15 inspiring parenting quotes to live by

Feb. 1, 2021

We all feel like the worst parent on the playground sometimes, but good advice can help you score major parenting wins. Or at least change your perspective on what the true "wins" of raising kids are (Hint: not perfection). 

Of course, there's no recipe for perfect parenting, and fortunately you don't even have to be perfect to be a parent. Here are 15 parenting quotes to inspire your toughest parenting days.  

1. "Making the decision to have a child — it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." ― Elizabeth Stone, author

Nothing prepares you for the first time you leave your child, even just to go to the bathroom. You feel that first pull. Then, when your baby is, say, a teenager, that's when you realize that pull never lets up.

2. "You will always be your child's favorite toy." — Vicki Lansky, author

You will never regret dropping everything for ten minutes to play a game with your kid. Looking back on all those lost hours spent scrolling through Facebook, on the other hand ...

3. "Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you." — Robert Fulghum, author

The best way to get your child to stop texting and talk to you is to put down your phone and talk to him.

4. "Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." —Rumi, poet

Every parent has moments when they lose their cool. But it's important to remember that when you keep your cool, that's probably when your kids actually hear you most. 

5. "When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it's our job to share our calm, not join their chaos." ― L.R. Knost, author

This is one of the toughest jobs of parenthood. Staying calm amid the chaos — it's what kids in crisis, no matter how small, need the very most. 

6. "Speak to your children as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful and magical humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.” — Brooke Hampton, author

As they are growing up, kids are going to feel so many things about themselves. That's why it's important they have a consistent support system who roots for them no matter what. 

7. "Don't tell your kids, 'I'm proud of you.' tell them, 'You should be proud of yourself'." — Kristen Welch, author

Do you know your child's superpower? Tell her you're proud to be her parent every day. Your kids probably aren't on Facebook, so they can't see how much you brag about them.

8. "Children do not need us to shape them. They need us to respond to who they are." — Naomi Aldort, author

Let's do our best to see our children for who they are and encourage them every day to be those amazing people. 

9. "I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less." ― Anna Quindlen, author

Go ahead and sit in the moment, moms and dads. We can't slow down time, but we can certainly take a moment to try and enjoy it. 

10. "There's no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one." ― Jill Churchill, author

Let's not compare ourselves to other parents. Being there and loving your children, however that looks, is pretty darn perfect. 

11. "The moment you begin to actively discover the amazing personhood of your child, parenting starts to feel like less of a burden and more of an adventure." — Angela Pruess, licensed child therapist

You are raising a living, breathing human being. Enjoy the ride. 

12. "It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings." ― Ann Landers

A little doting on our kids is fine, but don't forget to teach them how to take care of themselves along the way.  

13. "It is one thing to show your child the way, and a harder thing to then stand out of it." — Robert Breault, author

You may think setting the groundwork is the big challenge of parenthood, but letting your kids succeed or fail on their own — that's the hard part.

14. "It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding." — Erma Bombeck, humorist

Hey, parenting was super easy before you had kids, right?

15. "It's right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It's OK not to find it easy. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness." — Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge

There are always bad days and bad phases in parenting, and it's OK to talk about them. It doesn't help any of us to pretend it's always unicorns and sunshine.

And if you ever feel stuck or need help along the way, it's always the right answer to reach out to your support system, your doctor or your child's pediatrician. 

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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