Food For Thought Friday: Know Thy Child

I am sure that many people have written a version of the 10 Commandments of parenting.  In my opinion, there is only one commandment in parenting, and it is this: Know Thy Child.  This week alone, I have given myself this pep talk about 25 times. I want to share the voices in my head with you...

YOU are the parent of your child. YOU know your child better than anyone else. YOU get to make the decisions that are best for you and your family. There are many parenting methods and tons of tips, there are even people who will shout to you that they know better than you what your child needs.  NOBODY KNOWS THE BEST WAY TO PARENT YOUR CHILD BUT YOU. As a caring and informed parent, you will be responsible for gathering information, you will be responsible for assessing the information, and you will be responsible for implementing the techniques that work for you and your family, leaving behind those that don't work for you.  Plenty of people will have an opinion about it, and they are entitled to their opinion. What really matters is YOUR opinion. Oh, and one more thing, and this is the best part, YOU DON'T OWE ANYONE ANY EXPLANATION FOR WHY YOU CHOOSE TO PARENT THE WAY YOU DO!

When you are a first time parent, especially in the first few months, everyone has an opinion and they feel free to share it. How you should dress the child, diaper the child, help the child sleep, feed the child... and on and on. I remember feeling so defenseless, like I knew that they knew that I didn't know what I was doing (read that a few times until it makes sense). Some of the thicker skin comes with getting a few years under your belt, facing some inevitable challenges, and even realizing that you've made some mistakes. Even then, it can be easy to forget what you know in the presence of authoritative voices. 

If you remember the commandment: Know Thy Child, you will be instantly back on track. You may look to others for advice, but remember that they have not parented your child. You may seek methods from authors or experts, but remember that they know nothing specifically of your child.  Now, get out there and parent your child like only you can!


  1. loving on you
    and your cool-keeping beauty.
    Know thy child, indeed!
    Wise mommy.
    bright summertime grace to you
    and your journey,

  2. You might want to take a look at kindovermatter.com on 6-23-11. She is also talking about knowing what is best for her child.

  3. Can't tell you how much I needed this reminder. I inarticulately tried to explain this to a big butt-insky earlier this week. Maybe I should forward this post along?


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