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50 Parenting Quotes that Make You Feel Seen

Parenting quotes take all your feelings about being a parent and phrase them in such a way that you’d want to share them on social media to help other parents. These quotes guide us, make us laugh, move us to tears, inspire and motivate us, and give us difficult concepts to think about.

One quote that’s left an impact on me says, “Parents need to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.”

That’s what parenting quotes do for parents: they prepare us for the journey. Because it’s a difficult one. But also a most rewarding one; that is, if we, guided by these quotes, persist in dealing with the temporary ugliness along with the magnificent beauty of this path.

Indeed, there is much to say about parenting. Let us help you choose the right words.

Inspiring parenting quotes

Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

– Rumi

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.

“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

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.

“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

It is one thing to show your child the way, and a harder thing to then stand out. ofit.

“It is one thing to show your child the way, and a harder thing to then stand out of it.”

– Robert Breault

Your kids require you, most o all, to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.

“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

By loving them for more than their abilities, we show our children that they are much more than the sum of their accomplishments.

“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

Children need the security of knowing that someone more experienced and knowledgeable is looking out for them.

“Children need the security of knowing that someone more experienced and knowledgeable is looking out for them.”

– Dr. Laura Markham

If your child is argumentative, congratulate yourself that they feel safe enough to share their views openly and passionately with you.

“If your child is argumentative, congratulate yourself that they feel safe enough to share their views openly and passionately with you.”

– Dr. Lucy Russell

There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.

“There is no such thing as a perfect parent. So just be a real one.”

– Sue Atkins

There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.

“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other, wings.”

– Hodding Carter

Single mothers have superpowers

Hollywood is chock full of films and TV shows centering around single moms. If you watch even some of them, you’d notice that all the single mothers in these series and movies share one characteristic: inner strength.

It’s a phenomenon that needs to be focused on more. A study on the impact of single parenting on children’s development concludes that too few studies delve on the positive effects on children of a single-parent (often single-mom) household. That’s a shame. Because the paper lists quite an impressive lineup of impressive outcomes: “Higher resilience, greater sense of responsibility, better emotional regulation, better problem-solving skills, and [involvement] in decision-making of the family.”

If you are a single mom, know that you are a hero in the eyes and hearts of many. (Just don’t forget to look after yourself, too, yes?) The following parenting quotes are especially for you, superwoman.

Single mom quotes that celebrate you

The best gift a parent can give children is time. Single moms need to know it's okay to have a little 'me' time. - Denise Richards

“The best gift a parent can give children is time. Single moms need to know it’s okay to have a little ‘me’ time.”

– Denise Richards

For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn't know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn't know existed. - Halle Berry

“For me, motherhood is learning about the strengths I didn’t know I had, and dealing with the fears I didn’t know existed.”

– Halle Berry

What is free time? I'm a single mother. My free moments are filled with loving my little girl. - Roma Downey

“What is free time? I’m a single mother. My free moments are filled with loving my little girl.”

– Roma Downey

I want to show the example that you can be a single mother and work and handle a lot of other things at the same time. - Christina Millan

“I want to show the example that you can be a single mother and work and handle a lot of other things at the same time.”

– Christina Millan

You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don't. - Katie Holmes

“You do the best you can. Some days you feel really good about yourself and some days you don’t.”

– Katie Holmes

You make it work. You keep getting out of bed. Sometimes it's just because you know there's a cup of coffee downstairs. - Michelle Williams

“You make it work. You keep getting out of bed. Sometimes it’s just because you know there’s a cup of coffee downstairs.”

– Michelle Williams

Being a single parent is not a life full of struggles, but a journey for the strong. - Meg Lowrey

“Being a single parent is not a life full of struggles, but a journey for the strong.”

– Meg Lowrey

Being a working mother and a working single parent instills in you a sense of determination. - Felicity Jones

“Being a working mother and a working single parent instills in you a sense of determination.”

– Felicity Jones

Just because my plan A didn't work out didn't mean plan B couldn't be really kickass. In fact, who was to tell me that my life as a single mother couldn't be completely wonderful? - Emma Johnson

“Just because my plan A didn’t work out didn’t mean plan B couldn’t be really kickass. In fact, who was to tell me that my life as a single mother couldn’t be completely wonderful?”

– Emma Johnson

In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life. – Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard

“In the end, I am the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life.”

– Janene Wolsey Baadsgaard

A sense of humor is vital

“It’s time!” I shouted to my husband from the couch as I went into labor with our eldest, shocked by the intensity of the first contraction.

“Okay! Be right there,” he shouted back from the kitchen, quickly disappearing into our room. Probably to get our things, I thought. Fifteen minutes and another contraction later, I found my husband elbow-deep in yellow rubber gloves and giving our tub an intense cleaning.

Hours away from becoming a father, he had panicked. And, in his panic, thought it was the opportune time to clean our bathroom.

“We couldn’t take the baby home to a house with a dirty bathroom,” he told me defensively days later, as we gave our daughter her first home bath in an antiseptic bathroom.

And so our daughter’s birthday has also always been known in our family as bathroom-cleaning day.

Parenting is filled with hilarious incidents like this. I believe the universe makes them happen (colorfully described in the parenting quotes below) just to force us, parents, to stop taking everything so seriously. Once in a while, it’s also good to just laugh in the midst of all the chaos.

Funny quotes about parenting

First babies have the often-unenviable task of turning people into parents.

“First babies have the often-unenviable task of turning people into parents.”

– Penelope Leach

I don't know what's more exhausting about parenting: the getting up early, or acting like you know what you're doing.

“I don’t know what’s more exhausting about parenting: the getting up early, or acting like you know what you’re doing.”

– Jim Gaffigan

Having children is like living in a frat house: nobody sleeps, everything is broken, and there's a lot of throwing up.

“Having children is like living in a frat house: nobody sleeps, everything is broken, and there’s a lot of throwing up.”

– Ray Romano

Why don't kids understand that their nap is not for them but for us?

“Why don’t kids understand that their nap is not for them but for us?”

– Alyson Hannigan

A baby changes your dinner party conversation from politics to poops.

“A baby changes your dinner party conversation from politics to poops.”

– Maurice Johnston

When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they're finished, I climb out.

“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice, safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.”

– Erma Bombeck

Having one child makes you a parent. Having two kids makes you a referee.

“Having one child makes you a parent. Having two kids makes you a referee.”

– David Frost

Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare.

“Raising kids is part joy and part guerilla warfare.”

– Ed Asner

You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.”

– Franklin P Adams

Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now I have six children and no theories.

“Before I got married, I had six theories about raising children; now, I have six children and no theories.”

– John Wilmot

Teenagers: it’s complicated

It’s a shame that teenagers are often described as difficult and obnoxious. Because many times, they can be the sweetest, funniest, and most passionate individuals you could ever meet. You just need to look way beyond the angst. And the sudden sullen silences. And the death glares.

Teens are works in progress, and their default settings seem fixed at “complicated.” They are young ones who are navigating new experiences and unfamiliar emotions. At the same time, we, their parents, are figuring out how to guide them through this bumpy ride.

On many days, all our efforts might culminate in doors slammed in our faces. But at other times, as we try to form a connection with our teens, we’re rewarded with earnest conversations and honesty.

That’s actually the trick with raising teenagers: making consistent attempts to bond with them. Another trick? Just love them unconditionally.

The following parenting quotes reflect the rich—often contradictory—experiences parents have in raising teenagers.

Quotes about parents of teenagers

When your children are teenagers, it's important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.

“When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.”

– Nora Ephron

Parenting teenagers is an exercise in letting go, while holding on with all your heart.

“Parenting teenagers is an exercise in letting go, while holding on with all your heart.”

– Michelle Cruz-Rosado

As kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go; it's about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.

“As kids reach adolescence, they need more than ever for us to watch over them. Adolescence is not about letting go; it’s about hanging on during a very bumpy ride.”

– Ron Taffel

The best way to parent a teenager is by being a good listener before being a good advisor.

“The best way to parent a teenager is by being a good listener before being a good advisor.”

–Rachel Simmons

Another parenting quote: When you approach your teenager with curiosity and empathy, you open the doors of connection.

“When you approach your teenager with curiosity and empathy, you open the doors of connection.”

– Laura Kastner

The toddler must say no in order to find out who she is. The adolescent says no to assert who she is not.

“The toddler must say no in order to find out who she is. The adolescent says no to assert who she is not.”

– Louise J. Kaplan

The question isn't so much 'Are you parenting the right way?' as it is 'Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?'

“The question isn’t so much ‘Are you parenting the right way?’ as it is ‘Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?'”

– Brené Brown

Letting go of your kids is not just them physically moving away from you. It's letting go of the control of their choices.

“Letting go of your kids is not just them physically moving away from you. It’s letting go of the control of their choices.”

– Whitney Fleming

The goal of disciplining a child is obedience. The goal of disciplining a teenager is responsibility.

“The goal of disciplining a child is obedience. The goal of disciplining a teenager is responsibility.”

– Kenneth Wilgus

You need to be your teens' frontal lobes until their brains are fully wired and hooked up and ready to go on their own.

“You need to be your teens’ frontal lobes until their brains are fully wired and hooked up and ready to go on their own.”

– Dr. Frances Jensen

Honest parenting

When my daughter was in kindergarten, she had a classmate whose mother subscribed to the tenets of toxic positivity. At the playground, the mom would constantly remind her son, “What do we do with girls? We respect and protect.” (I did agree with that sentiment; except she kept saying it like a chant, almost as if she was trying to brainwash her son.)

If he tripped and skinned a knee, his mom would quickly say, “There’s no pain. Your body’s healing right now.” When her son got into an argument with my daughter about whose turn it was on the swings, the mom immediately intervened with, “Okay, it’s time to make up. Stop arguing.” (I would have eventually stepped in, too, had the argument escalated physically. But I wanted to wait so that our kids could learn how to resolve their argument themselves. That would have been a wonderful lesson on resilience.)

The impact of toxic positivity on children can stretch to adulthood. “Invalidated emotions, stunted emotional development, strained parent-child relationship, and unrealistic expectations,” are just some of the negative effects on kids.

That’s why it’s important for parents to be honest with themselves and their kids. It’s crucial for kids to experience unpleasant emotions, too, so they learn how to deal with these.

In the same way, moms and dads need to face parenting head-on, with all its ugly scars. Because underneath these pockmarks and vestiges of old wounds are rich, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. We don’t want them shrouded under a veil of misplaced positivity.

Parenting quotes that tell the truth

Parenthood...it's about guiding the next generation and forgiving the last.

“Parenthood…it’s about guiding the next generation and forgiving the last.”

– Peter Krause

Children do not need us to shape them. They need us to respond to who they are.

“Children do not need us to shape them. They need us to respond to who they are.”

– Naomi Aldort

If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.

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

– Bette Davis

If I had to make a general rule for living and working with children, it might be this: be wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult whose good opinion and affection you valued.

“If I had to make a general rule for living and working with children, it might be this: Be wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult whose good opinion and affection you valued.”

– John Holt

Sometimes, kids want you to hurt the way they hurt.

“Sometimes, kids want you to hurt the way they hurt.”

– Mitch Albom

A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to.

“A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to.”

– Robert Brault

As your kids grow up, they may forget what you said, but they won't forget how you made them feel.

“As your kids grow up, they may forget what you said, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.”

– Kevin Heath

You will always be your child's favorite toy.

“You will always be your child’s favorite toy.”

– Vicki Lansky

49th of our parenting quotes: When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it's our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.

“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.”

– L.R. Knost

50th of our parenting quotes: It is not what you. dofor your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.

“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

How do you apply the wisdom of parenting quotes?

It’s simple: take what resonates with you and your kids and let the words help inform your decisions. These quotes for parents aren’t spells that magically solve your parenting dilemmas. Yes, post them on social media; print them out and prop them up on your bedside table. But most importantly, learn from them. Use their ideas to change some unhealthy parenting habits you’ve picked up. Only then will parenting quotes actually help.

Got any that you’d like to share with us? We’d love to add your parenting quotes to our collection!

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