Sunday, January 13, 2013

Advice ...


While New Years has passed and resolutions have been made, I thought I would start ABCWednesday's Round 12 with ADVICE.

While I realize my opinion has not been solicited, with an altruistic goal of helping all us parents start 2013 off strong, here are some parenting suggestions nevertheless:

1. Advice on Advice: ... unsolicited advice (much like what I'm doing with this post) typically falls under two categories requiring different ways of handling:
a. Mandatory advice - directed for their immediate safety/health should be given in a respectful but strong manner.  In these situations, while unsolicited, YOU'RE the parent setting limits, and these are limits that cannot be broken - unless first discussed and approved by you. You may want to listen to their responses and concerns, but ultimately you have to set the rules and limits for their safety.  Know, however, that as they get older, you will have to pick these issues - or battles - carefully and wisely.
b.  The - concerned - needing to get-off-your-chest advice. This is the kind of "don't make the mistakes I made" advice that they see as butting-in.  

    • Before giving the advice STOP and THINK whether it really should be given. Tweens and teens are learning how to be future independent adults.  Sometimes failing or getting hurt now, are valuable lessons that may save them from making similar costlier mistakes later. Learning from mistakes is a powerful form of learning -the kind of 'skinned knee' that hurts now but heals and you learn from' situations.  IF this is one of those instances stop, think, and maybe save the advice for something more important.
    • IF you feel you must give them advice, don't make it confrontational or present it as something they have to do. Instead, you may want to begin by having a conversation, tell them a story or tell them about something similar in your life when your parent(s) gave you advise that while you did not necessarily want to hear it at the time, later turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice you were given. OR you may want to calmly reflect on their own behavior, what you are seeing and suggest or brainstorm together possible outcomes and longer range consequences to the various optional paths in front of them.
    • Help explain (without lecturing) - or plot out - consequences from different options available to them; help them stop-think-evaluate- and then respond.  This type of modeling will serve them well in so many situations.
2. While advice giving is important, also Encourage and Empower your kids to Step Beyond their Comfort Zones -where appropriate: When selecting research/science/reading projects, picking courses, or searching for summer jobs or internships...we should encourage our kids to think out of the box and step out of their comfort zones. Childhood and young adulthood are the best times for them to explore their limits, determine their mettle. And, stepping beyond comfort zones empowers them to expand expectations, learn new strategies, push parameters, and discover new worlds while gaining independence and self confidence.

3. Help your kids learn to Delay Gratification: Our world moves so quickly.  Something happens, we immediately respond. Someone upsets you, you tweet about it or post something on Facebook. The problem is that as a result, kids in particular make bad decisions because they act reflexively - because they can, and don't necessarily think things through.  As noted by Jim Taylor, Ph.D. in his Psychology Today article, The Power of Prime:
"Children start off at a severe disadvantage when it comes to decision making because their prefrontal cortex doesn't fully develop until well past adolescence The prefrontal cortex is instrumental to...executive functioning...determining good from bad, planning, recognizing consequences, predicting outcomes and the ability to suppress socially inappropriate behavior.
With the emergence of the Web, email, mobile phones with cameras, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, gossip web sites and online sleuths, there are newer, faster, and more creative ways to have dreadful decision making illuminated for anyone with an Internet connection to see. Plus, these decisions have a much-longer "afterlife" because the digital fingerprints they leave are so difficult to erase."
Teaching kids to stop, think, and delay reactions (and gratification) may stop them from impulsive mistakes they may later regret. Teaching/training kids towards delayed gratification can also help prevent eating and drug disorders as well and prevent them from making careless and harmful mistakes.

4. While giving advice and encouraging them to step outside their comfort zones (where appropriate) let them know that you will be there for them when they need you.


I figure four unsolicited pieces of advice are just about my limit and soI will close here.  

Thank you for your visit, and please leave your own (solicited) parenting pearls (advice or experiences or both) in the comments!

In the meantime. here are a few of my favorite clips that contain advice for parents:

Here's one from Modern Family on how to deal with (intimidate) your kids' boyfriends:

And another - probably one of the hardest things to do - even if you don't agree with your child's decisions or paths, let them know you always have their backs:
Here's a Parent Rap - a conglomerate of advice and a pat on the back to all we do as parents:
And when all else fails - always remember the 'spoon full of sugar'!:

Thanks for your visit - please leave your own favorite words of advice in the comments!


  1. This was a great bit of advice! Hahaha! Thanks for sharing. I'm actually popping in from a comment you left on my blog some time ago. I'm just catching up.

    Amanda's Books and More

  2. Great post! I'm Melissa from The Eyes of a Boy. I found you via the GFC blog hop, and I am now following you. Please stop by my blog and follow back, if you don't mind. Thanks!

    The Eyes of a Boy

  3. Holy cow awesome! I love you already and I only read this first post! I sure hope you and I can be good online buddies! New follower from the Mom's Monday Mingle. :)


  4. Hi Darla! Great pun intended! :-) Found you over at the Mom's Monday Mingle bloghop...following you now.

    Michell @Prowess and Pearls

  5. Having volunteered as a Samaritan I can definitely vouch for the power of allowing people to make their own decisions rather than rushing to advise (which is often a very natural instinct).

    I'd love it if you'd link up to my Monday Mantras Inspirational Linkup :)

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

  6. Great post & some of my favorite shows & movies too. I'm a new follower from mom's blog hop. Always great to meet another blogger named Meryl too. xo, Meryl

  7. Great advice - fun videos! Great start to ABC Wed.

  8. Hi! We are your newest follower from the Monday Mingle. Would love if you followed us in return! This is great advice!
    Colleen from Sugar Aunts

  9. great post - you put so much in to it

  10. Excellent post. I always tried to be careful about giving too much advise to my child but I know at times I failed miserably. I will say that it was a relief to realize that she was an adult and was doing very well without my advise and I am surprised how easy it has been to stop giving it unless asked. Carver, ABC Wed. Team

  11. Another great post ~ so informative and appears well researched ~

    (A Creative Harbor)

  12. advice on advice. what a fine idea.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  13. I like your last bit of advice about the spoon full of sugar...
    Great post as usual. Its difficult to share advice with the kids, no matter how old they are.
    I do see some of the things I shared with my now 40 year old "kids" now actually being passed on to their kids.
    Some advice does fall on fertile soil!

  14. Awesome tips and may I add to think about the battle - is it worth it in the long run?

    abcw team

  15. Being the sugar fed society that we are I'd go with the Mary Poppins approach :)

  16. We always let our children know they have our unconditional love. There is nothing they can do or say that will keep us from loving them. We also let them live and learn after they became adults. It's hard as a parent to stand by and see them make mistakes but to try to tell them they are making one always seems to backfire.

    Thank you Dr, Jaffee for stopping by my blog and leaving your link.

    I always enjoy finding new blogs. I also linked up with you on Google connect.

    I hope you have a great week and of course...Happy WW! :-)

  17. I'm a better listener than advice-giver :)

    Happy WW!

  18. New follower here from the Lovely Blog Hop :)