How To Be A Smart Parent In A World Of Dumb Parents

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 Can I be painfully honest with you for a moment?
Not thank-God-she-told-me honesty, where somebody points out you have spinach on your teeth. No, I’m talking about the sucker-punch-straight-to-the-face brand of honesty.

It’s brutal. It’s ugly. It’s unexpected.

And I can almost guarantee you will NOT enjoy it.

In fact, I’ve been holding off telling you, hoping somebody would do the dirty work for me.  But no one has.  So, out of respect to you, I want to tell you the truth.

So here it is.

You know how you’ve been struggling with your kids? Tried everything, and it’s just not working right?

Well, it’s not because you haven’t found the right strategy. It’s not because you need to change your name, get out of Dodge and act like you never had kids. It’s not because the  gods have turned against you and cursed you to wallow in anonymity forever.

It’s because you’re dumb.

And if you ever want a chance in hell to come out of this parenting situation alive, you’d better smarten up.

Did I really just call you “dumb?”

Yes, I did. Sorry.

Granted, you might be part of the minority whose kids are great, your making all the right decisions and is really and truly brilliant. If that’s the case, consider yourself excused from this “Come to Jesus” meeting.

The rest of you though?

This is not a ruse where DUMB turns out to be a clever acronym for something far less offensive. The truth is, I’m calling you out, and I’m doing it out of love.

Because you see, everyone has been lying to you. And I haven’t had enough guts to be brutally honest..

All over the internet everyone is trying to tell you how to raise your kids. We dole out parenting tips. We give you a pep talk and make you believe …maybe you can really become the next perfect parent.

But honestly?

There’s one really big thing we’ve been leaving out. Here it is:

Good parents are smarter than you are…

And no, I’m not talking about IQ.

What I’m referring to is having a conversation with a good parent and walking away thinking, “Holy crap, they’re amazing!” Maybe not a super genius, no, but captivating nonetheless.

Every good parent I’ve ever talked to for more than 15 minutes has had that effect on me. I always come away from the conversation with a perspective I didn’t have before.

You might say, “Well, they’re not necessarily smart. They’re use a lot of good common sense,” but I don’t think that’s all it is. I think it’s a piece of a much larger set of characteristics.

Just a few examples:

  • They are listening to their kids and paying attention, but at the same time staying one step ahead of them.
  • They can take a bad day with kids and turn it into a good day, because they have a sense of humor and learn from their child.
  • They know that their kid isn’t perfect and they don’t expect them to be.
  • They are not trying to be a friend to their kid and know their role is to be the parent.
  • They show love and make boundaries for their kids and expect them to respect them and others.

Yes, they are using their common sense to raise their kids and aren’t believing all the crap flying around on the internet by people that don’t even have a kid.

They teach their kids that no means NO.  If the kid pushes it they ask them, “What part of No don’t you understand.”

These parents don’t have to memorize all the right words they are suppose to use, so the child doesn’t come out damaged.  They worry more about the damage if they don’t teach them respect for themselves and other.

They worry more about showing them love by being a guiding parent, rather than buying them everything they want.  They teach them how to earn things they want.

These are truly special parents.

On the flipside, there are parents that are trying to be ‘the perfect parent’ they read all the right books; learn all the right things to say just like a robot.  Listen to all the counselors and therapist on how to raise their child.

They forget that every child is different and as a parent you have to pay attention and learn your child’s personality.

You listen to some of these modern day parents and you come away thinking they’re kind of dumb; As their kid is running around out of control.

So, it’s time to ask yourself the question…

Which group do you belong to?

Or even more importantly, which group do you want to belong to?

The truth about great parents

It’s not only about giving birth. It’s also about who you are.

If you have common sense, it’s relatively easy. You know how to roll with the punches, pick the right battles and stay one step ahead of that little munchkin at all times.

But if you are short on common sense?

It’s nearly impossible. You can do everything all the parenting books, child experts etc. tell you to do, and you can do it absolutely correctly, and you’ll still fail. I guarantee it.

So, does that mean you’re doomed?

Not necessarily. Here’s why:

This isn’t about genetics. This isn’t about inborn talent. This isn’t about fate.

It’s about deciding who you want to be and then making yourself into that parent.

How to make yourself a smarter parent

I was not what you would call a ‘bright’ parent to start with.

I tried the book thing, talking to them nicely and saying the right things for fear that I was going to damage this little buddle of joy.

But then it seemed I was doing more crying than the baby was out of frustration.  So, I got fed up with the ‘you’re supposed to do things this way, and say things that way’ and decided to change things.

There wasn’t any pivotal moment that I recall.  I just started caring less about what the books said, what my friends thought and started thinking about who my kid was and what her little personality was.

Even though at times I just wanted to give the baby away or put it back and start all over again.

Instead of spending my time reading the do’s and don’ts and listening to what everyone else thought I should be doing; I listened to my gut.  I focused on what I was doing right.  The baby was sleeping longer each night.  Eating good even though ‘I wasn’t’ breast feeding her.

Nobody told me to do it. I just did it. Because that’s what my common sense and instincts told me.comman sense

But you know the funny thing?

By the time this baby was a year old I was having a great time being a parent and I didn’t expect myself to be a perfect parent.

All this little bundle of joy needed was love and being guided when it came to boundaries for a 1 year old and older. Yes, I was going to make mistakes, but that was OK!

Could all those books and advice be wrong?  Maybe, but I prefer to think something different: Some things they say might work for one kid, but not the next.  We are all different whether we are big or small.

Each and every one of us decides what kind of parent we want to be. No, you may not be ready to be a parent when it happens but you can become ready one step at a time.

You just have to decide.

For example:

Replace your fears and get rid of some friends if you need too.

I told you this would be painful, right?

Well, here’s some more brutal honesty:

If you want to grow as a parent, you almost always have to replace some friends.

No, you don’t have to insult them or drive them away, but simply stop spending as much time with them as you used to.


As Jim Rohn famously said, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” There’s no scientific evidence I know of to support him.

You have those mom’s that know it all and of course their kids are perfect and yours are never going to live up to their expectations. So they are good at telling you everything you’re doing wrong.

There morals or value may be different than yours.  Maybe they judge people and kids by the things you have or house you live in.

You don’t need this crap.

If you want to be the parent you are meant to be leave these know it all mothers behind.  Most likely they are raising the biggest brats the world has ever known and trust me you don’t want kids like them.

So pick your mommy friends carefully.  They will support you, even on those bad days they are going to help you find the humor instead of anger…

The bottom line

Motherhood is wonderful when you have the right attitude and remember to be you.  Know that you are going to make mistakes and it won’t disable your kids for life.

Remember it is about you too.  When mommy is having a bad day, everyone in the home is too.  So always take care of yourself and grab those spare minutes every time you get a chance. (They can be far and in-between.)

Always go by your gut instinct and a whole lot of common sense.  If someone gives you advice, use it if you think it will work.  If it sounds like garbage, it probably is.  Put it in file 13.

Are you ready to be the parent you want to be?

Or are you going to be just another dumbass that listens to everyone else about raising kids?

The choice is yours.


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  1. Hi Debbie,

    Yes indeed, parenthood is being YOU 🙂

    It doesn’t, or rather, shouldn’t concern your decisions of parenting based on what other moms or dads are doing with their kids. I have also often seen some parents just follow what another one is doing, even when it’s not really required.

    Each family is different and so are the kids. If something works for one, it may or may not work for another. And if you are blindly going to follow a few people you feel are doing the right thing, you might just be making things more difficult for you and your kids.

    Being a good parent is all about the various hit and trials, and your journey – and it’s based on what works for you, whether the good or the bad. They should be your experiences, not anyone else. Yes, you could hear other parents, read various blogs, visit sites, see movies or read parenting books – but do what your heart tells you.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted…Is Your Sitting Posture CorrectMy Profile

    • Hi Harleena,
      I like that it is so true, ‘Do what your heart tells you.’ What works for one child is not going to work for all kids.

      For myself when it came to discipline, one I could talk to, another the little swat on the behind worked good and for the third it was the time out. One liked hugs where another didn’t.
      As a parent we have to learn there personalities.
      Thank you for sharing your wisdom and the journey of being the parent you are meant to be.
      Have a wonderful week.
      Debbie recently posted…How To Be A Smart Parent In A World Of Dumb ParentsMy Profile

  2. “They are not trying to be a friend to their kid and know there roll is to be the parent.”
    Although i like and agree with this good parent characteristic, just wanted to point out the grammatical error: “there roll” should read: “their role”
    Luv, the grammar nazi 🙂

    • Hi Liz,

      Thanks for liking and agreeing with this good parent characteristics. As for the grammar nazi, hey, this is great. Grammar is not one of my strong points. I’ll take all the help I can get.
      Maybe I should consider making videos? Just a thought…
      As I always say, we are never to old to learn, so if you would like to check out my post and let me know what grammar errors I have I would appreciate the input.
      I have made the correction.
      Thank you for bring this to my attention and have a great day.
      Debbie recently posted…How To Be A Smart Parent In A World Of Dumb ParentsMy Profile

  3. Dr Par Donahue says:

    Ijust met you and already I love you!!! I am a pediatrician who thinks like you do! My wife and I raised 4 great kids who have given us 14 wonderful grand kids. We loved parenting and I can’t for the life of me figure out why parents think parenting is so hard!
    They all need to read your blog! And you should read mine, not that you need to, but we all like to read things we agree with, and I can see we are in agreement! I look forward to following this blog, and commenting now and then. Thanks for what you do!
    Find me at

    • Thank you for stopping by Dr. Par Donahue. Nice to know that i am not alone in my thinking. I did check out your blog and we do have a lot in common.
      I was going to leave a comment, but I am not good at login in and having to remember another pass word. However I shall just break down and have to do this anyway.
      By the way you have me beat we only have 8 grandkids. Than again we only have 3 girls. Guess that makes up for the difference. LOL.

      I feel it it very sad how hard parents make parenting these days. they need a better attitude about it and would find it is a lot of fun.
      Thanks again and have a wonderful week.
      Debbie recently posted…Is Death Better Than Being A Single Mother?My Profile

  4. Hi Debbie, I think when you’re a (new) parent, everyone and their dog suddenly has good advice to give – people, books, magazines, the world’s full of expert.
    In the end you close shop – you stop listening to and get on with just being the best parent you can be.
    Yes, I agree with you completely, there are alternatives to being a dumb parent. Hopefully by the time you’re a grand-parent you’ve smartened up :-]

    • Hi Beat,

      Yeh, you have to love those experts. My youngs daughter has had this problem, ‘everyone trying to tell her what to do.’ I finally told her if it feels right, is working you do what you need to do. if your happy about your parenting your kids are going to be happier.
      With my grandkids I have learned to enjoy the crap out of them, get them high on sugar and send them home. (Not really).
      Thanks Beat for your opinion on this. I always appreciate it.
      Last month hubby and I got brave and had 7 of them spend the night. From age 2 to 10. We all had a ball. (we did tell the youngest that she could keep her 10 month old home) She said No problem.
      Debbie recently posted…Is Death Better Than Being A Single Mother?My Profile

  5. Cheryl Ragsdale says:

    Hi Deb,
    I don’t have kids, but I still enjoy reading your “snap out of it” articles. I cringe every time I hear an overbearing “always right” mother of perfect children giving advice that every one needs to follow (immediately). As if there’s a one size fits all answer…

  6. Debbie

    Parenting…one of the hardest things to get right in the world and no-one warns you!

    They only tell you about the good times!

    Good paretning for me, is about being supportive and being there when they need you.

    Andrew recently posted…Search Engine Optimization: Get To The Top Of The Rankings, GuaranteedMy Profile

    • Yes, Andrew parenting is one of the hardest thing in the world. Sometimes or should I say, most of the time it is trial by error. There are days you get it right and days, you mess up. The key is to remember there is always another day. LOL
      Being supportive to your kids and being there when they need you is very important part of parenting. Funny thing is even when they are adults and out of there own, we still have to be there to pick up after them at times.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
      Debbie recently posted…Is Death Better Than Being A Single Mother?My Profile

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