I talk and talk and talk, and I haven’t taught people in fifty years what my father taught by example in one week.
— Mario Cuomo
Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
— James Baldwin
I learned much from my father just by watching his example. If I saw him hold a door open for someone, I learned to do the same. Kids always observe their parents and I always watched my daddy.
— Jerry Femina
There is no better answer to a child’s negative attitude than a positive example.
Your kids must take responsibility for their actions, their choices and ultimately for their lives. How do you teach them to do these things? Set a good example. Don’t blame your parents for your problems, the economy for your debts, bad teachers for your children’s shaky academic performance, your spouse for your unhappiness or an insensitive boss for your stalled career.
— Elaine St. James
The kids should never become more important than the spouse.
— Ted Engstrom
Who of us is mature enough for offspring before the offspring themselves arrive? The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.
— Peter DeVries
Parents who love each other provide security and self-esteem for their children, which is the greatest bulwark against envy, jealousy, possessiveness and just about all the rest of love’s enemies.
— Dr. Theodore Rubin
Nothing is worse for your marriage than building your marriage on your children.
— Tommy Nelson
Children get much of their sense of security from the way their mother and father treat each other. So building the marriage relationship will have a powerful effect on the entire family culture.
— Stephen Covey
It’s the people who feel strong and good about themselves inside who are best able to accept outside differences – their own or others’. We help children develop this ability every time we affirm how special they are to us for being themselves.
— Fred Rogers
Dad never tried to dictate to me what I should do with my life. He never tried to put his blueprint for my life over mine. His attitude was, “I’m going to teach you basic values. I’m going to unconditionally love you. And I’m going to expect you to chart your own way in life.”
— George W. Bush
Instead of saying to your daughter, “I love you because you’re so beautiful,” tell her that you love her because there is no one else in the world like her.
— Dr. Meg Meeker
Every second we live is a new and unique moment. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. We should say to each of them, “Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In the millions of years that have passed there has never been another child like you.”
— Pablo Casals
Dad was never showy. If he were going to an event with people of lesser means, he always drove an old car and dressed in a way to blend in. When someone asked what we had done over vacation, my dad talked about the projects around the house he’d gotten to in the last half instead of the skiing trip to Europe in the first half.
— E.D. Hall
Daddy was unpretentious and he was tremendously humble. He was very focused and he felt spiritually directed. But he still maintained the ability to communicate with people at all levels – whether they were in the streets or whether they were in suites.
— Martin Luther King III
If I had to name the one overriding character trait that I see in my father, it would be humility. Daddy, I am sure, would object. But I have watched my father’s humility operate consistently and on many levels throughout my lifetime. I am constantly touched by the modest way he expresses himself. He is unassuming, even when caught by surprise, which shows his humility to be authentic.
— Ruth Graham
My father was born wealthy, which stands in shocking contrast to what you’d think if you ever met him. When he passed away in 1999, the car he drove was a used VW. And after his death it was just as common for me to have a truck driver tell me how much he was missed as it was to hear it from a businessman. The reason my father was so widely liked and admired was because he had perfected the art of humility and graciousness.
— E.D. Hall
My dad and I hunted and fished together. How could I get angry at this man who took the time to be with me?
— Dr. James Dobson
My parents always made me feel secure. I can probably count the times on my hand that I came home to an empty house. If at three o’clock when I got home from school my mother wasn’t home, my dad invariably was.
— Jay Leno
When Dad came home at the end of the day, he’d get a little something to eat and then he’d go out and play tennis with us for about an hour and a half. If we wanted to play tennis at ten o’clock at night, my dad was more than willing to do it. Never once did he say, “No, I had a long day at work. I’m tired.”
— Michael Chang
The walks I took with my father around the block on summer nights when I was a child did wonders for me as an adult.
Camping, hiking and outdoor activity provide prime opportunities to bond with our families. Sitting around a campfire, walking along a mountain trail or waiting by a lakeside for the fish to bite offer never-to-be-duplicated moments to talk on a deeper level with our children. Just being with them communicates they are loved.
— Gary Smalley and John Trent
Dad put a high premium on telling the truth. “Honesty,” he said, “tells people a lot about who you are and what you are.”
— Christine Todd Whitman
Dad instilled in me the value of honesty. There was a right and wrong in my house that was almost Old Testament-like in how I was supposed to do things. I never was late with a library book. I never missed a day of school. I never got involved in drugs. He also taught me to have a work ethic.
— Jim Cramer
The greatest gift my dad gave me was honesty. He was always very fair with rules, and he was the most honest guy on the golf course.
— Vijay Singh
On Sundays, I would sometimes go with my father, who was a realtor, to the open houses that he had. I saw firsthand how honest he was with people. When he’d have a buyer come into a house, he would tell them about the unnoticed or unseen problems. If the furnace didn’t work properly, he’d tell them. He treated prospective buyers in the same way he would have liked to be treated.
— Dick Gephardt
She broke the bread into two fragments and gave them to the children, who ate with avidity.
“She hath kept none for herself,” grumbled the Sergeant.
“Because she is not hungry,” said a soldier.
“Because she is a mother,” said the Sergeant.
— Victor Hugo
I only wanted him to say he loved me.
— Russell Chatham
Love names are those little nicknames that make your heart melt. Using pet names like Snookums, Sweetie-Pie, Honey Bunch, Smoochie-Girl, Lovey or Pookey-Poo is like sharing a special, heartfelt secret. Love names tell your child that you enjoy her company – that she is extra special and this is the name you use for only her.
— Judy Ford
We never know the love of the parent till we become parents ourselves. When we first bend over the cradle of our own child, God throws back the temple door, and reveals to us the sacredness and mystery of the father’s and mother’s love. And in later years, when they have gone from us, there is always a certain sorrow that we cannot tell them we have found it out.
— Henry Ward Beecher