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Previous Quotes of the Month for 2006

January

"When we adults think of children there is a simple truth that we ignore: childhood is not preparation for life; childhood is life. A child isn't getting ready to live; a child is living. No child will miss the zest and joy of living unless these are denied by adults who have convinced themselves that childhood is a period of preparation. How much heartache we would save ourselves if we would recognize children as partners with adults in the process of living, rather than always viewing them as apprentices. How much we could teach each other; we have the experience and they have the freshness. How full both our lives could be."

John A. Taylor
Notes on an Unhurried Journey

February

"It's okay to be kind to our children. It's okay to give them a feeling of abundance. Knowing that their own needs and wants are valued will only make them want to help others to meet their needs and wants too. Kindness begets kindness."

Rue Kream,
Parenting a Free Child

March

"We cannot decide, once and for all, whether it is parents, teachers, counselors, psychologists, family courts, judges, or whatever, who know what is best for children. In important matters, nobody can know better than the child himself. You don't have to be very old or very smart to know your friends from your enemies, to know when people dislike you, are cruel to you, and hurt you. Any five-year-old knows the difference between a mean teacher and a nice one and is smart enough to want to get away from the mean one.

"It is only adults who ... think that the mean teacher is somehow doing the child some good. Not that the adults themselves willingly stick around people who are contemptuous and cruel to them. Not for a minute. It is only to other people, above all young people, that we say that pain doesn't really hurt, it really does you good. But a child should have the same right as anyone else to move away from whoever or whatever is hurting him and toward whatever he feels may help him."

John Holt,
Escape from Childhood: The Needs and Rights of Children

April

"The only wealth in this world is children."

Michael Corleone in "The Godfather: Part III"
written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola

May

"In family life, be completely present."

Lao Tsu,
Tao Te Ching

June

"Your children are either the focus of your life or they're not, and the rest is commentary."

Calvin Trillin,
"Alice, Off the Page", The New Yorker, March 27, 2006

July

"Children are people we should be spending a lot of time talking to, listening to and helping because they're new here."

Deb Lewis

August

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."

Fred Rogers
1928 - 2003

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

September

"It is usually assumed that children who aren't made to obey their parents will grow to be unruly, disrespectful, and 'out of control'. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children who are treated with respect are respectful of others. Children who are listened to as equals listen to others as equals. Children whose opinions are valued value others' opinions. A family where parents and children are allies is a peaceful family."

Rue Kream,
Parenting A Free Child: An Unschooled Life

October

"The most important educational need of the child is to feel himself worthy of love and a worthy dispenser of love. If infants learn what love is, they can go through life with sanity and happiness."

Herbert Ratner, M.D.

November

"Children are natural Zen masters; their world is brand new in each and every moment."

John Bradshaw

December

"Alone in the kitchen washing the dishes, I imagined my two girls growing up, and I felt the ache that every parent must feel at one time or another, that desire to snatch up each moment of your child's presence and never let go - to preserve every gesture, to lock in for all eternity the sight of their curls or the feel of their fingers clasped around yours."

Barack Obama,
The Audacity of Hope

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