An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





The unjustifiable severity of a parent is loaded with this aggravation, that those whom he injures are always in his sight.


Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


It's a sad moment, really, when parents first become a bit frightened of their children.


Ama Ata Aidoo (1942-, Ghanaian author)


This is the reason why mothers are more devoted to their children than fathers: it is that they suffer more in giving them birth and are more certain that they are their own.


Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


The joys of parents are secret, and so are their grieves and fears.


Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


It's frightening to think that you mark your children merely by being yourself. It seems unfair. You can't assume the responsibility for everything you do -- or don't do.


Simone De Beauvoir (1908-1986, French novelist, essayist)


Let me go to hell, that's all I ask, and go on cursing them there, and them look down and hear me, that might take some of the shine off their bliss.


Samuel Beckett (1906-1989, Irish dramatist, novelist)


We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


I don't know any parents that look into the eyes of a newborn baby and say, "How can we screw this kid up?"


Russell Bishop


Fathers and mothers have lost the idea that the highest aspiration they might have for their children is for them to be wise... specialized competence and success are all that they can imagine.


Allan Bloom (1930-1992, American educator, author)


I take a very practical view of raising children. I put a sign in each of their rooms: "Checkout Time is 18 years."


Erma Bombeck (1927-, American author, humorist)

Author's website:


Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.


H. Jackson Brown Jr. (1940-, American author, "Life's Little Instruction Book" series)


You have to love your children unselfishly. That is hard. But it is the only way.


Barbara Bush (1925-, American First Lady, wife of George H. Bush)


Parents are the last people on earth who ought to have children.


Samuel Butler (1612-1680, British poet, satirist)


No fathers or mothers think their own children ugly.


Miguel De Cervantes (1547-1616, Spanish novelist, dramatist, poet)


A child, like your stomach, doesn't need all you can afford to give it.


Frank A. Clark


The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them.


Frank A. Clark


Parenthood is not an object of appetite or even desire. It is an object of will. There is no appetite for parenthood; there is only a purpose or intention of parenthood.


Robin G. Collingwood (1889-1943, British historian, philosopher)


No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.


Bill Cosby (1937-, American actor, comedian, producer)


No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I'm not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal.


Bill Cosby (1937-, American actor, comedian, producer)


Parents are not quite interested injustice, they are interested in quiet.


Bill Cosby (1937-, American actor, comedian, producer)


The first half of our life is ruined by our parents and the second half by our children.


Clarence Darrow (1857-1938, American lawyer)


If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.


Bette Davis (1908-1989, American actress, producer)


How selfhood begins with a walking away, and love is proved in the letting go.


Robert Cecil Day-Lewis (1904-1972, Irish poet)


The sooner you treat your son as a man, the sooner he will be one.


John Dryden (1631-1700, British poet, dramatist, critic)


Is the parent better than the child into whom he has cast his ripened being? Whence, then, this worship of the past?


Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882, American poet, essayist)


Let your children go if you want to keep them.


Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990, American publisher, businessman)


Love well, whip well.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790, American scientist, publisher, diplomat)


You don't have to deserve your mother's love. You have to deserve your father s. He's more particular. The father is always a Republican towards his son, and his mother's always a Democrat.


Robert Frost (1875-1963, American poet)


There are two great injustices that can befall a child. One is to punish him for something he didn't do. The other is to let him get away with doing something he knows is wrong.


Robert Gardner


A wise parent humors the desire for independent action, so as to become the friend and advisor when his absolute rule shall cease.


Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865, British novelist)


How many hopes and fears, how many ardent wishes and anxious apprehensions are twisted together in the threads that connect the parent with the child!


Samuel G. Goodrich (1793-1860, American publisher, writer)


Parents send their children to college either because they went to college, or because they didn't.


L. L. Hendren


Parents, they're strict on you when you're little, and you don't understand why. But as you get older, you understand and you appreciate it.


Grant Hill (1972-, American basketball player)


Where parents do too much for their children, the children will not do much for themselves.


Elbert Hubbard (1859-1915, American author, publisher)


Parents are traffic signs that are always in our blind spots.


Jeremy P. Johnson


My heroes are and were my parents. I can't see having anyone else as my heroes.


Michael Jordan (1963-, American basketball player, actor)


The father of every good work is discontent, and its mother is diligence.


Lajos Kassak


Selective ignorance, a cornerstone of child rearing. You don't put kids under surveillance: it might frighten you. Parents should sit tall in the saddle and look upon their troops with a noble and benevolent and extremely nearsighted gaze.


Garrison Keillor (1942-, American humorous writer, radio performer)


Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.


Everett C. Koop


Your responsibility as a parent is not as great as you might imagine. You need not supply the world with the next conqueror of disease or major motion-picture star. If your child simply grows up to be someone who does not use the word "collectible" as a noun, you can consider yourself an unqualified success.


Fran Lebowitz (1951-, American journalist)


The pressures of being a parent are equal to any pressure on earth. To be a conscious parent, and really look to that little being's mental and physical health, is a responsibility which most of us, including me, avoid most of the time because it's too hard.


John Lennon (1940-1980, British rock musician)


Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.


John Locke (1632-1704, British philosopher)


Parents can plant magic in a child's mind through certain words spoken with some thrilling quality of voice, some uplift of the heart and spirit.


Robert MacNeil


The word no Carries a lot more meaning when spoken by a parent who also knows how to say yes.


Joyce Maynard


Oh, high is the price of parenthood, and daughters may cost you double. You dare not forget, as you thought you could, that youth is a plague and a trouble.


Phyllis McGinley (1905-1978, American poet, author)


I wish you would moderate that fondness you have for your children. I do not mean you should abate any part of your care, or not do your duty to them in its utmost extent, but I would have you early prepare yourself for disappointments, which are heavy in proportion to their being surprising.


Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762, British society figure, letter writer)


The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.


Jim Morrison (1943-1971, American rock musician)


Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.


Lewis Mumford (1895-1990, American social philosopher)


Parents were invented to make children happy by giving them something to ignore.


Ogden Nash (1902-1971, American humorous poet)


If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do well matters very much.


Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (1929-1994, American First Lady)


Our sons and daughters must be trained in national service, taught to give as well as to receive.


Emmeline Pankburst


Let parents bequeath to their children not riches, but the spirit of reverence.


Plato (BC 427?-347?, Greek philosopher)


Parents are sometimes a bit of a disappointment to their children. They don't fulfill the promise of their early years.


Anthony Powell (1905-2000, British novelist)


To show a child what once delighted you, to find the child's delight added to your own -- this is happiness.


J. B. Priestley (1894-1984, American writer)


I wish all the mothers, fathers and children out there realize how much I need them and how much I value their support.


Princess Diana (1961-1997, British Princess)


Maternity is a matter of fact, paternity is a matter of opinion.


American Proverb (Sayings of American origin)


Respect for one's parents is the highest duty of civil life.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


To understand your parents' love you must raise children yourself.


Chinese Proverb (Sayings of Chinese origin)


You must not expect old heads upon young shoulders.


English Proverb (Sayings of British origin)


He that does not bring up his son to some honest calling and employment, brings him up to be a thief.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


One mother achieves more than a hundred teachers.


Jewish Proverb (Sayings of Jewish origin)


My children cause me the most exquisite suffering of which I have any experience. It is the suffering of ambivalence: the murderous alternation between bitter resentment and raw-edged nerves, and blissful gratification and tenderness. Sometimes I seem to myself, in my feelings toward these tiny guiltless beings, a monster of selfishness and intolerance.


Adrienne Rich (1929-, American poet)


The parent is low, who having children, truly feels bored.


Jean Paul Richter (1763-1825, German novelist)


I am the slave of my baptism. Parents, you have caused my misfortune, and you have caused your own.


Arthur Rimbaud (1854-1891, French poet)


Parents giving the keys to the car act as if they are giving the keys to the kingdom.


William E. Rothschild


Parents lend children their experience and a vicarious memory; children endow their parents with a vicarious immortality.


George Santayana (1863-1952, American philosopher, poet)


The question that is so clearly in many potential parents' minds: "Why should we stunt our ambitions and impoverish our lives in order to be insulted and looked down upon in our old age?"


Joseph A. Schumpeter (1883-1950, Austrian-American economist)


Parents learn a lot from their children about coping with life.


Muriel Spark (1918-, British novelist)


Perhaps the best function of parenthood is to teach the young creature to love with safety, so that it may be able to venture unafraid when later emotion comes; the thwarting of the instinct to love is the root of all sorrow and not sex only but divinity itself is insulted when it is repressed. To disapprove, to condemn -- the human soul shrivels under barren righteousness.


Freya Stark (1893-1993, British travel writer)


Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.


Gloria Steinem (1934-, American feminist writer, editor)


I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me.


Laurence Sterne (1713-1768, British author)


Children need guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.


Anne Sullivan (1866-1936, American educator of the deaf, blind)


Don't set your wit against a child.


Jonathan Swift (1667-1745, Anglo-Irish satirist)


When you teach your son, you teach your son's son.


The Talmud (BC 500?-400? AD, Jewish archive of oral tradition)


He that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.


The Holy Bible (Sacred scriptures of Christians and Judaism)

Source: Exodus 21:17


Parenthood remains the greatest single preserve of the amateur.


Alvin Toffler (1928-, American author)


If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.


Brian Tracy (1944-, Canadian-born American trainer, speaker, author, businessman)

Author's website:


My parents were neither very poor nor conspicuously honest.


Mark Twain (1835-1910, American humorist, writer)


Don't be discouraged if your children reject your advice. Years later they will offer it to their own offspring.


Author Unknown


If your children look up to you, you've made a success of life's biggest job.


Author Unknown


The trouble with parents is that by the time they are experienced, they are unemployed.


Author Unknown


Parents are the bones on which children sharpen their teeth.


Peter Ustinov (1921-, British actor, writer, director)


There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you.


Peter De Vries (1910-1993, American author)


The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.


Denis Waitley (1933-, American author, speaker, trainer, peak performance expert)

Author's website:


There are no illegitimate children, only illegitimate parents.


Leon R. Yankwich (American district court judge)


If you want a baby, have a new one. Don't baby the old one.


Jessamyn West (1903-1984, American author)


To lose one parent may be regarded as a lose both seems like carelessness.


Oscar Wilde (1856-1900, British author, wit)


No test tube can breed love and affection. No frozen packet of semen ever read a story to a sleepy child.


Shirley Williams (1930-, British liberal-democrat politician)


The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.


Edward, Duke of Windsor (1894-1972, British King)


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