Parenting can often feel like trying to find your way through a thick forest without a map. If you need a little reassurance that you're on the right path, or just some inspiration to keep going, try these 20 quotes from authors, thinkers -- and parents.
"Nothing you do for children is ever wasted. They seem not to notice us, hovering, averting our eyes, and they seldom offer thanks, but what we do for them is never wasted."
― Garrison Keillor
"Loving a child doesn't mean giving in to all his whims; to love him is to bring out the best in him, to teach him to love what is difficult."
― Nadia Boulanger
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”
― James Baldwin
"At every step the child should be allowed to meet the real experience of life; the thorns should never be plucked from his roses."
― Ellen Key
"Children should have enough freedom to be themselves - once they've learned the rules."
― Anna Quindlen
"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
"Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built."
― James Dobson
"You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable."
― Khalil Gibran
“Your children are the greatest gift God will give to you, and their souls the heaviest responsibility He will place in your hands. Take time with them, teach them to have faith in God. Be a person in whom they can have faith. When you are old, nothing else you've done will have mattered as much.”
― Lisa Wingate
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
― Emilie Buchwald
"Always kiss your children goodnight, even if they're already asleep."
― H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
"Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family."
― Virginia Satir
“Love can change a person the way a parent can change a baby -- awkwardly, and often with a great deal of mess.”
― Lemony Snicket
"Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them."
― P. J. O'Rourke
“Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.”
― Benjamin Spock
"There are times as a parent when you realize that your job is not to be the parent you always imagined you'd be, the parent you always wished you had. Your job is to be the parent your child needs, given the particulars of his or her own life and nature."
― Ayelet Waldman
"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings."
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.”
― Anne Frank
"Few things are more satisfying than seeing your children have teenagers of their own."
― Doug Larson