“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
In this quote, I think Twain is getting at something that can give us parents great relief—children and parents are meant to grow and learn together. You might not know everything the second you become a parent, but by being one you will learn new things from your experiences and your child every day.
“When you are describing, a shape, or sound, or tint; don’t state the matter plainly, but put it in a hint; and learn to look at all things, with a sort of mental squint.”
As parents, we are the first, and most present, teachers our children will have. In this quote, Carroll lets us know that the more we encourage our children to critically think about new things they encounter, the better teachers we will be.
Louisa May Alcott
“Your father, Jo. He never loses patience, never doubts or complains, but always hopes, and works and waits so cheerfully that one is ashamed to do otherwise before him.”
This quote, taken from one of Alcott’s masterpieces, Little Women, describes a father who should be an example to us all as parents by reminding us the importance of patience. Being patient with our children, even on days when they like to try that patience to our wits ends, will ultimately lead to a happier home life, and will make us good examples for our children to follow.
“The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.”
A parent who fosters imagination in their child rather than hindering it is more likely to be a parent whose child becomes an asset to our world. Baum wholeheartedly believed that our nation, and our world, was built by those whose imaginations were large enough to envision great things, and he believed that reading to one’s child and building an acceptance and love of imagination in them would lead to the betterment of society as a whole.
“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act.”
I think this is one of the greatest lessons for a parent to learn and accept. Our lives become hectic, trying to get our children to and from school, helping them build science projects, baking for school bake sales, and meeting for student/teacher conferences, all while trying to work, pay bills, and get household chores done. The great Dr. Seuss reminds us that we should only take on the things that we can give our attention to fully, and that learning to balance all the things thrust upon us is key to maintaining our sanity and our happiness.