50 Lessons in Parenting Young Kids



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

2. Neither do Sharpies.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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  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. ;)

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    • 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.

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  2. 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?

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  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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    • 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

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    • 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.

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  5. 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.

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