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50 Most Inspiring Kids’ Quotes About Life, Success, and the Things That Really Matter

You'll want to share these kids' quotes: uplifting and wise words for and about the future generation.

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50 Most Inspiring Kids' Quotes About Life, Success, And The Things That Really Matter Opener

Empowering kids’ quotes for the future generation

The idea that “children are the future” might be a bit of a cliché…but that’s only because of the poignancy and truth to it! Children and young people represent a whole lot to people: legacy and hope, joy and innocence. These are our favorite quotes about kids, how important they are, and how we could all benefit from being a little more like them. Between uplifting quotes that help guide young ones on how to live and parenting quotes with some advice on how to start them off right, this list of kids’ quotes provides great reminders of how special young people are. Of course, parents are often a massive part of making children who they are; these mom quotes and dad quotes celebrate that. Kids and the inspiration they provide are certainly things to be grateful for—and these gratitude quotes will help you embrace that sentiment!

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David Vitter Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!” —David Vitter. Here are more great “dream big” quotes.

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Horace Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Mix a little foolishness with your serious plans. It is lovely to be silly at the right moment.” —Horace, ancient Roman poet

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Maria Montessori Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are human beings to whom respect is due, superior to us by reason of their innocence and of the greater possibilities of their future.” —Maria Montessori, education philosopher and physician. Kids’ quotes can certainly provide a lot of hope; read these hope quotes to boost that feeling too.

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Haim Ginott Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are like wet cement: whatever falls on them makes an impression.” —Haim Ginott, educator and child psychologist. Perhaps a goofy comparison…but true! Read these other funny quotes that’ll make you chuckle.

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Malala Yousafzai Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child and one teacher can change the world.” —Malala Yousafzai, education activist and Nobel Prize laureate. Read these teaching and education quotes that inspire a love of learning.

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Nicholas Sparks Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“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, author, in The Notebook

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Joseph Joubert Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children need models rather than critics.” —Joseph Joubert, French moralist

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Charles Dickens Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires and a touch that never hurts.” —Charles Dickens, author

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Ray Merritt Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Old men can make war, but it is children who will make history.” —Ray Merritt, author. Plenty of these inspirational quotes for kids are also great leadership quotes!

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Ray L. Wilbur Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“The potential possibilities of any child are the most intriguing and stimulating in all creation.” —Ray L. Wilbur, doctor and politician

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Gena Lee Nolin Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“My children are the reason I laugh, smile, and want to get up every morning.” —Gena Lee Nolin, actress and model

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C.s. Lewis Inspiring Kids' Quotes 2

“Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.” —C.S. Lewis, author

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Don Bosco Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“The first happiness of a child is to know that he is loved.” —Don Bosco, clergyman and educator

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Nelson Mandela Inspiring Kids' Quotes 2

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” —Nelson Mandela, philanthropist and former president of South Africa

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James Baldwin Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” —James Baldwin, writer and activist. This children quote reminds us that kids are always watching to see how we behave—we must be good role models! Read more wise words from James Baldwin, too.

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Louis Pasteur Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments—tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.” —Louis Pasteur, chemist and biologist

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Erma Bombeck Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children make your life important.” —Erma Bombeck, humorist and author

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Buckminster Fuller Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Every child is born a genius.” —Buckminster Fuller, architect and inventor. How’s that for motivational quotes for kids?

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1981 Select Panel For The Promotion Of Child Health Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are one third of our population and all of our future.” —1981 Select Panel for the Promotion of Child Health

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Oscar Wilde Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“The best way to make children good is to make them happy.” —Oscar Wilde, writer

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Jess Lair Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.” —Jess Lair, self-help leader and writer

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Denis Waitley Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“The greatest gifts you can give your children are the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence.” —Denis Waitley, motivational speaker and writer

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C.s. Lewis Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children have one kind of silliness, as you know, and grown-ups have another kind.” —C.S. Lewis. If the kiddos in your life are all grown up, share these graduation quotes with them.

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William E. Stafford Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn’t music.” —William E. Stafford, poet

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Mignon Mclaughlin Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Only where children gather is there any real chance of fun.”  —Mignon McLaughlin, author and journalist

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Harry Edwards Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.” —Harry Edwards, sociologist, activist, and author. We love these positive quotes for kids—they make great confidence quotes as well!

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Fyodor Dostoevsky Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“The soul is healed by being with children.” —Fyodor Dostoevsky, novelist

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Angela Schwindt Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.” —Angela Schwindt, family coach

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Oliver Wendell Holmes Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children.” —Oliver Wendell Holmes, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court

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Margaret Mead Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.” —Margaret Mead, cultural anthropologist

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Fred Rogers Inspiring Kids' Quotes 2

“Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.” —Fred Rogers, children’s television host and producer

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John F. Kennedy Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” —John F. Kennedy, former U.S. president

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Antoine De Saint Exupéry Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.” —Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author, Le Petit Prince. His masterpiece happens to be one of the 100 books we think you should read in your lifetime.

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Christopher Moore Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children see magic because they look for it.” —Christopher Moore, author

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Abigail Van Buren Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.” —Abigail Van Buren, “Dear Abby” advice columnist

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Jada Pinkett Smith Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“It’s not about what you tell your children, but how you show them how to live life.” —Jada Pinkett Smith, actress and producer

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Jane Goodall Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun.” —Jane Goodall, primatologist and animal rights activist

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Mahatma Gandhi Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“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.” —Mahatma Gandhi, lawyer and activist

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Nelson Mandela Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.” —Nelson Mandela

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Emma Goldman Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.” —Emma Goldman, writer and political philosopher. These kindness quotes emphasize that virtue as well.

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Walt Streightiff Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million.” —Walt Streightiff, educator

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John Updike Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are not a zoo of entertainingly exotic creatures, but an array of mirrors in which the human predicament leaps out at us.” —John Updike, writer

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Khaled Hosseini Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors.” —Khaled Hosseini, novelist and humanitarian

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Frederick Douglass Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” —Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and orator. Read these other powerful strength quotes too.

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L. Frank Baum Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“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.” —L. Frank Baum, author

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Carolyn Haywood Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are not only innocent and curious but also optimistic and joyful and essentially happy. They are, in short, everything adults wish they could be.” —Carolyn Haywood, author and illustrator

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Lady Bird Johnson Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.” —Lady Bird Johnson, former U.S. First Lady

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Stacia Tauscher Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.” —Stacia Tauscher, dancer

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Neil Degrasse Tyson Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“We spend the first year of a child’s life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There’s something wrong there.” —Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist

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Fred Rogers Inspiring Kids' Quotes

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” —Fred Rogers. Next, continue the optimism for the next generation with these quotes about change that will inspire you for the future.

Meghan Jones
Meghan Jones is a word nerd who has been writing for RD.com since 2017. You can find her byline on pieces about grammar, fun facts, the meanings of various head-scratching words and phrases, and more. Meghan graduated from Marist College with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2017; her creative nonfiction piece “Anticipation” was published in the Spring 2017 issue of Angles literary magazine.