“Do you want to control your child, or teach them to control themselves.”

— Nancy Samalin

“Nagging makes it your problem. Silence makes it theirs.”

— Barbara Colorosa

“For every child who forgets, there is a parent who remembers.”

“I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.”

— Haim Ginot

“I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous.”

— Mary Beth Hewitt

“I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.”

— Haim Ginot

“Seek first to understand.”

— Stephen R. Covey

“Who you are speaks so loudly that I cannot hear anything that you are saying.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

If children live with criticism, They learn to condemn.

If children live with hostility, They learn to fight.

If children live with ridicule, They learn to be shy.

If children live with shame, They learn to feel guilty.

If children live with tolerance, They learn to be patient.

If children live with encouragement, They learn confidence.

If children live with praise, They learn to appreciate.

If children live with fairness, They learn justice.

If children live with security, They learn to have faith.

If children live with approval, They learn to like themselves.

If children live with acceptance and friendship, They learn to find love in the world.


— Dorothy Law Nolte

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you hang my first painting on the refrigerator, and I immediately wanted to paint another one.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you feed a stray cat, and I learned that it was good to be kind to animals.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make my favorite cake for me and I learned that the little things can be the special things in life.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you make a meal and take it to a friend who was sick, and I learned that we all have to help take care of each other.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you give of your time and money to help people who had nothing and I learned that those who have something should give to those who don’t.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw you take care of our house and everyone in it, and I learned we have to take care of what we are given.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw how you handled your responsibilities, even when you didn’t feel well and I learned that I would have to be responsible when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw tears come from your eyes, and I learned that sometimes things hurt, but it’s alright to cry.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I saw that you cared and I wanted to be everything that I could be.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I learned most of life’s lessons that I need to know to be a good and productive person when I grow up.

When you thought I wasn’t looking, I looked at you and wanted to say, thanks for all the things I saw when you thought I wasn’t looking.”

— Author Unknown

When Angela was very young,
Age two or three or so,
Her mother and her father
Taught her never to say NO.
They taught her that she must agree
With everything they said,
And if she didn’t, she was spanked
And sent upstairs to bed.

So Angela grew up to be
A most agreeable child;
She was never angry
And she was never wild;

She always shared, she always cared,
She never picked a fight,
And no matter what her parents said,
She thought that they were right.

Angela the Angel did very well in school
And, as you might imagine, she followed every rule;
Her teachers said she was so well-bred,
So quiet and so good,
But how Angela felt inside
They never understood.

Angela had lots of friends
Who liked her for her smile;
They knew she was the kind of gal
Who’d go the extra mile;
And even when she had a cold
And really needed rest,
When someone asked her if she’d help
She always answered Yes.

When Angela was thirty-three, she was a lawyer’s wife.
She had a home and family, and a nice suburban life.
She had a little girl of four
And a little boy of nine,
And if someone asked her how she felt
She always answered, “Fine.”

But one cold night near Christmas time
When her family was in bed,
She lay awake as awful thoughts went
Spinning through her head;
She didn’t know why, and she didn’t know how,
But she wanted her life to end;
So she begged Whoever put her here
To take her back again.

And then she heard, from deep inside,
A voice that was soft and low;
It only said a single word
And the word it said was… “NO.”

From that moment on, Angela knew
Exactly what she had to do.
Her life depended on that word,
So this is what her loved ones heard;

NO, I just don’t want to;
NO, I don’t agree;
NO, that’s yours to handle;
NO, that’s wrong for me.
NO, I wanted something else;
NO, that hurt a lot!
NO, I am tired, and NO, I’m busy,
And, NO, I’d rather not!

Well, her family found it shocking,
Her friends reacted with surprise;
But Angela was different, you could see it in her eyes;
For they’ve held no meek submission
Since that night three years ago
When Angela the Angel
Got permission to say NO.

Today Angela’s a person first, then a mother and a wife.
She knows where she begins and ends,
She has a separate life.
She has talents and ambitions,
She has feelings, needs and goals.
She has money in the bank and
An opinion at the polls.

And to her boy and girl she says,
“It’s nice when we agree;
But if you can’t say NO, you’ll never grow
To be as you’re meant to be.
Because I know I’m sometimes wrong
And because I love you so,
You’ll always be angels
Even when you tell me “NO.”

— Chicken Soup for the Soul

The old tradition of raising and teaching children, which came from an autocratic society, is no longer effective in a democratic setting. We have to learn new forms of dealing with each other because our relationships have changed. The adult/child relationships in the past were ones of dominance and submission. Today, equality is the only basis on which we’ll ever be able to effectively solve discipline problems.

We are witnessing a rebellion of all those who previously were dominated in an autocratic society, and are now no longer blindly accepting the dictates of authorities. This is an unhappy yet inevitable revolution for participation in decision-making.

Desire for equality and participation was fought first in the political and legal arenas. Free men demanded to be treated equally by their legislatures and courts. Labor was next; they didn’t want to be dictated to by management. The same with the races: “Black Power” was the war cry of the powerless. Women’s Liberation was the most recent group to seek equality. Today it is our children’s turn to fight. And just as the other groups have won, or are in the process of winning their battle for equality, so will the children. They are in the majority and they have time on their side.

— Dr. Rudolf Dreikurs, Discipline Without Tears, 1972

You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… you must do the thing you think you cannot do.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.

— Haim Ginott, Between Parent and Child.

I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it.

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