- Children sweeten labours, but they make misfortunes more bitter.
Essays (1625) ‘Of Parents and Children’ 1561–1626 English lawyer, courtier, philosopher, and essayist:
- Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. They must, they have no other models.
Nobody Knows My Name (1961) ‘Fifth Avenue, Uptown: a letter from Harlem’ 1924–87 American novelist and essayist:
- Quality time? There's always another load of washing.
Love, Etc. (2000) 1946– English novelist:
- Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.
Morning and Evening Exercises (1871) 1813–87 American clergyman and social reformer:
- The place is very well and quiet and the children only scream in a low voice. 1788–1824 English poet: letter to Lady Melbourne, 21 September 1813
- There is no such thing as other people's children.
Newsweek 15 January 1996 1947– American lawyer and Democratic politician: in
- We don't need any more kids—we have plenty of people on this planet.
Cosmopolitan July 2009 1972– American actress: in
- Our greatest natural resource is the minds of our children. 1901–66 American animator and film producer: on wall of American Adventure, Epcot Centre, Walt Disney World
- There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep.
Journal 1836 1803–82 American philosopher and poet:
- homer simpson: Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate. And they practically raise themselves, what with the internet and all.
The Simpsons ‘Eight Misbehavin'’ (1999) written by Matt Selman 1954– American humorist and satirist:
- Allow them [children] to be happy their own way, for what better way will they ever find? 1709–84 English poet, critic, and lexicographer: letter to Mrs Thrale, 4 July 1780
- 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. 1875–1961 Swiss psychologist: ‘Vom Werden der Persönlichkeit’ (1932)
- A child is owed the greatest respect; if you ever have something disgraceful in mind, don't ignore your son's tender years.
c.ad 60–c.140 Roman satirist: Satires no. 14, l. 47
- Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round.
The British Museum is Falling Down (1965) ch. 4 1935– English novelist:
- It should be noted that children at play are not playing about; their games should be seen as their most serious-minded activity.
Essays (1580, ed. M. Rat, 1958) bk. 1, ch. 23 1533–92 French moralist and essayist:
- But all children matures,
Maybe even yours.
1902–71 American humorist: ‘Soliloquy in Circles’ (1949)
- Men are generally more careful of the breed of their horses and dogs than of their children.
Some Fruits of Solitude (1693) pt. 1, no. 85 1644–1718 English Quaker; founder of Pennsylvania:
- Of all animals the boy is the most unmanageable.
bc Greek philosopher: Laws bk. 8, 808 429–347
- Behold the child, by Nature's kindly law
Pleased with a rattle, tickled with a straw.
An Essay on Man Epistle 2 (1733) l. 275 1688–1744 English poet:
- A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit.
c.1494–c.1553 French humanist, satirist, and physician: attributed; see Plutarch
- At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school.
As You Like It (1599) act 2, sc. 7, l. 143 (Oxford Standard Authors ed.) 1564–1616 English dramatist:
an unknown woman wrote to Shaw suggesting that as he had the greatest brain in the world, and she the most beautiful body, they ought to produce the most perfect child. He replied:What if the child inherits my body and your brains?
Bernard Shaw 1856–1950 Irish dramatist: Hesketh Pearson
(1942); versions of this exist from the 1920s on, attributing the remarks to Shaw and also to Anatole France and Isadora Duncan: see Quote Investigator
- A child becomes an adult when he realizes that he has a right not only to be right but also to be wrong.
The Second Sin (1973) ‘Childhood’ 1920–2012 Hungarian-born psychiatrist:
- If you want your children to turn out well, spend twice as much time with them, and half as much money.
c. 1970 (Pauline Phillips) 1918–2013 American journalist: attributed,
- You will find as the children grow up that as a rule children are a bitter disappointment—their greatest object being to do precisely what their parents do not wish and have anxiously tried to prevent. 1819–1901 British monarch, Queen of the United Kingdom from 1837: letter to the Crown Princess of Prussia, 5 January 1876