50 Favorite Parenting Quotes

Here are a few of my favorite parenting quotes I’ve collected over the years. Have any more to add? Share them with us in the comments box below.

1. “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.” – Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

2. “Set your compass in a chosen direction and then focus your attention and efforts completely on the journey of preparation.” – John Wooden, Wooden

3. “A baby is born with the need to be loved, and never outgrows it.” – Frank Clark

4. “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass

5. “Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.” – Dalai Lama

6. “Every word, facial expression, gesture, or action on the part of a parent gives the child some message about self-worth. It is sad that so many parents don’t realize what messages they are sending. – Virginia Satir

7. “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

8. “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

9. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

10. “Small actions, repeated over time, transform us.” – Daniel Coyle, The Little Book of Talent

11. “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane Hull

12. “Call them rules or call them limits, good ones, I believe, have this in common: they serve reasonable purposes; they are practical and within a child’s capability; they are consistent; and they are an expression of loving concern.”- Fred Rogers

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

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

15. “If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.” – Brian Tracy

16. “Everything depends on upbringing.” – Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

17. “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” – Tao Te Ching

18. “Focus on the process instead of the prize.” – John Wooden, Wooden on Leadership

19. “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” – Bruce Lee

20. “Course correcting is part of the journey.” – Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

21. We may not be able to prepare the future for our children, but we can at least prepare our children for the future. – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

22. “Discipline is helping a child solve a problem. Punishment is making a child suffer for having a problem. To raise problem solvers, focus on solutions, not retribution.” – L.R. Knost

23. “The way we talk to children becomes their inner voice.” – Peggy O’Mara

24. “Each small task over everyday life is part of the total harmony of the universe.” – Saint Teresa of Lisieux.

25. “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” – John Wooden, Wooden

26. “I think of discipline as the continual process of helping child learn self-discipline.” – Fred Rogers

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

28. “When your child is at his worst, that’s when he needs you the most. – Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, No Drama Discipline

29. “Live so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

30. “Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation.” – Robert A. Heinlein, Have Space Suit—Will Travel

31. “…the love, respect, and confidence of my children was the sweetest reward I could receive for my efforts to be the woman I would have them copy.” – Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

32. “Be who you needed when you were younger.” – Anonymous

33. “The more the family has a collective sense of self-awareness, the more it can look in on itself and improve itself: make changes, select goals, and set up structures and other plans to achieve goals.” – Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

34. To do carefully and constantly and kindly many little things is not a little thing. – Stephen Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families

35. Don’t look for the big, quick improvement. Seek the small improvement one day at a time. That’s the only way it happens, and when it happens, it lasts. – Daniel Coyle, The Little Book of Talent

36. “Love is in the details” – Anonymous

37. “Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.” – David Bly

38. Trust is created one action at a time. – Anonymous

39. “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.” – John Wooden, Wooden on Leadership

40. “A destination is meaningless without directions on how to get there.” – John Wooden

41. “When a child experiences a positive relationship with an emotionally responsive adult, they then bring positive expectations to future relationships with others.” – Burt Powell and Glen Cooper, The Circle of Security Intervention

42. “Never cease trying to be the best you can become.” – Joshua Wooden (John Wooden’s father)

43. “Making the empathic shift and tuning into your kids’ internal world with care and interest, can change the child’s whole trajectory for the positive.” – Burt Powell and Glen Cooper, The Circle of Security Intervention

44. “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

45. “There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” – Anne Lamott, Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year

46. “Effort is the ultimate measure of your success.” – John Wooden

47. “To bring up a child in the way he should go – travel that way yourself.” – Josh Billings

48. “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano

49. “Before you can lead others, you must be able to lead yourself.” – John Wooden

50. “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy – I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.” – Art Williams