Among speakers comments at the fourth annual symposium on Building Family Strengths, one of the major national conferences on the family:
Karl Menninger, psychiatrist and author, the Menninger Foundation, Topeka, kans.:
"The worst disease in the world . . . is vengeance. It's the attempt of people to single-mindedly make their own justice. The pope's message of forgiveness (toward his attempted assassin) is the most curative message the world has gotten from a statesman in 100 years.
"All punishment is, is revenge. You can call it justice or retribution, but it's just meanness. Parents (punishing their children) are taking their turn to be mean."
Carolyn Attneave, psychology professor at the University of Washington in Seattle:
"Interdependence is a very important part of healthy, strong families. This does not mean dependence as an exploitative use of other people or independence as an isolating experience. Rather it's a balance and a sharing with other people that gives society support."
Gerhard Neubeck, professor of family social science at the University of Minnesota-St. Paul:
"The media talks about the deadlock of wedlock, but marriages are increasing. Divorces abound, too, but considering the fragility of the institution and the people who enter it, isn't it great that so many of us can make a success of marriage -- maybe not the first time around, but the second.
"Like porcupines huddled together for warmth, but repelled by their quills, people are continually driven together and forced apart because of their needs."
Suzanne Steinmetz, professor of child and family studies, University of Delaware, Newark:
"The hardest jobs in a family are those that take emotional energy. The baby's 2 a.m. feedings and changing diapers are not that bad when you compare it to what happens when kids hit 13.
"When families care for an elderly individual in their home . . . one of the most emotionally burdensome aspects is providing them with emotional support -- helping with their decision making, providing a social life for them. We need a range of outreach services to offer this help."
Alice Honig, professor of child and family studies at Syracuse University in New York:
"Act crazy about your kids.Love is not enough if the child doesn't feel that love and know that they are delighted in and admired.
"Children need dominion over adult bodies. Babies need bodies to touch them, hold them and give them courage. An authoritative parent is externally loving, affectionate and attentive, gives firm rules and talks about the reasons behind those rules."
Leroy Kimmons, human development specialist, Iowa State University:
"The No. 1 problem for dual-career couples is the lack of time. Even if they don't have children, they often have an overload of things to do . . . partly because career success in our society traditionally depends on having someone to help you out at home. That's why some people say that every working person -- man or woman -- needs a wife."