9 Get-Real Quotes for Unsentimental Parents

Adriana Velez | Nov 20, 2013 Being a Mom

parenting quotes"Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories," said John Wilmot, 17th-century English poet and Earl of Rochester. You can take your syrupy, saccharine, super-sweet quotes about parenting. Or those quotes that make parents sound like saints. Or quotes that make parenting sound like the noblest enterprise you'll ever fail at. Me, I prefer parenting quotes that get real, that surprise you with their honesty. So here are 9 of my favorite parenting quotes. Can you relate to any of these?

  • Quotes from Parents That Tell It Like It Is


    Disclaimer: None of the following should be construed as endorsed parenting advice. We're just saying.

  • Suffering Is Good for Kids


    Philip Dean/Flickr

    "Mom always said people worried too much about their children. Suffering when you're young is good for you, she said. It immunized your body and your soul, and that was why she ignored us kids when we cried. Fussing over children who cry only encouraged them, she told us. That's positive reinforcement for negative behavior.” Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

  • Kids Don't Listen, But ...


    “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” James Baldwin

  • Don't Shield Your Kids


    Capture Queen/Flickr

    “Children are people, and they should have to reach to learn about things, to understand things, just as adults have to reach if they want to grow in mental stature. Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows. 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 Company

  • Bizarre Behavior


    “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

  • Don't Say No


    “Say 'no' only when it really matters. Wear a bright red shirt with bright orange shorts? Sure. Put water in the toy tea set? Okay. Sleep with your head at the foot of the bed? Fine. Samuel Johnson said, 'All severity that does not tend to increase good, or prevent evil, is idle.'” Gretchen Rubin

  • Hated by Your Child


    Rolands Lakis/Flickr

    “If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.” Bette Davis

  • It's Not a Choice


    Amelia Wells/Flickr

    “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

  • Role Models



    “If your kid needs a role model and you ain't it, you're both f***ed.” George Carlin, Brain Droppings

  • Making You Cry


    “While I was drying off Maddie after her bath tonight, she said, 'I love you' to me for the first time. It sounded like 'All lub boo,' but I didn't care. To reciprocate, I showed her what an ex-Marine looks like when he cries.” Jim Beaver, Life's That Way: A Memoir

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