Giving advice as a dad sometimes feels like it should be in the constitution and listed as a God-given right. After all, how are we supposed to fix all the world’s problems if we don’t let you know?
- Some are just starting off
- Some are researching to stay ahead of the curve
- Some are vets and have been at this a long time
- Some have even turned professional
Most dads advise because they want to help, and they love you. We’ve been through some things that we want you to avoid. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that our children go through phases when they need our advice, don’t listen to our advice, or want our advice to we may not be asked for it.
The sad fact is we dads probably don’t adjust our advice for any of those phrases; we just fire off pearls of wisdom from each hip. So, I am just looking for someone to ask for more.
I was doing some research and ran across some results of a poll. The question was…Do you like unsolicited advice?
Three choices: Yes, No, and Only if the right person gives it.
Over 800 people had responded
- 6% saying “Yes” (I assume these people also love the DMV and Jury duty)
- 56% said, “No, keep it to yourself.”
- 38% said, “Only if the right person gives it.”
I don’t think it’s just a matter of the right person; it’s also a matter of the right time and the right way.
If you are a dad, you’ve probably told your children to clean their room about 3.2 million times. So what happens…it falls on deaf ears, goes in one ear and out the other, etc.
Their Uncle is at the house one day and says, you should help your parents clean your room. A clean room helps you mentally.
Your children clean their room the next day.
You’re like…What the…
You may think it’s all about who said it, but it seems to be what, how, and when they said it.
Dads, we need to get better at what we say, when, and how we say it. Ever listen to someone read a text with sass? Key and Peele have a great skit on the text being taken out of context (R rated).
We’ve identified that we must look at the what, when, and how. What if I told you that wasn’t enough? We were going to have to get used to not advising at all.
I know….crazy, right?
Our children will get to an age where they no longer want unsolicited advice. They may ask for advice (don’t overdo it), but then we can give solid, Godly, wise counsel. So don’t harp on it. If you have some relatable experience, share it without a plan. If you don’t, please don’t make something up or guess. Tell them you don’t know, but you’d be more than willing to look into the matter. Or better yet… I’ll pray about it.
Truth & Grace
- We can still advise our adult children, but we must wait for them to ask. If you are a trustworthy resource, they will ask. If you are a Buffon, they will go somewhere else.
- Proverbs 19:20-21 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, so that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are plans in a man’s mind, but the purpose of the Lord will stand.
Did you know there is more to this article?
So I am going through this now with my 17 year old son. Part of what I’ve realized is that sometimes you have to wait when it is the right season. When the child’s level or readiness and motivation are there. Just because we as fathers think we know everything, doesn’t mean we have to drum all of our so-called “wisdom” in their heads all at once. Be patient, pray about it and ask for God to give you guidance and the right words to say. Put our egos aside….easy to say, but not easy to do my brother’s…..