And finally . ...
And finally . . . .
Since the 50th edition on 6th February 2006 each
Northumberland Families and Children’s Trust
FACTSHEET newsletter has ended with a section
called ‘And finally’ being a brief quotation about
one of the things FACT stands for – families,
children and young people, parents, learning,
working differently; and some just for fun. The
quotations have been much appreciated and to
celebrate the 100th FACTSHEET this little book
brings them all together.
7th January 2008
Families Page 1
Children and Young People Page 3
Parents Page 5
Learning Page 10
Working differently Page 13
Fun Page 17
Index of contributors Page 19
‘A family is a unit composed not only of children
but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the
common cold.’ Ogden Nash, Poet
‘The family is one of nature's masterpieces.’ George
Santayana, Poet and Philosopher
‘Govern a family as you would cook a small fish -
very gently.’ Chinese proverb, sometimes attributed to
‘Feelings of worth can flourish only in an
atmosphere where individual differences are
appreciated, mistakes are tolerated,
communication is open, and rules are flexible - the
kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing
family.’ Virginia Satir, Family Therapist
‘Families are where we discover the bonds of love
and trust. Schools are where we learn the collective
story of which we are a part. Communities are
where we are for other people at times of need, and
they for us. Congregations are where we join our
prayers to those of others making their hopes our
own. Collectively they are the places where we
learn to speak the language of ‘we’ as well as ‘I’.
They are where we learn moral literacy, ‘habits of
the heart’ the give and take of rights and
responsibilities, the grammar of reciprocity.
Without them society is too abstract to be real.
Community is society with a human face.’ Sir
Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi
‘A father, a mother and two children is not a
family; it’s a terribly vulnerable survival unit.’ Kurt
Children and Young People
‘Children are a wonderful gift. They have an
extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of
things and to expose sham and humbug for what
they are.’ Archbishop Desmond Tutu
‘Children are innocent and love justice, while most
adults are wicked and prefer mercy.’
G. K. Chesterton, Author
‘Adults are obsolete children.’ Dr. Seuss, Children’s
Children learn what they live
If a child lives with criticism – she learns to
If a child lives with hostility – he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule – she learns to be shy.
If a child lives with shame – he learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance – she learns to be
If a child lives with encouragement – he learns
If a child lives with praise – she learns to
If a child lives with fairness – he learns justice.
If a child lives with security – she learns to have
If a child lives with approval – he learns to like
If a child lives with acceptance and friendship – he
or she learns to find love in the world.
Dorothy Law Nolte, Lecturer and Consultant on
Families and Parenting
‘No day is complete until you've heard the
laughter of a child.’ Anonymous
‘Children need love, especially when they do not
deserve it.’ Harold S. Hubert, Author
Priorities: ‘A hundred years from now it will not
matter what my bank account was, the sort of
house I live in, or the kind of car I drove; however,
the world will be different because I was important
in the life of a child.’ Author unknown
‘Make time to listen to children (even if nobody
listened to you when you were young) and they
will feel worthwhile, and think well, and find good
solutions for problems.’
From: ‘How to give children an emotional head start
(even if your childhood left something to be desired!)’ by
Marion Riekerk, Rational Island Publishers, 1988
"It is admirable for a man to take his son fishing,
but there is a special place in heaven for the father
who takes his daughter shopping." John Sinor,
Of course I love them, they are my children.
That is my daughter and this is my son.
And this is my life I give to please them.
It has never been used. Keep it safe. Pass it on.
Anne Stevenson, Poet
‘Having children makes you no more a parent than
having a piano makes you a pianist’. Michael
‘At work, you think of the children you have left at
home. At home, you think of the work you've left
unfinished. Such a struggle is unleashed within
yourself. Your heart is rent.’ Golda Meir, Prime
Minister of Israel
Parent’s Needs (same as children’s needs)
1. Parents need help to feel good about
2. Parents need to be comforted when they are
hurt, supported when they feel weak.
3. Parents need someone they can trust and lean
4. Parents needs someone who will put up with
their crankiness and complaining.
5. Parents need someone who will not be tricked
into accepting their sense of low worth.
6. Parents need someone who will not criticise
them even when they ask for it, and who will
not tell them what to do or how to manage
7. Parents need someone who will be there in
times of crisis.
8. Parents need someone who will help them
understand their children without making
them feel stupid for not having understood in
the first place.
9. Parents need someone who can make them feel
valuable and not someone of less value because
they had to ask for help.
10. Parents need someone who can understand
how hard it is for them to have dependents
when they have never been allowed to be
Parental Stress Service, Oakland, California
‘To be a mother is not a trade; it’s not even a duty;
it’s only one right among many.’
Oriana Fallaci, Italian Journalist, Author and Political
‘Mother love is the fuel that enables a normal
human being to do the impossible.’
Marion C. Garretty
What makes a good (corporate) parent?
The Care Leavers group wrote this definition of
good parenting for Corporate Parenting
Committee 24th April 2007, it was later published
in FACTSHEET No. 85 on 29th May 2007:
‘A good parent listens and they’re fair, firm but fair
– sometimes we need boundaries, we need
someone to put limits on us or else we’ll just self-
destruct! A good parent cuddles you when you
need it, they love you, they nurture you, they
support you, they trust you, they’re pleased when
you’re pleased and sad when you’re sad, they
never wash their hands of you and leave you on
A good parent is stable, they don’t shunt you about
from pillar to post. A good parent makes you feel
welcome and relaxed, a good parent knows you,
they’re not just a stranger who’s always trying a bit
too hard. A good parent makes the effort to have
some real quality time with you, they help you get
what you want and what you need. They’re your
friend. They’re reasonable, they give and take, they
take you as you are, they’re actually interested in
A good parent can challenge you without setting
you up to fail, they’re clear when they give
information, they talk to you straight. They’re a
shoulder to cry on 24/7, they know when to give
you your own space and they know when to be
there. A good parent has to be a counsellor, a
caterer, a bank-manager, a nurse, a copper, a taxi-
driver, a careers advisor, an agony aunt, a travel
agent, a magician!
A good parent doesn’t take the p*ss, a good parent
doesn’t pre-judge you or think your gonna rob the
place as soon as their back’s turned, they show you
some respect as long as you respect them. A good
parent doesn’t have padlocks on the doors, they
treat you like equals, they don’t have favourites,
they don’t put their own kids before you, they feed
you properly, make sure there’s always a roof over
your head and clothes on your back.
A good parent talks to you like you’re not a friggin
alien, they listen, they try to understand, they make
you feel like you’re loved, like you matter.
They care . . . a good parent cares . . . and caring
has to be more than just a job.’
‘Young people do not learn only in school. Their
surroundings and the times in which they live have
as much, if not more, influence on them than
teachers.’ Paul Valéry, French poet and essayist
‘Children must be taught how to think, not what to
Margaret Mead, Social Anthropologist
‘Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people
into thinking they can't lose.’ Bill Gates
‘Our brains have been the same for 30,000 years. A
Cro-Magnon child could have been as comfortable
with a computer as a modern child.’ Professor
‘It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal
education.’ Albert Einstein
Today I will not live up to my potential.
Today I will not relate well to my peer group.
Today I will not contribute in class. I will not
volunteer one thing.
Today I will not strive to do better.
Today I will not achieve or adjust or grow enriched
or get involved.
I will not put up my hand even if the teacher is
wrong and I can prove it.
Today I might eat the eraser off my pencil.
I’ll look at clouds.
I’ll be late.
I don’t think I’ll wash.
I need a rest.
‘If you think you’ve got a problem, you should see
the head.’ - School Staff-Room Notice Board
‘Some people take no mental exercise apart from
jumping to conclusions.’ Harold Acton, Anglo-Italian
‘Success is going from failure to failure with no loss
of enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill
‘The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational
mind is a faithful servant. We have created a
society that honours the servant and has forgotten
the gift.’ Albert Einstein
A little girl had just finished her first week of
school. ‘I'm just wasting my time,’ she said to her
mother ‘I can't read, I can't write and they won't let
me talk!’ Anon
‘We know that schools fail without the support of
families. We know that families fail without the
support of communities. We know that
communities fail without neighbourly virtues and
the obligations that flow from fellow feeling. Civil
society rests on moral relationships.’ Sir Jonathan
‘The future lies with those managers who can
demonstrate the capacity to work effectively across
organisational boundaries. Such boundaries will
always exist. Those able to operate flexibly need
encouragement, in contrast to those who persist in
working in isolation and making decisions alone.’
Lord Laming, Report of the Victoria Climbié Inquiry
‘Partnership is not an open ended arrangement or
an end in itself. It should be based on an
assessment of the child’s needs, and the shared
duty of both the state and parents/carers to
promote the healthy development of children.
Within that framework can then be seen a
continuum of relationships between agencies and
families which range from the voluntary to the
statutory. Thus whilst we must search for every
possible way of improving the process for parents
it will remain for some, if not many, a nasty
business the very opposite of the cosy encounter
which simplistic talk of partnership suggests.’
‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful,
committed people can change the world. Indeed it
is the only thing that ever has.’ Margaret Mead,
‘The true measure of a nation’s standing is how
well it attends to its children – their health and
safety, their material security, their education and
socialization, and their sense of being loved,
valued, and included in the families and societies
into which they are born.’ UNICEF, Child poverty in
perspective: An overview of child well-being 2007
‘There are no short cuts to any place worth going.’
Beverly Sills, Opera Singer
‘Those who do not have the power over the story
that dominates their lives, the power to retell it,
rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change
it as times change, truly are powerless because they
can not think new thoughts.’ Salman Rushdie
The Storyteller’s Creed
I believe that imagination is stronger than
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death.
‘Work is about daily meaning as well as daily
bread; for recognition as well as cash; in short for a
sort of life, rather than a Monday through Friday
sort of dying … We have the right to ask of work
that it include meaning, recognition, astonishment
and life.’ Studs Terkel (US Broadcaster) quoted by
Steve Munby, Chief Executive, National College of
School Leadership at the Northumberland Headteacher’s
conference 27th and 28th September 2007.
‘The secret of joy in work is contained in one word
- excellence. To know how to do something well is
to enjoy it.’ Pearl S. Buck, US writer, human rights
activist and Nobel Prize winner
‘Listening to children is not a vague concept or
something that is purely a natural gift or even
readily picked up. Listening and understanding
what you hear requires a trained and practiced ear.
The quality of listening among those who work for
children is greatly influenced by those who lead
departments. If leaders have these skills, appreciate
how they are gained them from valued colleagues
in a wide variety of disciplines and are prepared to
value and teach them to their colleagues, the
quality of professional work for children will rise
and the risks of failure to protect them will
diminish.’ From ‘Learning to listen to children’ by
‘If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or
whispers a kind word of encouragement, or
attempts to understand a lonely person,
extraordinary things happen.’ Loretta Girzartis
Spell for the Perfect Prevention Service:
Wise and very experienced staff with oodles of
personality, warm hearts and commitment;
Big Ears for listening;
A cauldron of fun and creative activities;
Treating young people like adults;
Nothing like school;
Opportunities to make decisions;
Support to become confident and happy
It’s not just the BIG things that matter!!!!
Children and Young People from the Ears 2 U
‘What work I’ve done I’ve done because it’s been
play. If it had been work I shouldn't have done it.’
‘My mother loved children -- she would have given
anything if I had been one.’
One snowman to another - ‘Can you smell carrots?’
‘Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.’
‘There are three sorts of people in the world – those
who can count, and those who can’t.’
The Beano jokes page
In the summer of 2007:
‘June just rains and never stops,
thirty days and spoils the crops.
In July the sun is hot; is it shining?
No its not.’
From ‘A Song of the Weather’ by Michael Flanders and
Overheard in the playground:
‘If someone kicks you up the bum,
Call oh eight hundred one triple one – that’s
Index of contributors Page Number
Harold Acton 11
Margaret Adcock 13
Anonymous 4, 12, 14, 17
The Beano 17
Pearl S. Buck 15
Care Leavers 7
G. K. Chesterton 3
Chinese proverb 1
Winston Churchill 11
Ears 2 U 16
Albert Einstein 10, 11
Oriana Fallaci 7
Flanders and Swann 18
Marion C. Garretty 7
Bill Gates 10
Loretta Girzartis 15
Susan Greenfield 10
Harold S. Hubert 4
Lord Laming 13
Michael Levine 5
Jean Little 11
Groucho Marx 17
Margaret Mead 10, 13
Golda Meir 6
Ogden Nash 1
Dorothy Law Nolte 4
Parental Stress Service 7
Marion Riekerk 5
E. M. Ross 15
Salman Rushdie 14
Sir Johnathan Sacks 2, 12
George Santayana 1
Virginia Satir 1
Dr. Seuss 3
Beverley Sills 14
John Sinor 5
Anne Stevenson 5
Studs Terkel 15
Desmond Tutu 3
Mark Twain 17
Paul Valéry 10
Kurt Vonnegut 2