There is so much advice on parenting. Everyone has their own ideas and methods, and then the experts weigh in and shake up the apple cart. Fear sets in as you as a parent wonder if you are sending your child straight to years on a therapists couch to unravel their childhood.
The tool of writing is so helpful for a parent to make sense of what you as the parent think is best for you, best for your child. You don’t have to be a writer to take a piece of paper and write out what you think about what kind of life and energy you want to surround your child with.
Here are some thoughts on parenting by famous writers. They have spent lots of time putting their thoughts onto the page and what they say is truly what they have taken the time to think about and process through the tool of writing.
“There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.” Marianne Williamson
As a thought leader on love, spirituality, politics and being a woman, Marianne reminds us that to change the world the place to start is with our children.
“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” Jacqueline Kennedy
The former first lady of the United States raised many children and definitely believed in the importance of family.
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” Anne Frank
Although she did not have children, Holocaust victim Anne Frank had her ideas about parenting. She saw the struggles of her family and how her parents could not guarantee her life path, and realized that what they did pass onto her was morals and wisdom. And it was really up to the children to use them in their own way.
“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.” Oscar Wilde
When a child feels like it’s all about discipline and production, neglected or misunderstood, they act out. The Irish writer didn’t have his own children, but he realized from his own observations that children who behave the best tend to be the happiest.
“It is time for parents to teach young people that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou reminds us that the attitudes that children have about race, religion and sexuality come from the home. She encourages parents to teach children about diversity and to celebrate it.
“I would have given anything to keep her little. They outgrow us so much faster than we outgrow them.” Jodi Picoult
At times, we as parents think we have all the time in world to enjoy our kids when they’re little. Jodi reminds us otherwise, to be in the moment with your children.
“There are only two lasting bequeaths we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots the other wings.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This German writer summed up what he thought all children need, roots and wings. When a child feels they have both they can soar and be grounded simultaneously.
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you: worry that they are always watching you.” Robert Fulghum
Robert wrote All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. As a keen observer of children, he realized how much children are watching you. In a way this makes it easier; we don’t have to preach, only practice.
“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do but in exchange it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” Nicholas Sparks
As a writer of many romance novels that were turned into romantic movies like The Notebook, he says that the ultimate unconditional love is taught to us by our children. We usually look to romantic partners to teach this to us, to give this to us, and yet it’s the children that know it best.
“I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” Anne Lamott
Anne writes about her own addictions, her life troubles and where she found her heart is in her son. Looking externally for pieces of her heart came full circle when her child was born.
“Perhaps it takes courage to raise children.” John Steinbeck
He was a Nobel Prize winner, husband to 3 wives yet had no children. This deep thinker and writer had the realization that what it takes to raise children was courage. Parents sometimes forget how courageous they are when raising their children.
“I am prouder of my years as a single mother than of any other time of my life.” J.K. Rowling
As the author of the Harry Potter books, she picked the time as a parent as the highlight, the proudest time of her life. No matter what success we wish and long for, and work towards, the biggest and proudest accomplishment may just be in the next bedroom, waiting for our love and devotion to just being their parent.
Be willing to say to those in your charge, “I don’t know.”“Content with an ordinary life, you can show all people the way back to their own true nature.” Being open to the guidance of your own true nature will free others to do the same. And “when they know they do not know, people can find their own way.” Parenting shouldn’t mean imposing rules or impressing others with your supposed intelligence and superiority. Refuse to convey superiority.” Wayne Dyer
You would think that Dr. Dyer, father of 8, would have the ‘know it all’ about parenting as a father and self help guru. Yet what he says is that its important for you to tell your children that you don’t know. And to give the child the power to find their own way sometimes.
So there you have the wisdom and writing of famous writers about parenting. This is all food for thought to take in whatever resonates with you. At the end, it’s up to you to take pen to paper and write down what YOU think. Write your own parenting rules. You know yourself and your children better than anyone else.
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