Most people who know me well know that I love a great quote. I love how simple words can so perfectly encapsulate the essence of what I feel about life and in this case, parenting. So without any further ado, here is a list of my 101 most favorite parenting quotes.
“The way we treat our children directly impacts what they believe about themselves.” – Ariadne Brill
“No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say “Oh, my gosh,” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.” – Marisa de los Santos, Love Walked In
“Our children are watching how we live far more that they are hearing what we say. They are learning how to live by our choices, not by our words.” – L.R. Knost
“When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it’s amazing what you can learn. Especially if the people who are doing the talking also happen to be children.” – Greg Mortenson, Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
When in doubt, choose the kids. There will be plenty of time later to choose work.” – Anna Quindlen
“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” – Erma Bombeck
The sign of great parenting is not the child’s behavior. The sign of truly great parenting is the parent’s behavior.” – Andy Smithson
A person soon learns how little he knows when a child begins to ask questions. – Richard L. Evans
Affection without sentiment, authority without cruelty, discipline without aggression, humor without ridicule, sacrifice without obligation, companionship without possessiveness. – William E. Blatz
Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities. – Gary Smalle
Always kiss your children goodnight – even if they’re already asleep. – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories. – John Wilmot
Children are the proof we’ve been here… they are the best thing and the most impossible thing. – Allison Pearson, I Don’t Know How she Does It
Children keep us in check. Their laughter prevents our hearts from hardening. Their dreams ensure we never lose our drive to make ours a better world. They are the greatest disciplinarians known to mankind. – Queen Rania of Jordan, Hello Magazine
Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. – Charles R. Swindoll
Don’t demand respect as a parent. Demand civility and insist on honesty. But respect is something you must earn — with kids as well as with adults. – William Attwood
I just want my kids to love who they are, have happy lives and find something they want to do and make peace with that. Your job as a parent is to give your kids not only the instincts and talents to survive, but help them enjoy their lives. – Susan Sarandon
I looked on childrearing not only as a work of love and duty but as a profession that was fully interesting and challenging as any honorable profession in the world and one that demanded the best that I could bring to it. – Rose Kennedy
If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.
I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.
– Diane Loomans, from “If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again”
If there were no schools to take the children away from home part of the time, the insane asylums would be filled with mothers. – Edgar W. Howe
“Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare.” – Ed Asner
“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did – that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that – a parent’s heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” – Debra Ginsberg
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein
“I don’t remember who said this, but there really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” – Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year
“Replace a goal of obedience with one of connection and trust instead. Children are drawn to follow those to whom they are emotionally connected. By parenting not for obedience but for relationship, kids are naturally inclined to follow your lead.” ― Kelly Bartlett (Encouraging Words for Kids)
“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.” ― Franklin P. Adams
“Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.” -David Frost
You may think the grass is greener on the other side, but if you take the time to water your own grass it would be just as green.” – Unknown
“I used to believe my father about everything but then I had children myself & now I see how much stuff you make up just to keep yourself from going crazy.” ― Brian Andreas, Story People: Selected Stories & Drawings of Brian Andreas
“Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.”― P.J. O’Rourke
“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.” – Haim Ginott
“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” ― Bette Davis
Now is the time to make tomorrow’s greatest memories.” – Josh Misner
Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.” – Unknown
“Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?” – Jane Nelson
“I may not be able to give my kids everything they want but I give them what they need. Love, time, and attention. You can’t buy those things.” – Nishan Panwar
Empathy is when a person accurately communicates that they see another’s intentions and emotional state. It means watching our child’s frustration and focusing on how life feels in that little child’s body, while putting our own anger and agenda into the background.” – Andrea Nair
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” – L.R. Knost
“The true mark of maturity is when somebody hurts you and you try to understand their situation instead of trying to hurt them back.” – Anonymous
“All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them. ” ― Erma Bombeck
“Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home.”― Phyllis Diller
Young Children come to see themselves through the eyes of their parents. The way you speak to her is the way she speaks to herself.” – Rebecca Eanes and Laura ling (Positive Parenting in Action)
We’re always bluffing, pretending we know best, when most of the time we’re just praying we won’t screw up too badly. – Jodi Picoult, House Rules
“Having a child is liking getting a tattoo…on your face. You better be committed.” – Eat Pray Love screenplay
“Play is not a respite from learning. Play is Learning.” – Katie Hurley
“The quickest way for a parent to get a child’s attention is to sit down and look comfortable.” – Lane Olinghouse
If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. — Abigail Van Buren
In spite of the six thousand manuals on child raising in the bookstores, child raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage. — Bill Cosby
It kills you to see them grow up. But I guess it would kill you quicker if they didn’t. — Barbara Kingsolver
It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself. — Joyce Maynard
Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation. — C. Everet Koop, M.D.
Love is giving someone your undivided attention. — Author Unknown
Love is the chain whereby to bind a child to its parents. — Abraham Lincoln
Lucky parents who have fine children usually have lucky children who have fine parents. — James A. Brewer
Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body. — Elizabeth Stone
Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. — Antoine De Saint-Exupery
No one knows how children will turn out; a great tree often springs from a tender plant. — Norwegian proverb
One who walks the road with love will never walk the road alone. — C. T. Davis
Parents can tell but never teach, unless they practice what they preach. — Arnold Glasow
Parents: People who spend half their time wondering how their children will turn out, and the rest of the time when they will turn in. — Eleanor Graham Vance
Praise your children and they will blossom! — Author Unknown
Presence is more than just being there. — Malcolm Forbes
Raising children is like making biscuits: it is as easy to raise a big batch as one, while you have your hands in the dough. — E.W. Howe
Taking time and sharing is the essence of teaching. The future of those we cherish, will be a reflection of what we model today. — Author Unknown
The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.— O. A. Battista
The child supplies the power but the parents have to do the steering. — Benjamin Spock
The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard. — Sloan Wilson
The real menace about dealing with a five-year-old is that in no time at all you begin to sound like a five-year-old. — Jean Kerr
The world talks to the mind. Parents speak more intimately — they talk to the heart. — Hain Ginott
There are times when parenthood seems nothing but feeding the mouth that bites you. — Peter de Vries
There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. — Hodding Carter, Jr.
There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child. — Henry Ward Beecher
The most important thing that parents can teach their children is how to get along without them. — Frank A. Clark
To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while. — Josh Billings
We may be blinded by our own perceived flaws, but those who love us have clearer vision. — Sarah Ban Breathnach
We never know the love of our parents for us until we have become parents. — Henry Ward Beecher
When we choose to be parents, we accept another human being as part of ourselves, and a large part of our emotional selves will stay with that person as long as we live. From that time on, there will be another person on this earth whose orbit around us will affect us as surely as the moon affects the tides, and affect us in some ways more deeply than anyone else can. Our children are extensions of ourselves. — Fred Rogers
When you have children yourself, you begin to understand what you owe your parents. — Japanese Proverb
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. — Kahlil Gibran
You have a lifetime to work, but children are only young once. — Polish Proverb
“Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” ― James Baldwin
“Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.” ― Anne Frank
“Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For thir souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness.
For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.”
― Kahlil Gibran
“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.” ― C. JoyBell C.
“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, The Wedding
“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ― Franklin D. Roosevelt, Great Speeches
“Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.” ― Bill Ayers
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, You have to be in their lives today.” ― Barbara Johnson
“The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air out of the tires.” ― Dorothy Parker
“That’s the nature of being a parent, Sabine has discovered. You’ll love your children far more than you ever loved your parents, and — in the recognition that your own children cannot fathom the depth of your love — you come to understand the tragic, unrequited love of your own parents.” ― Ursula Hegi
“It’s impossible to protect your kids against disappointment in life.” ― Nicholas Sparks, Message in a Bottle
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.”― Jim Valvano
“No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. Parenthood chooses you. And you open your eyes, look at what you’ve got, say “Oh, my gosh,” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should not drop. It’s not a question of choice.” ― Marisa de los Santos, Love Walked In
“If you are a parent, open doors to unknown directions to the child so he can explore. Don’t make him afraid of the unknown,give him support. ” ― Osho
“Mother is a verb. It’s something you do. Not just who you are.” ― Cheryl Lacey Donovan, The Ministry of Motherhood
“The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults.”― Peter De Vries
“We spend the first 12 months of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next 12 months teaching them to sit down and shut up.” ― Phyllis Diller
“Sometimes, kids want you to hurt the way they hurt.” ― Mitch Albom
“By loving them for more than their abilities we show our children that they are much more than the sum of their accomplishments.” ― Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Smart Parenting for Smart Kids: Nurturing Your Child’s True Potential
“You try as a parent. You love beyond reason. You fight beyond endurance. You hope beyond despair. You never think, until the very last moment, that it still might not be enough.”― Lisa Gardner, Live to Tell
“Instead of communicating “I love you, so let me make life easy for you,” I decided that my message needed to be something more along these lines: “I love you. I believe in you. I know what you’re capable of. So I’m going to make you work.” ― Kay Wills Wyma, Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement
To learn more about my books for parents click here or alternatively here are my books to help you raise smart, happy and resilient kids.
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