Skip to Content

50 gifts of parenting wisdom from our clever readers

50 gifts of parenting wisdom from our clever readers

Forget the jewels, that new book and even the Thermo mixer – we know what mums really want for Christmas this year. So, we put the call out in some of the groups we are in: if you could give another mother Christmas gifts of parenting wisdom, what would you tell her?

Mums came through with the true pearls, gold and diamonds of gifting this year. We hope you find some light for next year in their words. Share it with a friend who’s in the trenches.

50 gifts of parenting wisdom

1. Just never go in the bedrooms, ever. – Claire, kids 8 and 11

2. Have a set ‘clock off’ time each night where you can say to the kids, ‘Mum is off-duty’ and then feel free to ignore them until morning. They will be fine and you will be even finer. – Addy, kids 5, 9, 11 and 16

3. You are enough.Shirley, kids 10 and 12

4. Steal them away for an adventure day in the last week of Term. They’ll love you for it. – Terrie, kids 14 and 12

5. Trust you are their perfect parent even if you feel like all other parents are doing better than you. – Tessa, kids 11 and 12

6. When people offer to help you, take them up on it! Through accepting and then in turn offering help I’ve built myself a ‘village’. – Megan, kids 2 and 5

7. Listen! Even when it’s the most boring detailed story about a YouTuber. Because when you engage about the little things they feel safe to discuss the big things. – Lizzy, kids 15 and 10

8. Don’t give a hoot how you look in photos! Be in photos with your kids. Record those special moments. When you’re gone, photos will be precious. – Alicia, kids 14, 18 and 25

9. Hang on tight and try to enjoy the roller coaster ride…. incredible highs and scary lows. – Shani

10. Parent your kids as the adults you want them to be, not the children you are currently having to deal with. – Bron, kids 15, 14 and 11

11. You don’t have to like it, just accept it. – Ruth

12. Remember, your precious little ones are still there. They are just going through the chrysalis period, they’ll be back. – Carmen, kids 24, 18, 14, 12

13. Every now and then have a ‘yes’ day, it will make the entire family happy, including you! – Emily, kids 8, 10 and 11

Parenting wisdom - have a yes day

14. Ask yourself ‘will this matter in one week, one month, one year’. Adjust your reaction accordingly. – Anon

15. Always be reasonable- you will demonstrate the adult you want your kids to emulate. – Marlene, kids 19 and 20

16. Practice gratitude and let what you discover lead the way. – Caitlin, son 8

17. Invite your own friends into your kids’ lives. The more trusted adults who get to know and love them, the better. – Betty, ‘kids’ 48, 51 and 55

More parenting wisdom: To be a good mum, you’ve got to raise yourself first


18. Have firm expectations, but teach your children to negotiate (ask them why they want something, etc), and be prepared to loosen the rules when their argument is good enough. – Leah, kids 17 and 19

19. Talk to your kids. Ask for their ‘advice’ on how they should be parented or how to get out of a stalemate. Their input is often enlightening and you get their buy-in at the same time. – Bron, kids 15, 14 and 11

20. Follow through. If you have to discipline for whatever reason don’t just make idle threats. So, if you threaten to take away a device because of whatever… do it… it was one really important thing I discovered as my daughter grew up and I’ve raised a pretty decent human I think! – Jen, daughter is 22

Parenting wisdom - parent the adults you want them to be

21. Let it go.Contessa, grown kids 32, 35, 35 and 37

22. Forget about money and expensive gifts. Mostly, all kids really want is your time and your love. That counts for the big kids too, even if they don’t show it. – Bronwyn, kids 16 and 18

23. Do things together. Even if it is just a walk after dinner. Spend time with your kids. – Jodie, kids 9 and 12

24. Connection and trust are great foundations for every relationship- including that with your kids. – Shae, kids 10, 12, 14

25. Strong boundaries, respect flowing both ways, and a willingness to discuss rules and be flexible where required. – Marlene, kids 19 and 20

Some tips here: How to set boundaries on Fortnite and other video games


26. Say yes more often! Especially when it helps them learn social skills. Yes to sleepovers, yes to an outing with their friends, yes to inviting a friend to dinner. Welcome their friends in as part of family life! – Bron, kids 15, 14 and 11

27. Just love them through it all. That’s all they really need. – Betty, ‘kids’ 48, 51 and 55

28. Gift them an item that if they ever come and present it to you it means they need to have a conversation with you that they don’t want to do so and in presenting the item you have promised to listen until the end and not respond for 24 hours, unless they want you to do so. – Tessa, kids 11 and 12

29. Drop everything and just be with your kids sometimes. This is my best parenting wisdom because nothing is more important than giving them your full attention. They thrive on it. – Anon, kids 11, 13, 14, and 21

30. Set the standards and boundaries and stick to them! Hard to readjust course when they are older. I spent a lot of time working away in their teenage years and it’s so hard to try and stop the annoying, crappy little naughty things they do when they are young adults. – Kerri, kids 16 and 19

31. Choose your battles. Let small things go through to the keeper. – Alicia, kids 14, 18 and 25

Parenting wisdom - never stop hugging your kids

32. Never stop hugging your kids and keeping them close. Never stop telling you how much you love and adore them. They need reminding all the time. – Angel, kids 15 and 17

33. Learn when to back off and loosen the strings. You can’t always ‘fix’ everything, and they won’t want you to.As long as they know you’ll be there for them to catch them if they fall, or high-five when they have a win, you both will benefit. – Bronwyn, kids 16 and 18

34. Try not to do for your kids what they are perfectly capable of doing for themselves. – Claire, kids 8 and 11

35. Christmas is for kids. The second you give away Christmas, it changes focus and you don’t hope to have a show stopper of a day, then cop disappointment when you don’t. I enjoy Christmas so much more now because it’s just for kids! –  Lucy, kids 16, 14 and 11

36. When you’re wrong or stuff up, apologise and model good behaviour. – Angel, kids 15 and 17

Read this too: 16 powerful TED talks for raising teens


37. Enjoy and celebrate your kids for their unique gifts and the love they share whether they fit in a conventional box or not, have a diagnosis, or not. They are perfect as they are. – Susan – mum of profoundly disabled daughter who sadly passed away aged 13 in July 2018, daughter 12 and ‘gifted’

38. Don’t sweat the small stuff because there will be enough big stuff to worry about. – Diana, sons 37, 33, 30

39. Role model healthy relationships for them. They see everything. – Amy, kids 12 and 16

40. Do things together – sewing, binge-watching a show, cooking, walking, team sports, camping. Spend time with your kids while you still can. – Debbie, kids 6, 8 and 14

41. Try not to use words like ‘always’ or ‘never’. Let kids know that you see bad behaviour as temporary. – Angel, kids 15 and 17

42. Don’t take it too seriously!!!! – Debby, daughter 18

43. When they do something you are proud of, be the proudest mother ever. Gush, scream, shout and smother them with your proud self. It’s the best part of being a mum and the kids secretly love it. They tell you how much when they are older. – Rach, kids 8, 10, 22, 24 and 25

44. Listen to them. Even when what they’re saying doesn’t make sense.– Leah, kids 17 and 19

45. Don’t worry if you stuff up today. You get to try again tomorrow. – Mari, sons 7 and 11

46. Let your kids get to know you, the woman, not just you, the mum. Share your secrets and tell them about your own childhood. That way, you are so much more relatable and they are more likely to listen when you empathise and share. – Anon, kids 12 and 14

Sobering: 10 reasons why mums stop talking about parenting


47. Do not ever let your kids disrespect you. Stand strong and tell them it’s not acceptable, every time. If they can’t respect their mother, you can bet they are on a slippery slope to not respecting anyone else either. – Clare, kids 17, 20 and 23

48. The first 40 years of parenthood are always the hardest. – Dell, kids 45, 47 and 49

49. It will all be okay. – Tara, kids 10, 6, 4 and twins 2

50. And, above all other parenting wisdom, the advice of Rebel, mum to four kids aged 18, 10, nine and six rings true forever:

Don’t get them wet.
Don’t expose them to bright light.
Don’t feed them after midnight.

What gifts of parenting wisdom do you have for other mums?

Feature image by Brett Sayles; Garden by Jonathan Borba; Picnic by Liana Mikah; Sunset by Marco Ceschi; Hug by Eye for Ebony; Crossed-legs by Alena Shekhovtcova