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Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.

PHYLLIS DILLER, Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse

I have long felt that the way to keep children out of trouble is to keep them interested in things. Lecturing to children is no answer to delinquency. Preaching won't keep youngsters out of trouble, but keeping their minds occupied will.

WALT DISNEY, Deeds Rather Than Words

Having a baby dragged me, kicking and screaming, from the world of self-absorption.

PAUL REISER, Good Housekeeping, 1997

In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck - and, of course, courage.

BILL COSBY, Fatherhood

The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense. The fascination of children lies in this: that with each of them all things are remade, and the universe is put again upon its trial. As we walk the streets and see below us those delightful bulbous heads, three times too big for the body, which mark these human mushrooms, we ought always primarily to remember that within every one of these heads there is a new universe, as new as it was on the seventh day of creation. In each of those orbs there is a new system of stars, new grass, new cities, a new sea.

G. K. CHESTERTON, "A Defence of Baby-Worship," The Defendant

Children are the only brave philosophers. And brave philosophers are, inevitably, children.


There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.


Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.

PHYLLIS DILLER, Woman's Day, Aug. 2011

What is the son but an extension of the father?


Children are the boldest philosophers. They enter life naked, not covered by the smallest fig leaf of dogma, absolutes, creeds. This is why every question they ask is so absurdly naïve and so frighteningly complex.

YEVGENY ZAMYATIN, On Literature, Revolution, Entropy, and Other Matters

Children are illuminated text-books, breviaries of doctrine, living bodies of divinity, open always and inviting their elders to peruse the characters inscribed on the lovely leaves.


We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.

PHYLLIS DILLER, attributed, The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Inspirational Quotes

How will I be remembered by my children? This is the true measure of a man.


To have a child when you're older, it wrenches you up out of your nap and makes you look at things, you know, afresh. It forces the world on you. And I think it's a good thing.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, Oprah Winfrey interview, Jun. 1, 2008

I don't believe in playing down to children, either in life or in motion pictures. I didn't treat my own youngsters like fragile flowers, and I think no parent should. Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature.

WALT DISNEY, Deeds Rather Than Words

A state, a community, caring first for all its children, providing amply for their spiritual as for their temporal well-being, has organized the primitive Eden.


Children should be judged on what they are -- a punishment for an early marriage.

ERMA BOMBECK, I Lost Everything in the Post-Natal Depression

A child is a guest in the house, to be loved and respected — never possessed, since he belongs to God.

J. D. SALINGER, "Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters"

Having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.

BILL COSBY, Fatherhood

The idea of bringing someone into the world fills me with horror. I would curse myself if I were a father. A son of mine! Oh no, no, no! May my entire flesh perish and may I transmit to no one the aggravations and the disgrace of existence.

GUSTAVE FLAUBERT, letter to Madame Louise Colet, Dec. 11, 1852

The poor are always rich in children, and in the dirt and ditches of this street there are groups of them from morning to night, hungry, naked and dirty. Children are the living flowers of the earth, but these had the appearance of flowers that have faded prematurely, because they grew in ground where there was no healthy nourishment.

MAXIM GORKY, "Creatures that Once were Men"

When a child is born, the locus of one’s hopes ... shifts, slightly. Not altogether, not all at once. But you feel it, this displacement. You speak up, strike attitudes, like the mother of a tiny Lollabrigida. Drunk with possibility once more.


Every child has the capacity to be everything.


Families with babies, and families without babies, are so sorry for each other.

EDGAR WATSON HOWE, Country Town Sayings

The very smallness of children makes it possible to regard them as marvels; we seem to be dealing with a new race, only to be seen through a microscope. I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it. It is awful to think of the essential human energy moving so tiny a thing; it is like imagining that human nature could live in the wing of a butterfly or the leaf of a tree.

G. K. CHESTERTON, "A Defence of Baby-Worship," The Defendant

Children are the great gamble. From the moment they are born, our helplessness increases. Instead of being ours to mould and shape after our best knowledge and endeavour, they are themselves.


Every child lives up to the expectation you have for him.

KEVIN LEMAN, Have a New Kid by Friday

Children are shaped like us, torso and legs and ears and all, yet on a scale all their own -- subcompact people made for a better but also a smaller planet.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit at Rest

When a child first catches adults out -- when it first walks into his grave little head that adults do not always have divine intelligence, that their judgments are not always wise, their thinking true, their sentences just -- his world falls into panic desolation. The gods are fallen and all safety gone. And there is one sure thing about the fall of gods: they do not fall a little; they crash and shatter or sink deeply into green muck. It is a tedious job to build them up again; they never quite shine. And the child's world is never quite whole again. It is an aching kind of growing.


Only where children gather
is there any real chance of fun.

MIGNON MCLAUGHLIN, The Atlantic, 1960

Oh, kids are great! You can teach them to hate what you hate!


[Children are] like talking animals. Their consciousness is so different from ours that they constitute a different species. They don't have to be particularly interesting children; just the fact that they are children is sufficient. They don't know what anything is, so they have to make it up. No matter how dull they are, they still have to figure things out for themselves.

FRAN LEBOWITZ, The Paris Review, summer 1993

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