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Previous Quotes of the Month for 2004

January

"Children can be conceptualized as mirrors. If love is given to them, they return it. If none is given, they have none to return. Unconditional love is reflected unconditionally, and conditional love is returned conditionally."

Ross Campbell, M.D.

February

"In the Babemba tribe of South Africa, when a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and  unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman, and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, each recalling the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy, is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths, and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. This tribal ceremony often lasts for several days. At the end, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe... as the Buddha said: 'Hatred will never cease by hatred. By love alone is it healed.'"

As described by Alice Walker in
Sent by Earth: A Message from the Grandmother Spirit

March

"This concept of trusting the individual to be himself has come to have a great deal of meaning to me. I sometimes fantasize about what it would mean if a child were treated in this fashion from the first.

"Suppose a child were permitted to have his own unique feelings - suppose he never had to disown his feelings in order to be loved. Suppose his parents were free to have and express their own unique feelings, which often would be different from his, and often different between themselves.

"I like to think of all the meanings that such an experience would have. It would mean that the child would grow up respecting himself as a unique person. It would mean that even when his behavior had to be thwarted, he could retain open "ownership" of his feelings. It would mean that his behavior would be a realistic balance, taking into account his own feelings and the known and open feelings of others. He would, I believe, be a responsible and self-directing individual."

Carl Rogers,
Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory

April

"Disobedience is not an issue if obedience is not the goal."

Daron Quinlan

May

"When I was very young, most of my heroes wore capes, flew through the air, or picked up buildings with one arm. They were spectacular and got a lot of attention. But as I grew, my heroes changed, so that now I can honestly say that anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me."

Fred Rogers
1928 - 2003

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

June

"Delight and liberty, the simple creed of childhood."

 William Wordsworth

July

"In a free democracy like our own, we use words as arguments, not blows. We talk to people and do not beat them. If we can't convince our children with words, we shall never convince them with violence."

Sixten Pettersson,
Swedish Parliamentary Minister

See "The Swedish Corporal Punishment Ban"

 August

"Children are not the people of tomorrow, but people today. They are entitled to be taken seriously. They have a right to be treated by adults with tenderness and respect, as equals."

Janusz Korczak

September

"The ones that matter most are the children. They are the true human beings."

Lakota Sioux proverb

October

"The lack of rights that apply to children are the ones that appall me. That's head and shoulders above any other rights group. Down here in Tahiti, and in many places, children are treated with respect, like small adults without much of a frame of reference. But for some reason, we feel superior to children, and we also feel a sense of ownership."

Marlon Brando,
Actor and UNICEF spokesman

November

"Any child can be made into a psychopath through failure of attachment. We know that. We have known it for a long time. We have to change a lot of established patterns or ways we do things - our priorities - so that nothing gets in the way of attachment in the earliest years. The capacities for trust, empathy, and affection are in fact the central core of what it means to be human, and are indispensable for adults to be able to form lasting, mutually satisfying co-operative relationships with others."

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

December

"By nature people are learning animals. Birds fly; fish swim; humans think and learn. Therefore, we do not need to motivate children into learning by wheedling, bribing, or bullying. We do not need to keep picking away at their minds to make sure they are learning. What we need to do - and all we need to do - is to give children as much help and guidance as they need and ask for, listen respectfully when they feel like talking, and then get out of the way. We can trust them to do the rest."

John Holt,
How Children Learn

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