Bill Cosby is a famous and well-loved American comedian, author, actor and educator, among other things. His combination of wit and wisdom makes him a sought-after individual on all kinds of thoughts. He has much parenting advice we can live by, and he brings the point home with a good dose of humor thrown in.
Here are a few of his quotes about parenting that can give us something to think about.
1. “In spite of the six thousand manuals on child-raising in the bookstores, child-raising is still a dark continent and no one really knows anything. You just need a lot of love and luck – and, of course, courage.”
This quote speaks to the fact that although we can read all we want to about parenting, the only sure way to be a good parent is to love our children, do everything we can, and hope for the best. Taken from his book Fatherhood, it is a great reminder not to get too set on a certain outcome when parenting.
2. “Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.”
This humorous quote refers to caring for our children’s feelings more than our own satisfaction. Almost every parent has been given a gift that made them stifle laughter, but it is our child’s intentions that make it even better than the most expensive or useful gift.
3. “Raising children is an incredibly hard and risky business in which no cumulative wisdom is gained: each generation repeats the mistakes the previous one made.”
The indication here seems to be that we should not harshly judge the generations before us. When we become parents we realize what an astounding task it is and that we are sure to make mistakes.
4. “You know the only people who are always sure about the proper way to raise children? Those who’ve never had any.”
This again refers to the great responsibility that parenting is, and how we should not judge other parents, or ourselves for that matter. Do your best and let others do theirs.
5. “Even though your kids will consistently do the exact opposite of what you’re telling them to do, you have to keep loving them just as much.”
Parenting is full of ups and downs. No matter how our children respond to us or test our patience, we do best when we love freely without expecting anything in return.
6. “Yes, having a child is surely the most beautifully irrational act that two people in love can commit.”
From his book Fatherhood, these words speak of the beautiful jumble of wonder and stress that parenting can be.
7. “I recently turned fifty, which is young for a tree, mid-life for an elephant, and ancient for a quarter-miler, whose son now says, ‘Dad I just can’t run the quarter with you anymore unless I bring something to read.’ ”
We can all relate to the bittersweet feelings when our child is outgrowing us in some way. We all long to see the day when parenting brings our children to the point when they are even better than we could imagine. It is also, though, a reminder to us that we are growing older.
Bill Cosby always has great pieces of advice for us to heed. Enjoy these bits of wisdom and be reminded of the great joy, challenges, humor, and love that being a parent consists of.