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76 Wonderful Quotes on Parenthood

Parenthood: Even when it's hell, it's heaven.

When my daughter was born, nearly 10 years ago, I instantly became a father, a parent. I didn’t immediately become a parent of a bilingual child, too—this happened more gradually over time.

It’s worth keeping firmly in mind that we’re all parents first, and parents of bilingual children second. As I stress in What to Do When Your Bilingual Child Won’t Speak Your Language

The bilingual journey, for both you and your children, should be more joy than burden. I understand the frustrations that can come with supporting the minority language, but we can’t let those frustrations weigh on our day-to-day relationships with our kids. After all, from the child’s point of view, being loved will always be more important than being bilingual.

To emphasize this point, and reflect on our primary role as parents, I’ve assembled an array of great quotes on parenthood for this post. The more effective we want to be as parents of bilingual children, the more effective we need to be, first and foremost, as parents.

1. There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child. —Anne Lamott

2. You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around—and why his parents will always wave back. —William D. Tammeus

3. A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child. —Forest Witcraft

4. Those privileged to touch the lives of children should constantly be aware that their impact on a single child may affect a multitude of others a thousand years from now. —Unknown

5. Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity—a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother. —Rose Kennedy

6. We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today. —Stacia Tauscher

7. Kids spell love T-I-M-E. —John Crudele

8. The best thing to spend on your children is your time. —Louise Hart

9. If you are too busy to spend time with your children then you are busier than God intended you to be. —Rabbi Mendel Epstein

10. You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once. —Polish Proverb

11. When your child is talking, turn off the world. —Crystal DeLarm Clymer

12. Listen earnestly to anything your children want to tell you, no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big, because to them all of it has always been big stuff. —Catherine M. Wallace

13. Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. —Charles R. Swindoll

14. The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day. —O. A. Battista

15. To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today. —Barbara Johnson

16. The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults. —Peter De Vries

17. It’s not only children who grow. Parents do, too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself. —Joyce Maynard

18. A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions. —Richard L. Evans

19. There’s nothing that can help you understand your beliefs more than trying to explain them to an inquisitive child. —Frank A. Clark

20. Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent. —Carl Jung

21. If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves. —Carl Jung

22. The most important thing she’d learned over the years was that there was no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. —Jill Churchill

23. The guys who fear becoming fathers don’t understand that fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man. The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent. —Frank Pittman

24. My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. —Clarence Kelland

25. Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you. —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

26. Whatever you would have your children become, strive to exhibit in your own lives and conversation. —Lydia H. Sigourney

27. Our children are watching us live and what we are shouts louder than anything we can say. —Wilfred Peterson

28. The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from more than what you tell them. They don’t remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are. —Jim Henson

29. Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. —Robert Fulghum

30. Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk. —Carl Jung

31. Setting a good example for your children takes all the fun out of middle age. —William Feather

32. We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves. —Henry Ward Beecher

33. A parent’s love is whole no matter how many times divided. —Robert Brault

34. Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it. —Harold Hulburt

35. I love you enough not to care if you hate me. —Kelly Harman

36. I may not be able to give my kids everything they want but I give them what they need. Love, time, and attention. You can’t buy those things. —Nishan Panwar

37. What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give. —P.D. James

38. It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. —Frederick Douglass

39. The best way to make children good is to make them happy. —Oscar Wilde

40. There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. —Walt Streightiff

41. If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in. —Rachel Carson

42. One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun. —Jane Goodall

43. You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. —Franklin P. Adams

44. Kids can be a pain in the neck when they’re not a lump in your throat. —Barbara Johnson

45. When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out. —Erma Bombeck

46. Parents are not interested in justice; they are interested in quiet. —Bill Cosby

47. A child enters your home and for the next twenty years makes so much noise you can hardly stand it. The child departs, leaving the house so silent you think you are going mad. —John Andrew Holmes

48. Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation. —C. Everett Koop

49. Being a parent is dirty and scary and beautiful and hard and miraculous and exhausting and thankless and joyful and frustrating all at once. It’s everything. —Jill Smokler

50. The rules for parents are but three: love, limit, and let them be. —Elaine M. Ward

51. The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard. —Sloan Wilson

52. One thing I know for sure about raising children is that every single day a kid needs discipline. But also every single day a kid needs a break. —Anne Lamott

53. Say “no” only when it really matters. Wear a bright red shirt with bright orange shorts? Sure. Put water in the toy tea set? Okay. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed? Fine. —Gretchen Rubin

54. Tantrums are not bad behavior. Tantrums are an expression of emotion that became too much for the child to bear. No punishment is required. What your child needs is compassion and safe, loving arms to unload in. —Rebecca Eanes

55. Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities. —Gary Smalley

56. 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

57. Where parents do too much for their children, the children will not do much for themselves. —Elbert Hubbard

58. 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

59. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things, too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil. —Walt Disney

60. Embrace your beautiful mess of a life with your child. No matter how hard it gets, do not disengage. Do something—anything—to connect with and guide your child today. Parenting is an adventure of the greatest significance. It is your legacy. —Andy Kerckhoff

61. If you can give your son or daughter only one gift, let it be enthusiasm. —Bruce Barton

62. Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire. —William Butler Yates

63. It is vital that when educating our children’s brains that we do not neglect to educate their hearts. —The Dalai Lama

64. Often the only thing a child can remember about an adult in later years, when he or she is grown, is whether or not that person was kind to him or her. —Billy Graham

65. Children need models rather than critics. —Joseph Joubert

66. Children aren’t happy with nothing to ignore,
And that’s what parents were created for. —Ogden Nash

67. You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and refuse to tell you where they’re going. —P.J. O’Rourke

68. Your children are not your children, they come through you, but they are life itself, wanting to express itself. —Wayne Dyer

69. Parenthood… It’s about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last. —Peter Krause

70. When you have children yourself, you begin to understand what you owe your parents. —Japanese Proverb

71. When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son. —The Talmud

72. Children are a great comfort in your old age—and they help you reach it faster, too. —Lionel Kauffman

73. There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. —Hodding Carter, Jr.

74. There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children. —Nelson Mandela

75. Kids don’t make up 100 percent of our population, but they do make up 100 percent of our future. —Zig Ziglar

76. Parenthood is a lot easier to get into than out of. —Bruce Lansky

How about you? What other quotes about parenthood do you like?

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5 Responses

  1. My favorite quote about parenthood comes from my mother-in-law and can be applied to both mothers and fathers, but let’s go with her original one: “Every man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a daddy.”

  2. Russia has a common saying “Children are the flowers of life” and a less common ending “on the graves of their parents”. Some days I think the ending is very appropriate and some days I just enjoy the flowers.

  3. This is a wonderful collection of quotes. I found quite a few inspiring and all of them insightful. Definitely something I’m bookmarking to look at again and again later.

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Welcome to Bilingual Monkeys!

I’m Adam Beck, the founder of this blog and The Bilingual Zoo, a lively worldwide forum for parents raising bilingual or multilingual kids. I’m also the author of the popular books Maximize Your Child’s Bilingual Ability and Bilingual Success Stories Around the World. I’ve been an educator and writer in this field for 25 years as well as the parent of two bilingual children, now 19 and 16. I hope my work can help empower the success of your bilingual journey.

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