Everything You Need To Know About Parenting In 16 Albert Einstein Quotes

Life, the universe, and everything in between.

by Jonathan Stern
Originally Published: 
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You probably know Albert Einstein as the guy with big hair; thought about the space-time continuum a lot — his name is synonymous with genius. But, while the former Austrian patent clerk turned theoretical physicist, Nobel Prize-winner, and Time’s “Man of the Century” was hypothesizing about things that changed the course of human history and scientific discovery forever, he also had 3 kids. Here is Einstein’s collected parenting wisdom, which are about as smart as his thoughts on relativity.

On Worrying About Milestones

“It is true that my parents were worried because I began to speak fairly late, so that they even consulted a doctor. I can’t say how old I was — but surely not less than 3.”

On Teaching Your Kids Conventional Wisdom

“Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach 18.”

On Letting Yourself Go

“If I were to start taking care of my grooming, I would no longer be my own self.”

On The Formula For Shut The Hell Up

“If A is a success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play, and Z is keeping your mouth shut.”

On What To Say During A Parent/Teacher Conference

“Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.”

On Instilling Curiosity

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

On Finding Their Voice

“The ordinary adult never gives a thought to space-time problems … I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I did not begin to wonder about space and time until I was an adult. I then delved more deeply into the problem than any other adult or child would have done.”

On What To Write On Their Graduation Card

“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”

On True Success

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value. “

On Hating Math

“Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater.”

On Being A ‘Glass Half Full’ Guy

“I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the Earth will be killed.”

On What’s Really Important In Life

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”

On Enjoying These Parenting Years

“I never think of the future — it comes soon enough.”

On The Biggest Difference Between You And Your Kid

“Solitude is painful when one is young, but delightful when one is more mature. “

On The Most Difficult Theorem

“The hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.”

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