Everything You Need To Know About Parenting In 12 Founding Fathers Quotes

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of a naked toddler running from the bath.

by Fatherly
Originally Published: 

As you spend this Fourth of July sweating and staring at colorful explosives, it’s important to remember the great lessons of America’s forefathers. No, not the rich slave owners who didn’t want to pay their taxes part — the other thing. Life! Liberty! The pursuit of happiness!

Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Jay, John Adams, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton (who is now your second favorite founding father thanks to Lin-Manuel Miranda) have all of the out-of-context parental wisdom that you need to pass down to your own little rabble rouser.

On Parent/Teacher Conferences

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

On Inconvenient Truths

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” – John Adams

On A Good Night’s Sleep

“Fatigue is the best pillow.” – Benjamin Franklin


On Choosing Wisely

“I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one’s life; the foundation of happiness or misery.” – George Washington

On Giving Better Advice Than Their Guidance Counselor

“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson

On The 2 People Who Know You’re Lying

“Don’t misinform your doctor nor your lawyer.” – Benjamin Franklin

On ‘Who Broke The Lamp?’

“It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” – George Washington

On Dadbod

“Nobody expects to trust his body overmuch after the age of 50.” -Alexander Hamilton

On Your Wife Catching You Leering

“Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards.” – Benjamin Franklin

On Following Your Gut

“Among the strange things of this world, nothing seems more strange than that men pursuing happiness should knowingly quit the right and take a wrong road, and frequently do what their judgments neither approve nor prefer.” – John Jay

On Why Buying A Boat Was A Good Idea

“Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.” – Benjamin Franklin

On Why Your Kid Gives You Attitude

“All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree.” – James Madison

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