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Previous Quotes of the Month for 1999

January

"The first real choice a human baby must make is whether to trust or mistrust other humans. This basic trust-versus-mistrust stage is the first building block upon which all later love relationships are formed."

Dr. Ken Magid

February

"Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow."

Charles Bray,
The Education of the Feelings, 1838

March

"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 innocence."

Harlan Ellison,
"Jeffty Is Five" in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July, 1977.

April

"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 part."

John Holt

May

"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,
Director, Malama Learning Facility

June

"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 behavior."

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

July

"You cannot teach a person anything; you can only help him find it within himself."

Galileo Gallilei

August

"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 feelings."

Dr. David Elkind

September

"All truth goes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer
1788 - 1860

October 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Albert Einstein

November

"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."

Ellen Key,
The Century of the Child (1909).

December

"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 imagine."

Jonathan Cainer

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