There are days when it can be incredibly frustrating to be a parent. The reality is that when your child is throwing a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store, you don’t get the same warm fuzzy feeling as when they sweetly look up at you and tell you that they love you. It’s an often thankless job that will regularly test your patience and resolve.
It’s also the most rewarding job in the world. Lest we forget that, here are 25 of our favorite inspirational parenting quotes - along with a brief note explaining why we love them.
Leading by Example
“We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching.”
- Roy L. Smith
“Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.”
- H. Jackson Brown
“My father didn’t tell me how to live, he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
- Clarence Budinton Kelland
“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
- Robert Fulghum
“To bring up a child in the way he should go, travel that way yourself once in a while.”
- Josh Billings
Love these quotes because: They are great reminders that we need to lead by example. Live a life your child can aspire to.
The Importance of Spending Time with Our Kids
“To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today”
“The best inheritance a parent can give his children is a few minutes of his time each day.”
- O. A. Battista
“Kids spell love T-I-M-E.” – John Crudele
Love these quotes because: They remind us what our children REALLY need. It’s easy to get caught up in the superficial aspects of parenting — wanting to buy the latest and greatest for your children, putting them in all the right activities, etc. While those things are all nice, they can’t replace the relationship that is built by spending time with your kids. They know you care because you are there.
“If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.”
- Abigail Van Buren
“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.”
-Robert A. Heinlein
“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.”
- Roger Lewin
“It is one thing to show your child the way, and a harder thing to then stand out of it.”
- Robert Brault
Love these quotes because: They keep us from falling into the trap of doing too much for our children. Oddly enough, I find this set of quotes to be more inspiring than some of their more flowery counterparts, largely because these quotes inspire me to have faith in my children — faith that they can overcome the challenges that they will face, and faith that they will make right choices on their own.
Affirmation and Love
“Affirming words from moms and dads are like light switches. Speak a word of affirmation at the right moment in a child’s life and it’s like lighting up a whole roomful of possibilities.”
- Gary Smalley
“What a child doesn’t receive he can seldom later give.”
- P.D. James
“If you want your children to improve, let them overhear the nice things you say about them to others.”
- Haim Ginott
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible — the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”
- Virginia Satir
“That best portion of a good man’s life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love.”
- William Wordsworth
“Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry.”
- Alvin Price
Love these quotes because: They are reminders of the importance of showing our children love. These affirmation related quotes always pop into my mind when I’m disciplining my children. Have I been praising what they do right enough, rather than harping on what they’ve done wrong? Am I encouraging the growth of their character? These quotes clearly have application in other areas, but they’re great reminders to engage in positive discipline.
Our Responsibility as Parents
“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
“Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation.”
- C. Everett Koop
“The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven’s lieutenants.”
Love these quotes because: They remind us of the massive responsibility we have as parents but also encourage our continually improvement. While we may possess a parenting instinct, none of us are perfect parents. The key is to accept the responsibility and seek opportunities to become better parents to our children.
The Joy of Parenting
“You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around – and why his parents will always wave back.”
- William D. Tammeus
“If I had my child to raise all over again, I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later. I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less. I would do less correcting and more connecting. I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes. I’d take more hikes and fly more kites. I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play. I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars. I’d do more hugging and less tugging.“
- Diane Loomans
Love these quotes because: They remind us to enjoy our children. Sure, we want to raise them right and teach them well, but there’s so much more to parenting than that. Don’t let the “job” of parenting overtake the joy of parenting.
The Reward of Parenting
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”
- John Bowring
“Lucky parents who have fine children usually have lucky children who have fine parents.”
- James A. Brewer
Love these quotes because: These quotes are affirming to the parent. When we see something good in our children, it’s a reminder that we’ve done well in raising our children. The joy that we feel when we see our children do well, when we have love and happiness at home — that’s what it’s all about, and surely that’s a bit of heaven on Earth.