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August 23, 2016

Giving Advice

Advice is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.
(Lord Chesterfield)

Giving advice to anyone is tricky business (I should know). A good rule of thumb is to never give it unless specifically asked. We all know those people who feel the need to tell us “what I would do if I were you,” even though you didn’t clearly ask for their input. No matter how insightful their thoughts may be, we dread hearing it because it usually reeks of self-importance and arrogance, not a genuine desire to help.

It comes across the same way to our kids when we do the same thing to them. Certainly, we should teach our children about life as we go through it together. Let’s talk to them about principles like reaping and sowing, to be sure. But let’s also resist the urge to do so in the heat of the moment, when our anxiety needs them to heed our recommendation. Advising them on a decision without being invited will greatly increase the chances they’ll ignore it, and you.

Peace begins with pause,

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