Everything is ideal to its parent.
—Sophocles (495–405 BCE) Ancient Greek Dramatist
The family is the school of duties. But it has this distinguishing excellency, that among those who are linked together by the strong ties of affection duty is founded on love.
—Felix Adler (1851–1933) German-Born American Philosopher
The family – that dear octopus from whose tentacles we never quite escape, nor, in our inmost hearts, ever quite wish to.
—Dodie Smith (1896–1990) British Novelist, Playwright, Writer
Diaper backward spells repaid. Think about it.
—Marshall Mcluhan (1911–80) Canadian Writer, Thinker, Educator
I have always looked at life as a voyage, mostly wonderful, sometimes frightening. In my family and friends I have discovered treasure more valuable than gold.
—Jimmy Buffett (b.1946) American Musician, Author
No one who has seen a baby sinking back satiated from the breast and falling asleep with flushed cheeks and a blissful smile can escape the reflection that this picture persists as a prototype of the expression of sexual satisfaction in later life.
—Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) Austrian Psychiatrist, Psychoanalytic
The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
Irreverence ran on both sides of our family… my parents brought me up to think we could all change the world.
—Richard Branson (b.1950) British Entrepreneur
The family is the most basic unit of government. As the first community to which a person is attached and the first authority under which a person learns to live, the family establishes society’s most basic values.
—Charles Caleb Colton (c.1780–1832) English Clergyman, Aphorist
Families are nothing other than the idolatry of duty.
—Ann Oakley (b.1944) English Sociologist, Writer, Feminist
I don’t have to look up my family tree, because I know that I’m the sap.
—Fred Allen (1894–1956) American Humorist, Radio Personality
Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish.
—Laozi (fl.6th Century BCE) Chinese Philosopher, Sage
There’s no such thing as fun for the whole family.
—Jerry Seinfeld (b.1954) American Comedian
All people are your relatives, therefore expect only trouble from them.
In a broken nest there are few whole eggs.
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.
—Mother Teresa (1910–97) Roman Catholic Missionary, Nun
A poor relation is the most irrelevant thing in nature, a piece of impertinent correspondence, an odious approximation, a haunting conscience, a preposterous shadow, lengthening in the noon-tide of our prosperity. He is known by his knock.
—Charles Lamb (1775–1834) British Essayist, Poet
The mother’s yearning, that completest type of the life in another life which is the essence of real human love, feels the presence of the cherished child even in the base, degraded man.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
Moving between the legs of tables and of chairs, rising or falling, grasping at kisses and toys, advancing boldly, sudden to take alarm, retreating to the corner of arm and knee, eager to be reassured, taking pleasure in the fragrant brilliance of the Christmas tree.
—T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) American-born British Poet, Dramatist, Literary Critic
In our family, as far as we are concerned, we were born and what happened before that is myth.
—V. S. Pritchett (1900–97) British Short Story Writer, Biographer, Memoirist, Literary Critic
Man is the head of the family, woman the neck that turns the head.
A baby is God’s opinion that the world should go on.
—Carl Sandburg (1878–1967) American Biographer, Novelist, Socialist
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
—Maya Angelou (1928–2014) American Poet
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.” “We’re not raising grass,” my dad would reply, “we’re raising boys.”
—Harmon Killebrew (1936–2011) American Baseball Player
Family quarrels are bitter things. They don’t go according to any rules. They’re not like aches or wounds; they’re more like splits in the skin that won’t heal because there’s not enough material.
In Biblical times, a man could have as many wives as he could afford. Just like today.
—Pauline Phillips (Abigail van Buren) (b.1918) American Columnist
A mother’s heart is always with her children.
The last word is the most dangerous of infernal machines, and the husband and wife should no more fight to get it than they would struggle for the possession of a lighted bombshell.
—Douglas William Jerrold (1803–57) English Writer, Dramatist, Wit
Some people seem compelled by unkind fate to parental servitude for life. There is no form of penal service worse than this.
As surely as God is good, so surely there is no such thing as necessary evil.
—Robert South (1634–1716) English Theologian, Preacher
Important families are like potatoes. The best parts are underground.
—Francis Bacon (1561–1626) English Philosopher
He who is taught to live upon little owes more to his father’s wisdom than he that has a great deal left him does to his father’s care.
—William Penn (1644–1718) American Entrepreneur, Political leader, Philosopher
How the mother is to be pitied who hath handsome daughters! Locks, bolts, bars, and lectures of morality are nothing to them: they break through them all. They have as much pleasure in cheating a father and mother, as in cheating at cards.
—John Gay (1685–1732) English Poet, Dramatist
He didn’t dare to, because his father had a weak heart and habitually threatened to drop dead if anybody hurt his feelings. You may have noticed that people with weak hearts are the tyrants of English married life.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
One night a father overheard his son pray: Dear God, Make me the kind of man my Daddy is. Later that night, the Father prayed, Dear God, Make me the kind of man my son wants me to be.
A parent’s job is to encourage kids to develop a joy for life and a great urge to follow their own dreams. The best we can do is to help thm develop a personal set of tools for the task.
—Randy Pausch (1960–2008) American Computer Scientist
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
Breed is stronger than pasture.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
None but a mule denies his family.
An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of someone or other of their daughters.
—Jane Austen (1775–1817) English Novelist
In accumulating property for ourselves or our posterity, in founding a family or a state, or acquiring fame even, we are mortal; but in dealing with truth we are immortal, and need fear no change nor accident.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
Good breeding is the result of much good sense, some good nature, and a little self-denial for the sake of others, and with a view to obtain the same indulgence from them.
—Earl of Chesterfield (1694–1773) English Statesman, Man of Letters
Oh my son’s my son till he gets him a wife, but my daughter’s my daughter all her life.
—Dinah Craik (1826–87) British Novelist, Essayist, Poet
A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.
I’ve always believed in magic. When I wasn’t doing anything in this town, I’d go up every night, sit on Mulholland Drive, look out at the city, stretch out my arms, and say, “Everybody wants to work with me. I’m a really good actor. I have all kinds of great movie offers”. I’d just repeat these things over and over, literally convincing myself that I had a couple movies lined up. I’d drive down that hill, ready to take the world on, going, “Movie offers are out there for me, I just don’t hear them yet”. It was like total affirmations, antidotes to the stuff that stems from my family background.
—Jim Carrey (b.1962) Canadian Actor, Comedian
Where there is a mother in the home, matters go well.
—Amos Bronson Alcott (1799–1888) American Teacher, Writer, Philosopher
The strength of a nation derives from the integrity of the home.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
There is little less trouble in governing a private family than a whole kingdom.
—Michel de Montaigne (1533–92) French Essayist