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25 Invaluable Lessons Parents Learned On The Job

You won't read about this stuff in the books.

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The parents of Reddit recently shared the most important lessons they've learned "on the job" raising kids:

1. "The days are long but the years fly by."

— JayBohl
Matt MacMillan / Caters

JayBohl

2. "Just show up, and be there. It will mean so much more than you realize."

— Angeeclectic
ABC

3. "Kids will test, and test, and test you to see how much they can get away with."

Paramount

Edog

4. "I never understood how much stress I put my parents under until I had a little girl!"

Paramount

5. "Kids are weird. They do weird things. Sometimes they stop being weird, sometimes they don't."

— Misanthropologist
Tatyana Chernyak / Getty Images

6. "Do what works for you, until it stops working. Then do something else."

Dreamworks/Paramount

Insidia

7. "Sometimes you have to admit that you were in the wrong or acted irrationally, and you will have to fess this up to your kid and apologize."

8. "Your ability to refrain from giving your kid two cookies instead of one can be easily compromised by a hug. It's the little hands on the back of your neck."

— CompMolNeuro
Comstock / Getty Images

9. "You can be in paradise, but if your kids are not happy, you will not enjoy it. Happy kids in a crappy place beats cranky kids in an awesome place."

— Mountainkid
Flickr: owlhere / Via Creative Commons

10. "If vomit or poop grosses you out... get over it."

Fox

11. "You will be so tired sometimes that you won't even think about taking a shower."

Universal

marchmay

12. "Kids don't listen to what you tell them anywhere near as much as they listen to what you show them."

— Thompson_S_Sweetback
Pojoslaw / Getty Images

13. "Your kids are going to be who they are and not who you imagined them to be. From a young age. Let it happen and don't fight it. Encourage it."

— BadParentingAdvice
Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images

14. "When my son starts behaving in a new and difficult way, I do my best to figure out what's motivating it rather than try to fix it."

NBC

15. "If you're asking yourself whether doing something makes you a bad parent, you're already ahead of the game. Bad parents don't ask themselves questions like that."

— Rbaltimore
Flickr: southpaw2305 / Via Creative Commons

16. "Try not to judge other parents. You never know what they're struggling with."

Fox

Sabreens

17. "At some point you will be that parent you judged before you had kids and it is okay."

— Kidsarecuterthancats
Flickr: rishabh_m / Via Creative Commons

18. "You will get sick... a lot."

NBC

DaveHK

19. "Never miss an opportunity to look your kid in the eye and tell them you love them, how proud you are of them, and how much joy they bring into your life. They may not be there tomorrow."

— Dermzzz
Flickr: mynameisharsha / Via Creative Commons

Dermzzz

20. "Anger never makes things better. But man, sometimes it is so damn hard to keep calm."

21. "Being calm and loving to your kid when they are freaking out is vastly more helpful than meeting their anger with more anger."

— VitaminPink
Sze Fei Wong / Getty Images

22. "Praise your kids more for something they worked hard at than something they're naturally good at."

— twentythree-nineteen
Flickr: strupler / Via Creative Commons

23. "When it comes to discipline, whatever method you choose, you must follow through or your credibility will be ruined."

— ctcook
Comstock / Getty Images

ctcook

24. "Your child is different from every other child — this means that what works for you will not always work for someone else and vice-versa."

— justme753
Flickr: gracewong / Via Creative Commons

justme753

25. "Be flexible in all things. Kids don't care about your idealistic visions of parenthood. They just want to be fed, held, entertained, and loved."

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