8 Universal Laws of Parenting That Are More Reliable Than Gravity

messy toddler snackiStock.com/Lisa5201

I'm not a science whiz, but I do know that certain laws of nature are set in stone. What goes up must come down. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. As temperature approaches absolute zero, the entropy of a system approaches a constant minimum. (Okay, I got that one off the Internet.) 


After a few years in the parenting business, I'm also seeing some irrefutable laws of kiddie nature revealing themselves in this petri dish of family life. (I haven't sought formal approval of these theories from the guys in the white coats, but if you've got kids, I'm betting you can back me up.)  

Law #1:

In the event that a mother should answer a ringing cell phone, an otherwise happily occupied child will be beset by the most urgent calamity -- usually dire thirst, an inability to locate a missing Polly Pocket shoe, or an outburst of violence against a previously contented sibling.

More from CafeMom: I'm Going to Tell You the Exhausting Truth About Raising Two Kids Under 2

When such needs are ignored, the volume of the child's request will increase until a response of equal or increased volume is returned (while one hand muffles the receiver) or until the child is redirected to an illuminated screen.

Law #2:

The natural resting state for a child's sippy cup in a mother's purse is upside down and dripping.

Law #3:

Male children are incapable of following the direction of a pointing finger. When a male child is directed toward a missing item of interest (usually located within a 12-inch radius), he will look in all other possible directions (primarily skyward). The parent is then forced to enter the child's circumference, retrieve the desired item, and dangle it in front of the child before the object is discovered to loud exclamations of, "I found it!"

binoculars grass
iStock.com/Maartje van Caspel

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Law #4:

The sight of a plate of food arriving piping hot from a restaurant kitchen is a psychological prompt for one or more young children to urgently require bathroom assistance.

Law #5:

A child who is spreading happiness by giggling and skipping through the living room will invariably make unhappy contact with a protruding coffee table corner.

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Law #6:

When a parent expresses interest in viewing an adult television program (e.g., the nightly news), a child will immediately begin emitting a loud and nonsensical barrage of words, knock-knock jokes, or songs of his/her own composition until the program pauses for commercial. Immediately, said child will lapse into a trance-like state and exhibit symptoms of hypnosis at the sight of two old ladies doing tai chi in a public park. Once adult programming has resumed, the utterance of phrases such as Gaza Strip or Dow Jones will revive the entranced child and reignite vigorous chatter.

Law #7:

The aforementioned laws are inherent in the untamed mess of life with kids.

toddler mess

Law #8:

While it may go against all scientific reason, logic, and good sense, we can't help it: We love them to the nth degree anyway.



Excerpted with permission from Tales from the Crib: Adventures of an Over-Sharing, Stressed-Out, Modern-Day Mom by DeeDee Filiatreault (Skyhorse Publishing, 2016).

Courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing

DeeDee Filiatreault began writing a humor column about the misadventures of family life for her local newspaper in Shoreline Connecticut in 2007 and now for her blog, www.TalesFromTheCribBlog.com. She has spent her adult life writing words for lots of different entities, including a New England art museum, a Southern mega-church, a political campaign or two, and former South Carolina Governor David Beasley as his chief speechwriter. A transplant from the Carolinas, she now lives in Connecticut with her husband, two children, a cat, a fish, a rabbit, and an odd little mutt that never stops staring at her.

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