Advice On Parenting… The Most FOOLISH Phrase in the World

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fatherAnyone who initiates giving you advice on parenting is probably not someone you want giving you advice… so be careful where you accept it.  Even here.  But this advice is not from me, but from people a lot smarter than me, so I think it’s worth your read.

For those considering parenthood, please accept these as blood offerings from those who have gone before you. For those who are parents, please feel free to add your own battle scars of testimony at the end.

ADVICE

  1. Before I married, I had three theories about raising children and no children. Now, I have three children and no theories. John Wilmot
  2. There’s plenty to read about keeping your sanity while raising children, but it’s all common-sense stuff about task division and taking breaks and the relentlessly repeated magic of date night with your spouse. What’s missing is some ‘tude. Jeffrey Kluger 
  3. Our need for certainty in an endeavor as uncertain as raising children makes explicit ‘how-to-parent’ strategies both seductive and dangerous. Brene Brown 
  4. Leave your pride, ego, and narcissism somewhere else. Reactions from those parts of you will reinforce your children’s most primitive fears. Henry Cloud
  5. Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories. John Wilmot
  6. If you have never been hated by your child you have never been a parent. Bette Davis
  7. If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. Abigail Van Buren
  8. A parent who has never apologized to his children is a monster. If he’s always apologizing, his children are monsters. Mignon McLaughlin, The Second Neurotic’s Notebook, 1966
  9. The guys who fear becoming fathers don’t understand that fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man. The end product of child raising is not the child but the parent. Frank Pittman, Man Enough

CONFLICT & COURAGE

  1. I am endlessly fascinated that playing football is considered a training ground for leadership, but raising children isn’t. Hey, it made me a better leader: you have to take a lot of people’s needs into account; you have to look down the road. Trying to negotiate getting a couple of kids to watch the same TV show requires serious diplomacy. Dee Dee Myers
  2. I think a man and a woman, on a whole array of issues, including raising children, have differences, and then you work them through. Teresa Heinz 
  3. No matter how calmly you try to referee, parenting will eventually produce bizarre behavior, and I’m not talking about the kids. Their behavior is always normal. Bill Cosby
  4. Perhaps it takes courage to raise children. John Steinbeck, East of Eden
  5. Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than a science. Bruno Bettelheim 
  6. 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

HUMOR

  1. 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
  2. One thing I had learned from watching chimpanzees with their infants is that having a child should be fun. Jane Goodall
  3. Sing out loud in the car even, or especially, if it embarrasses your children. Marilyn Penland
  4. Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. Red Buttons
  5. Smack your child every day. If you don’t know why – he does. Joey Adams
  6. Always end the name of your child with a vowel, so that when you yell, the name will carry. Bill Cosby
  7. If your kids are giving you a headache, follow the directions on the aspirin bottle, especially the part that says “keep away from children.” Susan Savannah

LOVE

  1. We’re not raising children with the love that we need to. Bill Cosby
  2. I think that enduring, committed love between a married couple, along with raising children, is the most noble act anyone can aspire to. It is not written about very much. Nicholas Sparks 
  3. 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, Stones from the River
  4. 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
  5. Kids spell love T-I-M-E. John Crudele
  6. 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, Fatherhood, 1986
  7. If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings. Brian Tracy
  8. Do not ask that your kids live up to your expectations. Let your kids be who they are, and your expectations will be in breathless pursuit. Robert Brault
  9. Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than a science. Bruno Bettelheim

  10. 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
  11. If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings. Brian Tracy

MODELING

  1. Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them. James Baldwin
  2. If you can control your behavior when everything around you is out of control, you can model for your children a valuable lesson in patience and understanding…and snatch an opportunity to shape character. Jane Clayson Johnson, I Am a Mother
  3. To bring up a child in the way he should go – travel that way yourself. Josh Billings
  4. Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  5. Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. Robert Fulghum
  6. It behooves a father to be blameless if he expects his child to be. Homer
  7. If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves. C.G. Jung, Integration of the Personality, 1939
  8. Children have more need of models than of critics. Carolyn Coats, Things Your Dad Always Told You But You Didn’t Want to Hear
  9. What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give. P.D. James, Time to Be in Earnest
  10. If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others. Haim Ginott
  11. Sometimes, in a moral struggle, we discover the right thing to do – just as, on some cold day long ago, we discovered mittens pinned to our coat sleeve. Robert Brault

WISDOM

  1. Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do. Benjamin Spock
  2. We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  3. Most things are good, and they are the strongest things; but there are evil things too, and you are not doing a child a favor by trying to shield him from reality. The important thing is to teach a child that good can always triumph over evil. Walt Disney
  4. Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society. Benjamin Franklin
  5. Always kiss your children goodnight – even if they’re already asleep. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
  6. Your children need your presence more than your presents. Jesse Jackson
  7. Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy. Robert A. Heinlein
  8. Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. Roger Lewin
  9. There are two lasting bequests we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings. Hodding Carter, Jr.
  10. Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children. Charles R. Swindoll, The Strong Family
  11. Whenever I held my newborn baby in my arms, I used to think that what I said and did to him could have an influence not only on him but on all whom he met, not only for a day or a month or a year, but for all eternity – a very challenging and exciting thought for a mother. Rose Kennedy
  12. What you must accept as a parent is that you cannot always be there for your child without sometimes ruining everything. Robert Brault
  13. When you teach your son, you teach your son’s son. The Talmud
  14. It is one thing to show your child the way, and a harder thing to then stand out of it. Robert Brault
  15. What’s done to children, they will do to society. Karl Menninger

Now get out from underneath your bed and go parent!

Any words of wisdom you would offer?

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