23 Inspiring Parenting Quotes to Help You Stay Motivated

And Keep Your Sense of Humor

These parenting quotes provide inspiration on difficult days.

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Although parenting is rewarding, there will undoubtedly be hard days and difficult times. Some of those especially hard times can be when your child misbehaves. Dealing with behavior problems can cause you to focus on your hardships or to forget about the joys of raising children if you're not careful. But these 23 parenting quotes can help you keep things in proper perspective when you are disciplining your child.

Quotes About Parenting

It's easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day responsibilities of parenting and forget to look at the bigger picture. The quotes in this section are intended to remind you of the "why" behind parenting. They also are sure to bring a smile to your face when things get tough.

  • “But kids don't stay with you if you do it right. It's the one job where, the better you are, the more surely you won't be needed in the long run.”—Barbara Kingsolver
  • “Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”—Robert Fulghum
  • “If we don’t shape our kids, they will be shaped by outside forces that don’t care what shape our kids are in.”—Dr. Louise Hart
  • “The reality is that most of us communicate the same way that we grew up. That communication style becomes our normal way of dealing with issues, our blueprint for communication. It’s what we know and pass on to our own children. We either become our childhood or we make a conscious choice to change it.”—Kristen Crockett
  • “Parenthood...It's about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last.”—Peter Krause
  • “Play helps build a warm relationship between family members and create a bank of positive feelings and experiences that can be drawn upon in times of conflict. Through play, you can help your children solve problems, test out ideas, and explore their imaginations.”—Carolyn Webster-Stratton

Quotes About Discipline

Disciplining a child is never easy, but sometimes it's the most loving thing you can do—provided you discipline your kids appropriately. That means implementing strategies that will have the impact you want without hurting your child in the process. Here are some quotes that will cause you to think about your approach to discipline.

  • “When a child hits a child, we call it aggression. When a child hits an adult, we call it hostility. When an adult hits an adult, we call it assault. When an adult hits a child, we call it discipline.”—Haim G. Ginott
  • “If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.”—Bette Davis
  • “We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing. Consequences give us the pain that motivates us to change.”—Henry Cloud
  • "Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first, we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?”—Jane Nelson
  • “Sometimes, kids want you to hurt the way they hurt.”—Mitch Albom
  • “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

Quotes About Unconditional Love

Perhaps the greatest gift you could give your child is unconditional love. Check out these quotes for inspiration on how to love your kids completely and unconditionally.

  • “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: He believed in me.”—Jim Valvano
  • “Children need love, especially when they do not deserve it.”—Harold Hulburt
  • "I may not be able to give my kids everything they want, but I give them what they need: love, time, and attention. You can't buy those things.”—Nishan Panwar
  • “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.”—Eileen Kennedy-Moore
  • "A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to."—Robert Brault
  • “Encourage and support your kids, because children are apt to live up to what you believe of them.”—Lady Bird Johnson
  • "As your kids grow up, they may forget what you said, but they won't forget how you made them feel."—Kevin Heath

Quotes to Lighten the Mood

There's no doubt about it, parenting is hard. But letting it weigh you down is never a healthy choice. Instead, look for ways to lighten the mood and laugh. Research shows that laughter can relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and can even make it easier to sleep. Here are a few quotes to help you lighten the mood when parenting responsibilities are weighing you down.

  • “Having children is like living in a frat house: nobody sleeps, everything is broken, and there's a lot of throwing up.”—Ray Romano
  • “Anybody out there who is a parent, if your kids want to paint their bedrooms, as a favor to me, let them do it. It'll be OK.”—Randy Pausch
  • “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.”—Gretchen Rubin

A Word From Verywell

When there's a quote that speaks to your values or reminds you of how you want to parent, it can be a good idea to keep it handy. Print it out and hang it on the fridge, store it on your smartphone, or write it on your calendar.

Looking at a quote that reminds you of the bigger picture can help you manage your emotions on a bad day or during a trying time. And that could be key to helping you be the best parent you can.

1 Source
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Hayashi K, Kawachi I, Ohira T, Kondo K, Shirai K, Kondo N. Laughter is the best medicine? A cross-sectional study of cardiovascular disease among older Japanese adultsJ Epidemiol. 2016;26(10):546-552. doi:10.2188/jea.JE20150196

By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is the Editor-in-Chief of Verywell Mind. She's also a psychotherapist, an international bestselling author of books on mental strength and host of The Verywell Mind Podcast. She delivered one of the most popular TEDx talks of all time.