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Previous Quotes of the Month for 2003


"A child whose life is full of the threat and fear of punishment is locked into babyhood. There is no way for him to grow up, to learn to take responsibility for his life and acts. Most important of all, we should not assume that having to yield to the threat of our superior force is good for the child's character. It is never good for anyone's character."

- John Holt,
Freedom and Beyond


"To look into some aspects of the future, we do not need projections by supercomputers. Much of the next millennium can be seen in how we care for our children today. Tomorrow's world may be influenced by science and technology, but more than anything, it is already taking shape in the bodies and minds of our children."

Kofi Annan,
Secretary-General of the United Nations


"Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people."

Fred Rogers
1928 - 2003

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood


"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"

Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)


"This generation of mothers labors under [the] dubious pronouncement that babies sleep best in isolation. Every infant knows better. His protest at nocturnal solitude contains the wisdom of millennia."

Thomas Lewis, M.D.,
A General Theory of Love


"I wanted to tell you that it is because of my own bad memories of my youth and because I don't like the way children are treated that I chose to become a schoolteacher...  In time you will have children and I hope you will love them and they will love you. To tell the truth, they will love you if you love them."

Speech by teacher in "Small Change" (1976), screenplay by Francois Truffaut


"A characteristic of the normal child is that he doesn't act that way very often."

Author unknown


"Parents must learn that their child is perfect and give them sensational respect."

Natasja de Jong, age 4


"We have a prison population of over two million people... Now prisons are a necessary part of American life ... but prisons are the most expensive and the least effective social service intervention that we make in this country, and most competent kindergarten teachers can tell you who the five kids are in his or her class that are likely to end up in prison fifteen or twenty years from now.

"If you talk to prisoners, you find that almost all of them were either abused or neglected as children. So my question to America is, that if we have some idea fifteen or twenty years ahead of time who is going to end up in the most expensive and least effective social service investment that we make, why don't we do something now for small children and their families, so that we can stop that from happening? We have got to stop thinking in two- and four- and six-year increments in this country, and start thinking in 20-year increments, if we want to do something for children."

Howard Dean, M.D.,
Former Governor of Vermont


"What we learn with pleasure we never forget."

Alfred Mercier


"Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they ever find?"

Samuel Johnson
1709 - 1784

Quoted in Chop Wood, Carry Water


"Misbehavior is an adult description of what is more accurately perfect behavior given the conditions of the child's existence."

Joseph Zornado,
Inventing the Child: Culture, Ideology, and the Story of Childhood

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