50 Lessons in Parenting Young Kids



1. Super glue has no place in a house with young children.

2. Neither do Sharpie’s.

3. There is no such thing as allowing your kid to play with your phone “just once.”

4. Don’t use Google to diagnose illnesses. Ever.

5. Dollar store toys cost far more than a dollar in frustration, anguish and regret.

6. The terrible twos are bullshit. The terribleness lasts through at least age four. Or, forever.

7. Always carry wipes, long after diaper wearing has ended.

8. Resist purchasing character Bandaids, unless you’re prepared to buy a box a week.

9. You can never have too many Goldfish. The crackers, not the live ones.

10. Don’t buy bunk beds, unless you have absolutely no choice.

11. Keep track of who gave what at birthday parties.

12. Never stock batteries in your house, or you will be forced to make obnoxiously loud toys work once again.

13. Buy Mr. Clean Erasers in bulk.

14. Backup all photos. Better yet, print them.

15. Look in the oven before you turn it on.

16. There is no point in making beds.

17. Accept the fact that you will turn into your mother.

18. Always check pockets before washing clothes.

19. There is no such thing as “running” into Target with children.

20. Take more video.

21. Daily baths are overrated.

22. Find young babysitters and groom them. The less attractive, the better.

23. Always have ample one dollar bills on hand for lost teeth and bribery.

24. Carry plenty of emergency snacks in the car.

25. Keep expensive cosmetics out of arm’s reach. Arm’s reach, on a stool and tippy toes.

26. The four year old check-up is brutal.

27. Look before you sit down to pee.

28. Train your children to clean up all Lego’s before bed, knowing that nothing is more painful than stepping on a Lego with a bare foot at midnight.

29. Save “no” for when it really matters.

30. Over-apply sunscreen.

31. Practice caution when approaching that stray raisin on the floor. It’s probably not a raisin.

32. Never pay full price for kids clothes. They always go on sale and the expensive ones inevitably get ruined first.

33. There’s a reason why people surprise their kids with trips to Disney: Their anticipation may kill you.

34. Don’t take their word for it when children say they don’t need to pee before leaving the house.

35. Lock your bedroom door.

36. And, your bathroom one.

37. Never open a can of soda handed to you by a child.

38. Walk away from temper tantrums. Or, record them for future enjoyment.

39. Upset as you may be, hair grows back.

40. But, not on Barbie dolls, so hide the scissors.

41. Never buy more than two pairs of shoes at once. Their feet will inevitably grow once you do.

42. No matter how hard they promise, kids will never walk that puppy as much as you hoped.

43. Give away the books you can’t stand reading.

44. No child went to college with a pacifier.

45. Don’t buy any toy that is meant to come apart, unless they can put it back together themselves.

46. Keep a well-hidden stock of lollipops.

47. Don’t allow Play-Doh on carpets. Or, indoors, for that matter.

48. TV won’t really turn their brains to mush.

49. A bathroom in a house with boys will never smell clean.

50. It doesn’t get easier.


  1. 1

    Shell says

    I have learned many of these the hard way!

    Especially the super glue one. I still have nightmare flashbacks of two of my boys superglue-ing themselves so they had a second skin of glue… and getting it all over our brand new couch.

    Super glue removal tip: olive oil. ;)

  2. 4

    Athena says

    Love-love-love-love-LOVE! (Thanks for the bunk bed advice, I guess the same would go for a loft bed, which we were considering.)

    • 5

      Kelley says

      Nooooo, Don’t do the loft bed. Its impossible to make the bed or change the sheets easily. We got my daugheter one. It also ends the crawling into bed with her to snuggle and read a story.
      I was never so happy as the day I gave it away.

  3. 6

    Kimberly says

    This list contains far more valuable information than anything I got out of the What to Expect When You’re Expecting/The First Year/The Toddler Years.

    And why don’t they have a What to Expect: The Teenage Years from Hell?

    • 7

      Kelly says

      EXACTLY! No book could possibly prepare you for your precious children turning into demons from hell.

  4. 8

    Alison@Mama Wants This says


    I’d like to add – don’t buy the toy your child LOVES so much at the store, he just had to walk around with it. As soon as he gets home with it, he’ll abandon it.

  5. 9

    ChristyJ says

    I really needed the Sharpie one many years ago, glad to know I had a lot of it right though. They did forget to put away the razors, kids want to shave too.

    • 10

      Lenore Barron says

      Yup! That one too my youngest shaved a bald spot on top of his head the day before we were to leave on vac.. Thank goodness hes a boy so can you say buzz cut…lol

    • 11

      Jodi says

      Just so everyone knows, rubbing alcohol will take Sharpie off skin. You might have to fight with them to get them to sit still long enough depending on how bad the Sharpie incident is but you can get it off.

    • 12

      Jenni says

      My daughter shaved the bottom corner of her lip off. I was sure the ER was gonna turn me into child services that day.

  6. 13

    CJ says

    Hahahaha, these are great and sooooo true! My kids are 7, 6, 4 and 1 and I know many of these all too well.

  7. 14

    Momma*MK says

    Next, post the 50 rules that come with school-age kids, like homework/teacher/classmate drama that happens EVERY DAY. This only carries us through year 5 or so, provided we survive.

  8. 15

    Carolyn says

    I nodded my head at EVERY SINGLE ONE! :)
    I’d also add, don’t mention a playdate/surprise/treat for after nap because there will be no nap.

    • 17

      Lenore Barron says

      Lol with my boys it was check the oven, toaster, microwave, washer , dryer well hell ckeck everything … lol

      • 18

        Mamma bear Alicia says

        Hahahahahaha!!!!!!!!! Thanks for the laugh! I haven’t laugh this hard in a while!!!

    • 19

      Robyn says

      I had to laugh at it because it’s true! I had to replace my oven after it caught on fire because my daughter had put plastic stuff in it!

    • 20

      Ashley says

      I learned this the hard way! I went to preheat the oven and after 2 min black smoke was coming out. I guess my son thought it would be funny to dump a whole bag of marshmellows in the bottom of the oven. Took me a week to scrub all that mellow off :(

  9. 26

    RachRiot says

    Great list. I was thinking of starting a website where parents can upload the video their child’s meltdowns and we can all vote on the best one. Epic Meltdown Of The Day will win a prize– maybe a spa day. Runner-up will get earplugs and Advil. Genius, right??

  10. 29

    Carolyn West says

    Can I please add that a bathroom with a house full of girls doesn’t smell any better? Or get any cleaner?

  11. 32

    Jessica says

    I have learned so many of these the hard way, permanent markers, make up, Barbie hair and oh the smell of the bathroom with boys. Ugh.

  12. 34

    Nicole says

    Love this! Wish I always remembered to check their pockets before washing…. I will always have blue crayon in my dryer….

  13. 35

    Jennifer says

    Always keep wipes, BUT do NOT store them in the back seat pocket where your kids sit for your YOUR ease of use. That also means they can reach them and you will open the door to get them out of the car to find a wipes explosion.

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