Being Dad Parenting

Sharing your Parents’ Wisdom

Wisdom and advice
Avatar photo
Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Children look to their parents for wisdom and guidance in their lives. It’s no surprise that we end up sharing our parents’ wise words with our kids. A study carried out this year takes a look at some of the pearls of wisdom we pass on to our children. Whether you want to or not, it seems you inevitable turn into your parents when advice is concerned.

Generational Wisdom

A new study of 2,000 adults revealed two thirds find themselves churning out the same old clichés their parents did. Classics like ‘you don’t get something for nothing’ and ‘put money aside for a rainy day’ were favourites that are still being shared with kids.Other wise insights include ‘you only get out of life what you put into it’, ‘treat others how you wish to be treated yourself’ and ‘practice makes perfect’.

Now depending on the context, these wise words may be perfect as they are and just what your child needs to hear. But how many of us really took on board the wise words of our elders? More often than not the same wisdom was left ringing in your ears when you’d chosen to do exactly the opposite and were knee-deep in the consequences.

Wisdom and Advice

Learn from your mistakes

Sound financial advice like “never spend what you don’t have” or making sure you “always have two months rent saved” is logical and makes sense. Yet human nature often finds you short on the rent, or stuck on the side of the highway because you’ve run out of petrol thinking “I should have listened to dad.”

So why is it that even though these words often ring true later in life, they don’t have the impact that they should? Maybe it’s because we learn more from our mistakes than we do from the advice of others. Or could it be because this wisdom has become so hackneyed that it seems nothing more than an over used cliche?

Reinventing the wheel

Most parents don’t want their children to make the mistakes they have. But it might be worth considering why you didn’t always follow the wise words shared with you when you were younger.

We can learn a lesson from the advice we never took and not just pass on the wise words that will prepare our kids for life but to inject these cliche’s with originality and personal experience.

Like father like son

It’s easy to promise yourself you’ll never turn into your parents. But once you’ve had kids, you slowly see the transformation take hold. Then one day you catch yourself delivering the same speech that your dad used to give you when you were a kid. Well, when you do it, you probably sound cooler and nothing like your dad.

7/10 adults surveyed admitted they often catch themselves mid-sentence and think they sound like their mother or father. A further 36 per cent frequently think they’re turning into their own parents. Though this may make you feel your age, let’s be honest, advice like ‘you can never have too many pairs of clean underwear’ and ‘never take sweets from strangers’ stand the test of time.


Unusual advice

Parents don’t stop with the classic wisdom though. Some other useful tips include ‘never walk under a ladder’ and don’ were your coat indoors.’ Maybe those parents knew something we don’t, though we shouldn’t speak too soon. The minute a ladder falls on you, or you trigger an international incident for wearing a coat inside, you’ll no doubt wish you’d listened.

Raise them right

A big part of the advice shared was from parents who wanted to install good manners and decent behaviour in their children. As well as your basic table manners such as  ‘don’t chew with your mouth open,’ keep your elbows off the table’ and ‘mind your Ps and Qs’ parents shared wisdom on mutual respect, kindness, compassion and decency.

Fatherly and motherly ddvice

It’s not just the advice that is standing the test of time but who we turn to for different kids of wisdom. 53 per cent of those who took part turn to mum first for advice. But dad is the person most people will turn to when it comes to finance. Despite people voting mums as better with money.

A whopping 72 per cent of people admit they do still live by the advice their parents gave them when growing up – and as such still try not to eat cheese before bedtime, always use a hand cream, and try to eat with their mouth closed.

15 nuggets of wisdom

The advice you pass down to your children can help them with their day to day lives, finances and tough times. Here are some classics that stand the text of time. Which do you use?

  1. Always try your best
  2. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all
  3. Do your best – nothing else matters
  4. Treat people with respect
  5. Practice makes perfect
  6. Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself
  7. You only get out of life what you put into it
  8. Always wear clean underwear
  9. Be true to yourself
  10. Never drink on an empty stomach
  11. Never go to bed on an argument
  12. Look up things you don’t know the answer to
  13. Never give up
  14. The grass is never greener
  15. Life’s too short to be unhappy