sources of Love and Fear (New York: The Vanguard Press, 1950).

June

"Nothing is more important in the world today than the nurturing that children receive in the first three years of life, for it is in these earliest years that the capacities for trust, empathy, and affection originate."

Dr. Elliott Barker,
Director, Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

July

"...for many of us, parenting has been filled with struggle. There is a better way. You don't have to learn it. You already know it. You only have to trust it."

William Martin,
The Parent's Tao Te Ching

August

"Society chooses to disregard the mistreatment of children, judging it to be altogether normal because it is so commonplace."

Alice Miller,
Pictures of a Childhood

See also: Alice Miller Library 

September

"Why are children the last ones to be protected against the potential evils of power and authority? Is it that they are smaller, or that adults find it so much easier to rationalize the use of power with such notions as 'Father knows best' or 'It's for their own good'?

"My own conviction is that as more people begin to understand power and authority more completely and accept its use as unethical, more parents will apply those understandings to adult-child relationships; will begin to feel that it is just as immoral in those relationships; and then will be forced to search for creative new nonpower methods that all adults can use with children and youth."

Thomas Gordon, Ph.D.
Parent Effectiveness Training

October

"How often do parents discover, sometimes with mortification, that under stress they begin to sound just like their own mother or father? ... When we are perplexed, or confronted, by challenging parenting situations, it can be fruitful to ask ourselves: 'what was happening to me at the age that my child is now?'

"By re-activating our childhood feelings and memories, children help us to highlight that which wants healing inside each of us; and thus they furnish us with countless opportunities for personal growth. Our children make us better parents, but also better people, and in that regard they give us as much as we give them. Without knowing it, they help to shape our emotional intelligence as we contribute to theirs."

Robin Grille,
"Cultivating your Child's Emotional Intelligence", Sydney's Child

November

"The great man is he who does not lose his child's heart."

Mencius
c. 372 - 289 B.C.E

See: "Mencius", Wikipedia

December

"Few parents nowadays pay any regard to what their children say to them. The old-fashioned respect for the young is fast dying out."

Oscar Wilde
1854 - 1900, Anglo-Irish playwright, author.
Gwendolen, in The Importance of Being Earnest, act 1.

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