Proverbs 19:20-21 “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”
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
End of the day, most Dads advise because we want to help, and they love you. We’ve been through some things that we want you to avoid. What usually happens is that our children go through phases when they need our advice, don’t listen to our advice, or don’t want our advice.
The sad fact is we dads probably don’t adjust our advice for any of those phrases; we fire off pearls of wisdom from each hip, just looking for someone asking for more.
Poll On Getting Dad Advice
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 up their room about 3.2 million times. So what happens…it falls on deaf ears, goes in one ear and out the other, etc.
But one day, their Uncle is at the house and says, you should help your parents out and 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 that 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 we say it, and how we say it. Ever listen to someone read a text with sass? Key and Peele have a great skit on a text being taken out of context (R-rated).
So we’ve identified that we need to watch the what, when, and how. What if I told you that wasn’t enough. We were going to have to get used to not giving advice at all.
I know….crazy right.
Our children will get to an age where they no longer want unsolicited advice at all from you. If they do ask for advice (don’t overdo it), give solid Godly wise counsel. Don’t harp on it. If you have some relatable experience, share it without an agenda. 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 investigate the matter. Or better yet… I’ll pray about it.
Truth & Grace
Truth: 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.
Grace: Take time to listen to your children when they don’t want your advice. Pray for them and prepare your words for when they do ask for advice.
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