The real dividing line between early childhood and middle childhood is not between the fifth year and the sixth yearit is more nearly when children are about seven or eight, moving on toward nine. Building the barrier at six has no psychological basis. It has come about only from the historic-economic-political fact that the age of six is when we provide schools for all.
(James L. Hymes, Jr. (20th century), U.S. child development specialist, author. Teaching the Child Under Six, ch. 2 (1968).)
When we raise our children, we relive our childhood. Forgotten memories, painful and pleasurable, rise to the surface.... So each of us thinks, almost daily, of how our own childhood compares with our children's, and of what our children's future will hold.
(Richard Louv (20th century), U.S. journalist, author. Childhood's Future, part 1, ch. 1 (1991).)
All of childhood's unanswered questions must finally be passed back to the town and answered there. Heroes and bogey men, values and dislikes, are first encountered and labeled in that early environment. In later years they change faces, places and maybe races, tactics, intensities and goals, but beneath those penetrable masks they wear forever the stocking-capped faces of childhood.
(Maya Angelou (b. 1928), U.S. author, poet. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, ch. 4 (1969).
Said of one's hometown.)
Genius is no more than childhood recaptured at will, childhood equipped now with man's physical means to express itself, and with the analytical mind that enables it to bring order into the sum of experience, involuntarily amassed.
(Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867), French poet. repr. In Selected Writings on Art and Artists, ed. P.E. Charvet (1972). "The Painter of Modern Life," sct. 3, L'Art Romantique (1869).)
Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.... Fear and resentment of what is new is really a lament for the memories of our childhood.
(Peter B. Medawar (1915-1987), British immunologist. "On 'The Effecting of All Things Possible'," Pluto's Republic (1982).)
When we suffer anguish we return to early childhood because that is the period in which we first learnt to suffer the experience of total loss. It was more than that. It was the period in which we suffered more total losses than in all the rest of our life put together.
(John Berger (b. 1926), British author, critic. (repr. 1976). A Fortunate Man, p. 122 (1967).)
It is with our brothers and sisters that we learn to love, share, negotiate, start and end fights, hurt others, and save face. The basis of healthy (or unhealthy) connections in adulthood is cast during childhood.
(Jane Mersky Leder (20th century), U.S. magazine writer, author. Brothers and Sisters, ch. 3 (1991).)