parenting styles

The top 10 things parenting books don't tell you

Sep. 26, 2013 at 12:42 PM ET

Reddit Users Share Their Best Parenting Tips
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Reddit Users Share Their Best Parenting Tips

Amid the gazillion funny memes and weird photos on Reddit, a fascinating thread has caught our eye. User slyfox007 asked: “Parents of reddit, what do they leave out of the parenting books? What follows is the some of the funniest, most surprising and bang-on parenting advice we’ve ever read. Here are some of the best of the bunch:

You will not be raising children.You are raising an adult.
You are raising adults. Don't forget this. It is so easy to confuse "taking care of" your children with "doing everything" for them. Even very young toddlers can do many things for themselves. They can carry their own bags to preschool. They can set their own table (if you keep their plates and cups in a low cabinet). A 4-year-old can spread her own butter on toast. —User Fletch

There is such a thing as blowouts.
Yes, it is as bad as it sounds. It's sh*t coming out of the seams in the diaper because of positioning of the baby vs. amount of sh*t coming out at that time. Mostly it ends up their back, but sometimes you'll get some seepage out of the legs. At first I thought we had plenty of baby clothes, but I soon realized that they can go through a lot of clothes from these blowouts. —User DontBeSuchAnAnnHog

Just how angry you can get at a baby when you’re sleep-deprived. You hear “never shake a baby” all the time and before you have a baby you can’t imagine what kind of monster would ever shake one. Then you have a baby and you’re running off minimal sleep one month in a row and the baby just won’t stop crying and you get tempted to bounce the baby just a little too hard. —User TheGreatPastaWars

With that being said, never shake a baby.
The baby doesn’t have sound reasoning and sure, figuring out why the baby is crying can be impossible. Tried to feed the baby, still crying. Changed the diaper, still crying. Sang a song, made soothing noises, walked around, rocked, etc., still crying. You’re going to get angry at the baby. Just remember…just a baby. No shaking. Not even if you dressed the baby up as a maraca.

The biggest thing I wished I knew is this.
When babies are born, they come out pasty white (assuming they are Caucasian). They pink up when they start to breath air, but when they come out they are about the same colour as the underside of a fish. I honestly thought I was looking at a dead baby for the worst 20 seconds of her life, until she started to cry and turned pink. —User Slimpkin

While I'm in my early-20s and without kids, my father gave me a piece of advice and told me to say yes to everything you can.
Say yes to the late concerts, say yes to the sleepovers, say yes and yes and yes some more and say it as much as you can. Because, he explained, when you have to say no, it'll be for a good reason, one you hope your child will respect.

When I look back on my childhood and adolescence, my parents gave me freedom to do whatever I pleased within reason. I wanted to dye my hair to match the guys on the soccer team? Sure thing. I wanted to stay out for another fifteen minutes with the kids on my block? You bet. It made me realize, at a young age, that my parents treated me like an adult and if they thought I shouldn't do something, it was for a good reason. —User gq_mcgee

Baby boners.
It tripped me out when I was changing my eldest's diaper and he had raging morning wood. —User Mescacakanisnapesis

The absolutely mind-numbing tedium.
There is no way to convey how boring your child will sometimes prove to be. It doesn't matter how much you love them. When they ask you to repeat the same idiotic game with them—without variation—for the 30th time at 4:00 on a weekday will simply want to die. —User EarnedSecurity

When you have an ultrasound and they say it's a boy the odds are pretty good they are right.
If they tell you it's a girl keep the tags on all the clothes you get at the shower cause that little trouble maker might just be tucking it between his legs. Yes, my son was supposed to be a daughter. We found out just how wrong that ultrasound tech was when he arrived with a penis instead of a vagina. —User Seanbikes

You will think to yourself: "why did I have kids!?" it happens.
It doesn't make you a bad parent, but it feels weird afterwards because then they do some cute move or smile at you and it makes you feel like you're the most important person in the world for those three seconds. Then they poop. —User I_promise_you_gold

That it can be hard to stay the adult.
Teenager has attitude? Says hurtful things? Makes choices you wish were different? You still need to be the adult, love them, keep calm, do right by them. Sometimes NOT turning into an angry, emotional teenager is difficult. —User Dverd76

Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.