Advice for New Parents - Never Say Never!

My child will never...

Young mother with her first child. Will she say, "Never"?
Young mother with her first child. Will she say, "Never"? | Source

Never say Never!

As a young first-time mother, I was pretty sure I knew a LOT about child rearing. After all, I read Dr. Spock cover to cover! Other young mothers and I would get together with our babies and toddlers and tell each other all the things that our kids would NEVER do; we would raise them right! It was during this time of being a know-it-all that a wise older woman gave me this advice on child-rearing, "Never say 'Never' because your child is sure to make you eat your words!"

It’s part of human nature to go through periods of time when we think we know everything. Two-year-old toddlers assert themselves by deciding what to eat, when to sleep and when to obey their parents (not very often!). Teenagers are experts on driving, relationships, movies, parenting, the educational system, politics and drug and alcohol laws.

Prospective and new parents might be the worst because they have read all the books! I’m here to save new parents from unending embarrassment by sharing the most important advice I ever received as a new parent:

Never Say 'Never!'

Oh it sounds simple enough, and you may even be thinking that you’re going to hear lyrics from the Justin Bieber song. Not so! I'm here to give a special bit of advice to new parents so that their fatal words don't come back to bite them in the butt.

I know from personal experience that one thing parents should never say is "My child will never..."


Kids who break things

For example:

New Parent:

"My child will NEVER break my good things. I’m not going to put away all my nice things just because I have a baby. My child will learn to respect other people’s property from a young age and will never break my good things."

18 month old Hannah (just before breaking an antique box, ruining a photograph and smashing a Tiffany lamp:

"HI YA! I’ll just put my crayons in Mommy’s little Limoges box. Oh, they don’t fit! Maybe if I bang the box lid on them…wait, I think I need to color this picture on the table…Oops, that Tiffany lamp was wobbly... look at how all the pretty colors came apart when it broke..."


Kids who are picky eaters

New Parent:

"My child will NEVER be a picky eater because I’ll introduce her to a wide variety of foods and she will happily eat whatever we eat."

Four-Year-Old David at dinner last night:

"I don’t care if I ate broccoli, green beans and peas last week! Green vegetables are poison, and make me throw up! Gag! Yuck! You can't make me eat them! I'll puke!"


Will you raise the perfect child?

Never say that your child will never...
Never say that your child will never... | Source

Kids who have bad manners


"My child will NEVER embarrass me in public because he will learn good manners from an early age."

Five Year Old Chris in the restaurant:

"I have to eat the spaghetti with my fingers because it keeps sliding off my fork. Look at that lady's hair. Why is it orange? How come I have to use a tissue? At home I always wipe my boogers on my pants..."


Kids who lie


"My child will NEVER lie to me. He will know that he can tell me anything."

Thirteen-year-old Danny after being sent home from Bobby's house in disgrace:

"I wouldn't watch porn on the internet. No, I didn't show Bobby how to get to the porn sites on his Mom's computer. We did not download porn. I don't know how those pictures got on her computer..."


Kids who drive too fast


"My teen will ALWAYS be a safe driver. My son never speeds because he knows that speeding tickets are too expensive and would make our insurance go up."

Sixteen-Year-Old Johnny

"Dad, I got stopped for speeding and the ticket is going to be $150. I might lose my license if I can't get out of it. I promise, I'll pay you back..."


Do new parents ever listen to parenting advice?

Of course, my grandchild would NEVER do any of these things!
Of course, my grandchild would NEVER do any of these things! | Source

Teens who get pregnant


"We will never have to worry about a teen pregnancy with our daughter. We've always talked openly about sex and birth control. She's educated and smart enough to know the dangers as well as the preventative measures."

Seventeen Year Old Missy:

"Mom, I think I'm pregnant! We only did it once! But we're in love..."

Best parenting advice is not always taken

There you have it. While this might not be the exact story of your life, you can count on the fact that along the line, your children will make you eat your words if you ever say, "My child will never..."

Parents would be wise to have compassion for other parents whose children embarrass them in public, who break their valuable antiques, who get caught speeding, drinking or become pregnant. The truth is that parents do the best job they can do. They teach their children good manners, responsibility, accountability and respect for others. While most of what we teach our children sticks, they will still lead their own lives. When you have children, nothing is guaranteed, especially their behavior.

The best parenting advice I ever received was from my older friend who told me, "Never say that your child will never do something, because he's sure to make you eat your words!"

And how I wish I had followed that advice!


Copyright ©2012 Stephanie Henkel

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Comments 31 comments

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mommyloves2write 4 years ago

Don't rock the baby to sleep. She will never learn how to go to sleep on her own.

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kelleyward 4 years ago

Great hub! This is so true. I hope I've learned this lesson! Voted up, useful, and shared!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Mommyloves2write - I heard that too from some people, but I couldn't follow it! New parents are bound to get conflicting advice from all sides. In the end, they do what they think is best for the baby.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Kelleyward - I got that advice many years ago, but it took me years to learn my lesson! Thanks for the read and for your comments and share!

sasanka7 profile image

sasanka7 4 years ago from Calcutta, India

Very useful suggestions for parents. Sometimes we ignore the basic behavioral aspects which affects immensely on children's mind. Thanks for sharing. voted up.

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

My expecting niece just said the other day she will never have a mess in the living room from toys. Her Mother and I just laughted. Enjoyed your hub.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Moonlake - Sometimes laughing is all we can do! Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Sasanka7 - I think that new parents also don't realize that they will not always have control over their child's behavior. Parenting is definitely a learning experience.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Superb examples and stories Stephanie! Been there and done it. Now it's time to watch the grandchildren go through the stages while I watch. Excellent hub!!

Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Great hub and oh so true. I was LOL and of course have my own embarrassing parenthood moments from when my son was growing up. The worst was when my four year old, who was being mercilessly teased by an Uncle told his Uncle, "F*** You."

"My child will never swear......"

Voted up across the board. I have tons of compassion for new parents. They can't imagine what their perfect little baby might do one day but at least now you've given them a heads up!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Sunshine,

Isn't it so much more fun to watch the grandchildren go through these stages? I find that I have SO much more patience with them! Of course, my grandchildren would NEVER do any of that stuff... :)

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Gail,

I'm happy to say that all of the examples are not from personal experience, but my kids did give me some healthy opportunities to eat my words! Love your story about your four year old - I always said that was my favorite age! You just never know what they'll say!

If today's new parents are anything like I was, I'm sure they'll read this and think, "My child will never do any of those things!" Haha...

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Never, ever Stephanie! Haha! :))

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Well, our grandchildren are perfect, aren't they, Sunshine! :))

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

This is so cute - I just love those pictures of you. :) Never say never - I will remember that. Voted up and across.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Cclitgirl,

The lead picture is actually of my daughter-in-law with my first grandchild. The second one is of me holding the same grandchild...isn't he beautiful? :)

Thanks so much for visiting and voting!

sunbun143 profile image

sunbun143 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

"My child will never throw a tantrum in the middle of the (insert public place here)."

Haha this hub was great...I'm still learning as I go but find myself wondering how I became "that parent" I used to judge just a tiny bit (before I became a parent) and never thought I'd become...a toddler's mom especially should never say never!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Sunbun143 - Haha..toddlers can sure make you a lot more tolerant of other parents, can't they? Thanks for stopping by to read and comment!

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very inspiring hub, Stephanie. I learn many things from you. I should bookmarked this hub and I'll show this to my future wife. I hope she'll be a good mother for my little son. Good job and rated up. Cheers...

Blessing and hugs,

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Prasetio - I'm glad that you found this hub useful. There are so many things to think about as a new parent, aren't there? Thanks you so much for your nice comments and the bookmark.

jpcmc profile image

jpcmc 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

Hello Stephanie, I'm a new dad and this hub of yours is a goldmine of info. Of course there is a certain level of fear of the future after reading it. But it's good to know as early as now. This deserves a vote up and all the good stuff. Hubs like this need to be shared with the rest of the world. :)

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

My child will never lie to me. Said this for years and years and every time I did my husband would laugh at me. Dr. Spock was never far away when my children were babies. I think I wore the front cover of the book out. I still have it somewhere.

Excellent hub!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hello JPCMC,

Welcome to parenthood! :) I think that all new parents, and even not-so-new parents have qualms about raising their children. We all make some mistakes, but we survive them and so do the kids! Thanks so much for stopping by to read and comment and for the share!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Hi Just Ask Susan,

Good old Dr. Spock was a new parent's bible when I was a new parent, and he did offer some good advice. sounds like you said "Never" and lived to eat your words? Don't we all, at one time or another!

Thanks for stopping by to comment!

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KDuBarry03 4 years ago

This is absolutely fantastic! Perhaps parent's should start saying "always say always" (i.e. my kid will always try to break things...) LOL

Great Hub!

mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Here's another one: My baby will never use a facifier. I think they are nasty! Of course I used one with all four kids.

Did you read my Hub "Grandma's Advice To Our Youth"? You and I have a lot in common.

I voted this Hub UP, and shared. Mary

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

KDuBarry03 - Haha...isn't that the truth! My little darlings made me eat my words more than once!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA Author

Mary615 - Haha...the pacifier debate is so easy if you don't have a cranky baby, but I've seen even the most adamant pacifier-haters give in!

I think you're right - we do have much in common! I just read your hub, and it offers some terrific advice to our youth. Thanks for stopping in to comment and thanks for the share!

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 3 years ago from USA Author

Mawker - You sound like an experienced parent! :) Kids will certainly repeat things you've said...and the more embarrassing it it, the more likely they are to repeat in front of the wrong people! Glad you got a laugh out of this...thanks for stopping in to comment!

SharonBallantine profile image

SharonBallantine 2 years ago

On the other hand, many new parents vow they will "never" say/do/act like THEIR parents did when it comes to parenting.

The only never that we can count on is that we will never know exactly how we or our beloved children will act until we are in the moment. And that is the best way to parent--in the moment.

Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 2 years ago from USA Author

SharonBallantine - I love that! Parenting "in the moment" is the only way we can do it! Thanks for stopping in with your words of wisdom!

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