Being a dad isn’t easy—the responsibility can seem overwhelming at times, and kids don’t come with a manual. Luckily, you don’t have to look far to know that you’re not alone in this journey. We’ve collected some words of advice, inspiration, and reflection for the journey from some of history’s most prominent authors, thinkers, and leaders that still hold true for today’s fathers.
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.”
Harry S Truman
“I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.”
“There are many kinds of success in life worth having. It is exceedingly interesting and attractive to be a successful business man, or railway man, or farmer, or a successful lawyer or doctor; or a writer, or a President, or a ranchman, or the colonel of a fighting regiment, or to kill grizzly bears and lions. But for unflagging interest and enjoyment, a household of children, if things go reasonably well, certainly makes all other forms of success and achievement lose their importance by comparison.”
“The soul is healed by being with children.”
“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.”
John F. Kennedy
“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”
“If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we shall have to begin with the children.”
“Children are not a zoo of entertainingly exotic creatures, but an array of mirrors in which the human predicament leaps out at us.”
L. Frank Baum
“Stunt, dwarf, or destroy the imagination of a child, and you have taken away its chances of success in life. Imagination transforms the commonplace into the great and creates the new out of the old.”
Henry Ward Beecher
“Children are the hands by which we take hold of heaven.”
“To me there is no picture so beautiful as smiling, bright-eyed, happy children; no music so sweet as their clear and ringing laughter.”
“Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.”
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.”
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