Why Do Parents Think They Know Everything? (11 Reasons Why) 

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Isabelle O'Gallagher

Isabelle O'Gallagher is a personal development and relationship expert who has consulted for some of the biggest companies in America.

Our parents are the first adults we typically look up to for advice and guidance. They shape who we are as children to teenagers, preparing us for the wonders of adulthood, and we don’t question it. 

Still, when you get older, you wonder how they were able to figure everything out. Well, there were eleven reasons that I could find through some research as to why parents think they know everything. 

Why Do Parents Think They Know Everything?

1. Observing Their Parents

One of the best efficient ways to parent is through the lens of your parents. Your parents learned vicariously through their parents and your grandparents, whether they knew it or not. 

Depending on the nature of your parents and grandparents’ relationship, your mom and dad will take their relationship and implement what to do and what not to do and say to you. 

Any situation you’ve been in with your parents, they are likely to know what to do due to similar problems with their parents when they were kids and teenagers. 

Parents do parent differently, so some things may not seem normal to one family as they do to another, which can be due to their upbringing. 

So, if there are people who question your parents, they can use the excuse that there is nothing wrong with what they’re doing because they turned out fine when they were younger. 

2. Making Mistakes While Parenting 

Parents are not perfect. They make mistakes and would’ve made the same even if they weren’t parents. 

So, they don’t think they know everything, but they know enough to have things running smoothly as they go along. They are learning from when you are conceived to taking your first breath. 

While there is help along the way from friends, books, family, and online videos, there is no right or wrong way to parent, nor is there a set blueprint. 

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3. Reading Books

Knowledge can come from reading a lot of books. Continued and active learning through reading parenting books can help encourage parents and make them think they know everything. 

Reading science-backed parenting books is a good leverage and validation for parents and their knowledge because it’s not like anyone can refute your learnings. 

4. They Secretly Don’t

They’re in denial about not knowing everything, and, secretly, whether they want to admit it to their kids or not, they know that they don’t know everything. 

A parent’s job is to ensure their kids are well-fed, sheltered, clothed, and have a promising future. Along with this, they must instill good morals and values. 

Like with numbers one and two, there is no blueprint for parenting, but that doesn’t mean it does not feel taxing for them. However, they feel as though they have to keep it together. 

In trying to keep things together, they put on this façade of knowing everything and can become argumentative and defensive when challenged by their children and outside the immediate family. 

5. They’re Controlling You  

Parents feel as though they know everything because they want to live vicariously through you via controlling you, their child. 

Your parents are supposed to instill morals and provide you with the proper education. However, you are not your parents; you must have your mind. 

Many parents do not see this as needed for you to have your mind, so they create tactics to control you and make you think that they know everything and everything they say is correct. 

In a twisted way, this is a form of abuse. 

They are placing an invisible rope around your waist as if it were a leash, having control of where you go, what you’re thinking, and metaphorically anyone who doesn’t match your parent’s views. 

6. Help From Other Parents

Help From Other Parents

Your parents will likely receive continued help over time through other parents. These can be friends, family members who are parents or attending classes with other experienced parents. 

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Gaining knowledge through conversations with other parents will give your parents insight and an idea of what to do and what not to do. 

It is easy for your parents to think they know everything about raising a child. With the help of technology, they can easily search for videos and forums for answers from other parents. 

7. They Are Narcissists 

Your parents are the most intelligent people to have ever lived. They know everything and should not be questioned. Your parents could be a couple of narcissists

A narcissistic parent is often the most stressful person to be around and more difficult to convince that they don’t know anything otherwise. 

To outsiders, you are unknowledgeable; they know everything and what is best for their child. 

Usually, a parent not taking every piece of advice is normal because parents have to parent their children differently, not the same. 

However, if there is a parent who has questionable morals and tactics for parenting their child, even when they become an adult, is when it becomes concerning, but it isn’t easy to convince them. 

8. No One Is Questioning Them 

They’ll feel they know everything if no one questions their actions, morals, or parenting style. 

And even if someone does question them, they will use the “I’m a parent, and you’re not” or “Parent your kid and I’ll parent mine” excuse to ignore everyone and do what they want. 

9. You Turned Out Fine 

Look at yourself. Are you in a stable situation? Are you not in jail, and are you happy? Do you have a good relationship with your parents? More importantly, are you alive? Then you turned out fine. 

If you answered yes to any of those questions, then your parents, instinctively, at least in their minds, have the right to say that they know everything because you turned out to be okay. 

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If you’re doing good in their eyes, they did everything correctly. 

10. They Turned Out Fine

They managed throughout their lives and are still alive, so they turned out fine. Parents teach their kids through their own experiences and live to tell the tale. 

If a parent can teach their children lessons from their own experiences, then they are, in their minds, doing something right, and if they turn out fine, then they know that their child will be okay. 

11. They Were Once Kids 

Your parents will think that they know everything because they were once kids, too. 

They know that not every experience is the same, but the emotions, actions, and motives of a child well into their teenage and adult life they have experience in. 

Just because your parents are older and wiser doesn’t mean they didn’t know what it was like to sneak out in the middle of the night or get into arguments with their parents. 

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why parents are so entitled, why parents lie about Santa, and why parents hate video games.


No parent is perfect. They are all trying their best to live while ensuring their children are well cared for. You will come across that one parent who thinks they know everything when, in reality, they do not. 

No parent knows everything but actively learns every day, whether they realize it or not. They take the knowledge accumulated over time and implement those learnings through their parenting.


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