When The Tables Turn

LOL Promp: You won’t read this anywhere

I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it. ~Harry S. Truman

I remember how my mother so often offered unsolicited advice when I was growing up. Some of it was well informed from experience, and some was nothing more than old wives tales. I always swore that I would be a hip parent, and there would never be a generation gap between my children and myself. Well, time and experience made a liar out of me. It’s really weird being on the other side of the generation gap and not being appreciated for the wisdom my many years of experience has earned me. I have learned that it is more important to be a parent and a loving guide and supporter than merely a friend.

My own children are not usually good at taking advice unless asked or if the opinion is actually what they wanted to hear. It is often one of those things that when they don’t follow the suggestions I give them and things don’t pan out, it’s everything I can do not to say “I told you so!” However, I am usually too busy trying to help them find a solution to the new complication that has arisen from doing exactly the opposite of my advice. So, they’re hard headed. I blame it on my husband’s side of the family. He blames it on mine. Maybe, they just got a double dose.

Sometimes, they make very good decisions on their own. Sometimes, they make bad choices. Don’t we all? Usually, the choices that aren’t so good are based from their hearts and not their heads. I’m not talking about love but friendships in general. Reverse psychology still works to a degree. If I am adamantly opposed to something or someone, I have learned to keep my mouth shut. It is much better for them to learn on their own. They have actually been known to come back and tell us that they knew we were right or knew what we were trying to get across without actually saying anything. I’ve found that my kids will often put their friends before their families and even before themselves. I’ve learned to pretend to like everyone whether I do or not. I keep my mouth shut. I remember as a teen being that more enthralled with the “bad boys” just because I was told to stay away from them.

These are just a few generalized opinions I have and have passed on to them. Not that they listen to anything I say!

On friendship:

*If your friend finds something wrong with every girl you like, chances are your friend is jealous.

*Don’t take the rap for your friends, chances are they wouldn’t do the same for you.

*Don’t let your life revolve around your friends, ten years or so out of high school you will probably not still be friends with them.

On marriage:

*If she doesn’t like dogs, think long and hard about whether or not you want to spend the rest of your life with her. If your dog doesn’t like her, hang it up. Dogs are a good judge of character.

*If she can handle a camping trip, she’s up for working through a marriage. If she loves camping, she’s a keeper.

*If she knows how to check the oil in her car, she’ll save you money in the long run.

*If she cooks for you (and it doesn’t come out of a box!), you’ve got yourself a winner.

*If she says her Mama is crazy or calls her a bad name, watch and make sure she’s not the one who is actually crazy.

*Seriously, don’t pick your mate according to her appearance. And if you insist on it, get a good look at her Mama because chances are that in twenty or thirty years she is going to look a lot like her.

All families are raised with nuggets of advice. Some are useful; some not. I guess only time will tell whether they deem my nuggets to be gems or gravel.

The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself. ~Oscar Wilde


24 thoughts on “When The Tables Turn

  1. “I have learned to keep my mouth shut. It is much better for them to learn on their own. ”

    You are sooooooooo correct, Suzi! I’ve gotten to a point in my relationships with friends and family where I will only share my advice or opinion IF asked.

    “*Seriously, don’t pick your mate according to her appearance. And if you insist on it, get a good look at her Mama because chances are that in twenty or thirty years she is going to look a lot like her.”


    Have a super Friday!


  2. “gems or gravel” – love it! I think when they’re young, our kids consider most of our opinions bits of gravel – the older they get, the more they become gems. It’s a perspective thing.

  3. I cannot agree more Suzi..my children are adults now and I am very fortunate to say they have turned into fine indivuals..of which I am so proud of. We as parents also learn along the way and make mistakes in the process…it is all part of life’s lessons. Your perspective above is perfect..I also had a laugh at look at her Mama…so very true!! You are a gem!! xx

  4. *Seriously, don’t pick your mate according to her appearance. And if you insist on it, get a good look at her Mama because chances are that in twenty or thirty years she is going to look a lot like her.

    That is the winner right there! Boys please never forget that one! SOOOOO true!! (wether we want it to be or not)

  5. Great post SuziCate. I love the quote too, not one I am familiar with but it is just perfect for this post and so very true. I totally agree with not picking a mate based on appearance and yes, do take a good look at the mother as that is who you will, appearance wise, find yourself married to 20 years later 🙂

    You offer wise words here – I shall have to try and remember them as my daughter grows. Not easy to stick to some of this but I think your approach is spot on.

  6. I particularly like that nugget about dogs being a good judge of character. That is absolutely the truth! I kid you not. My big guy Edgar NEVER liked my ex husband. Used to bark at him.

    It does feel weird on the “old” side of the generation gap. I don’t feel old. But the numbers tell another story.

    happy labor day weekend!

  7. My brother was very quiet for years raising his daughters. Then, one year he saw a film and it made him sit up and realize he wanted to be the Voice his girls heard in their head when they closed their eyes.

    I love this.

    It’s kind of what you’re saying about the line between friend and loving guide. I want to put enough sage words into my children’s heads that, later, when they’re out there floating around, they hear the words I planted ready to sprout into full grown blossoms.

    Sometimes it feels random now, but later the harvest might be needed when there is a draught.

  8. To this day, I really wished I would’ve listened to my mom about friend advice. I swear, the woman has a radar – – she can spot people that are there to use and abuse from a mile away. Had I listened to her? I truly believe 17-20 would’ve been a much easier time for me. Great post!

  9. LOL! I cannot disagree with anything on your list! And the part about keeping your mouth shut is so spot-on. We learned early on when the teenage daughters were dating to NOT express disapproval of a BF. If we did, he was around FOREVER. On the flip side, if we said we liked him, she kicked him to the curb by the end of the week. Funny thing now is the youngest actually wants to know what we think of the BFs now!

  10. Love the part “if she can go camping”, she’s a winner!

    Great advice – and I agree, its hard when they start making decision on their own.

    Sadly, when our kids were maybe 10 and 12, we told them “never, ever get a tattoo because you’ll regret it 10 years (or sooner!) after you get it. We said “get as many piercings as you want – you can take those out!

    So now my 18 year old daughter has a Monroe, nose pierce, 6 different spots on her ear, places I didn’t even know you could pierce, and her belly button.

    But she listened – no tats!

    Hope you have a great long weekend!

  11. I like your nuggets, and those on friends are sooooo right!

    I find with my own daughter that if I wait until she asks for advice, she’ll take it and follow it. If I ever suggest something on my own, she’ll do the opposite. Stinker.

  12. I used to think my mother was horrible at giving advice! (this was when I was in high school lol) Then, as I grew older I realized that she gives the BEST advice 🙂 I don’t know what happened- maybe she got wiser or maybe I got older. I think the second one sounds more probable!
    “*If she cooks for you (and it doesn’t come out of a box!), you’ve got yourself a winner.”
    I so badly need to learn how to cook! 😉

  13. Pingback: … in a Bottle » Blog Archive » Recap of Living Out Loud volume 20: You won’t read this anywhere …

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