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November 20, 2014

Some Advice on Giving Advice

Image: Flickr/davidcwong888

Image: Flickr/davidcwong888

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

Giving advice to anyone is tricky business; there’s wisdom in waiting to offer any unless you’re specifically asked. We’ve all known the person who feels the need to tell you “what they would do” even if you don’t want their input. No matter how insightful their suggestion may be, we dread hearing it because it reeks of self-importance and arrogance.
It can come across the same way to our children. Certainly, you should teach your kids about life as you go through it together. Talk to them about principles like sowing and reaping. Show them the importance of saving for a rainy day. Yes, to all of that.
But resist the urge to constantly do so in the heat of the moment. Advising them on a decision without being invited is intrusive. It can communicate a lack of trust. Worse, it can lead to a battle when it could lead to something far more productive — if you can calm your anxiety and wait to be asked.

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