Monday, April 30, 2007

Parental Pearls of Wisdom

The other day I was speaking on the telephone with my 40 year old daughter, about this and that, and something I had been meaning to ask her came up in the conversation.

What would she say, if asked, that I , as her mother, had taught her? What "pearls of wisdom" had I imparted to her on her journey from child to adult? Without hesitation, she said two things sprang to mind and she taught both of them all the time, to her high school students.

The first, she said, was to always apologize to anyone with whom you had a falling out or a misunderstanding. Even if you feel the other person is in the wrong or that you do not believe you have done or said anything wrong, but there is tension between you, don't let it stand, but be the first to apologize. Not necessarily to say "I'm sorry I was wrong " but do at least say "I'm sorry I've upset you." Or something similar.

Well yes, this has always been my philosophy and I've practised it faithfully, as necessary. I think that all would agree that this is a positive lesson to have passed along. So I was pleased with that one.

The second thing, she said, was that every time you get an opportunity to give input or feedback you should do so. Always fill in the comment section on any form when asked. Take every occasion offered to make your opinion heard. This one took me back me a little, but it is something I always do. It just surprised me that she would have been so impressed by this.

Then I asked her if there was any lesson her father had passed along to her. Of course there was and it really made me laugh. Her father, a university professor, always told her that a student should take every moment of the time allotted for an exam and it would be foolish to leave early.

When I got off the phone, I went to tell my husband what she had said about his "pearl of wisdom" and he started to lecture me about it. "It's true," he said earnestly, even after having retired 8 years ago. I'm afraid he didn't see the humour in it, but I sure did. Especially when I started to get the lecture as well.

So there you have it folks, in a nutshell, the sum total of the wisdom imparted by the parental unit of this family, to the daughter at least. I'll have to ask my son what his answer would be.

30 comments:

Ian Lidster said...

I try to bide by the wisdom of both apology and making amends to others. I came to that conclusion (not via maternal wisdom, but quite by myself) when I realized that if I am angry or resentful, then that empowers the other person and saps my quality of life. After years of resentment I finally apologized to my ex-wife (even though I probably deserved more of an apology) and it was a good thing. We get along quite well now, and I feel emotionally unfettered.
Ian

Janice Thomson said...

I agree with Ian--not that I have an ex-wife LOL-- but that apologies and even more, making amends, really cleanses the soul. I have a poem I will post in the next day or so that explains what I tried to impart to my daughter. Good post Jmb.

Eurodog said...

jmb,
you are such a nice family.

Josie said...

My daughter is a speech language pathologist, and she said to me recently that the best advice I ever gave her was to obtain a university education with a degree in an employable profession so she can be self-reliant. She is married and has two children, but is very happy in her career and is indeed self-reliant.

Lee said...

A simple lesson in remembering just how receptive a child's mind is...and because of that to treat that mind carefully, gently and lovingly. Lessons learned when young stay with us forever.

I just wish more adults would treat children similarly. I wish more adults would understand just how precious a child is.

Great post, jmb. :)

jmb said...

Well of course Ian, I came to this conclusion myself too. My mother never apologized to anyone in her life, she was always right, even when she was wrong!
The thing is you feel better, even if it doesn't clear the air, because you tried. This you discovered yourself
and what's more it worked and your relationship is better for it.
regards
jmb

jmb said...

Hi Janice,
I'm looking forward to your poem. I don't think I tried to impart to much to my daughter, do your homework, do your best, blah. Just as each thing came up to give good advice I hope.
regards
jmb

jmb said...

Thank you Eurodog, we've given it our best effort.
regards
jmb

jmb said...

Hi Josie,
Well that's great about your daughter. I always assumed that my children would get university educations, which they did and my wish was that they find a profession that they could be happy in.
I always said my husband was the happiest person in his job and I wanted the same for them too.
regards
jmb

jmb said...

Hi Lee,
Thank you Lee. We are always teaching our children whether we know it or not. So we have to be very careful and "do as we say" ourselves.
We are given a precious gift to nurture and cherish in our children.
It's essential to do right by them.
regards
jmb

Sienna said...

So true Lee, so true, beautiful words.

JMB I would love for your blog to be *VERY* Important...that is how I regard your thoughts and writings..

I love that, Parental Words of Wisdom...great thoughts.

Pam

jmb said...

Hi Sienna,
Lee said it very well, as always, didn't she?
Thanks for your kind words, but I'm just twittering away randomly here.
regards
jmb

Spider Girl said...

Hi jmb,

Thanks for visiting my blog. I'm envious that you've been to Italy so many times! This will be my second trip there, but I know I'll be making a third and more. Mi piace l'Italia. :)

Oh, I found the apartment in Rome through a website that was recommended to me by a friend.

As for parental wisdom:

From my father: 1) Own your own land. 2)Keep lists. 3)Weeding builds character.

From my grandmother: Always keep one eye on the ground..you find a lot of money that way. :)

jmb said...

Hi Spider girl,
I love those parental and grandparental tidbits!
Enjoy your trip, I'll be looking for a report when you return.
regards
jmb

Ellee said...

What great parents you are. I try to teach my sons to respect other people's feelings and not hurt them. I also tell them they should never say "can't do that", that they should always try, else they will never know for sure.

james higham said...

...a student should take every moment of the time allotted for an exam...

Completely agree with this. That sacred time in there with the paper you get one chance and only one chance to make it right. finishing early is simply a bonus and you might have inadvertently made an error.

And also, thanks for the kind words.

jmb said...

Hi Ellee,
Those are great values you are imparting to your sons. I hope that I gave the same ones to my children too.
My always acted myself as if I could do anything I put my mind to so hopefully they absorbed that too.
regards
jmb

jmb said...

Hi James,
You obviously would get on well with my husband. Were you or are you a teacher in your foreign parts?
regards
jmb

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Good pearls of wisdom there.

jmb said...

Thanks Jean Luc, but I hope there were more than those two that I imparted. And I hope her dad gave her more than exam advice. However she was in university for 12 years so she could use that one very many times.
Still I did catch her on the fly and I was amazed she came up with anything.
regards
jmb

Tai said...

Hi!
I hadn't visited your blog before, but thought I'd come have a peek after you left such a nice one at Spider's site...but now I see Ian's been here as well as Janice and Josie!

I wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post...made me think about my mom.
I also want to say that the opera based on Pilgrim sounds really interesting! I loved that book!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jmb. That's lovely. I think both are great pearls of wisdom. [Nice photo, too.] What you say about apologising is very wise - you can do it without betraying your principles if necessary. My Mum used to say, "Never part in anger" which is not quite the same, I know, but relevant, I think. I always fill in feed-back forms, too - politely, I hope - and I do think these are important. As to your husband's advice re exams, I couldn't agree more: it astonishes me when students leave the hall early; a little more thought could make the difference between grades! I always tell them , too, "If you finish the paper early, then let your mind go blank a few minutes. Then look back over the paper and you will see some mistekes that you would not have noticed immediately." Do let us know what your son thinks, too! Auguri dalla Sicilia.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Welshcakes Limoncello said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Sorry! I must have pressed something 3 times in my impatience. Do delete the duplicates, jmb.

jmb said...

Hi Tai,

Thanks for dropping by. This post has resonated with lots of people and so I'm glad it made you think of your mother. I saw her over at your blog!
Pilgrim seems like a funny subject for an opera, well Jung really, but the music was lovely and the singing glorious.

Have a great trip and look forward to the full report.
jmb

jmb said...

Hi Welshcakes, a bit quick on the trigger today. Never mind, something worth saying is worth saying thrice.
We sound alike you and I, and you remember some advice from your mother too. I can't think of a thing. It seemed we were always at odds when I was growing up. She was very strict.
I'll have to tell my husband that you and James agree with the exam advice. I'm not sure that I would want to go down in history as the having passed on only that particular gem. He didn't seem to mind.
regards
jmb

ipanema said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ipanema said...

I always believe that we are what we are at home. These life lessons are ingrained and it can't be undone. Unless for some reasons, they want to change it.

I'm one to readilly say my apologies if I think I'm in the wrong. However, I also obnoxiously stand on what I believe is correct. So, there has to be a copromise somewhere. Sometimes I take things in stride.

Perhaps all these points to the way I was brought up or what the house rules are. We are encouraged to say what we think, be it good or bad news.

I think we always carry what's taught at home. Your daughter has. :)

jmb said...

Hi ipanema,

Well I hope that we all get good lessons at home but if we don't I hope we can change ourselves for the better.
When I worked in the hospital pharmacy with 30 people in a relatively small space it was very important to get along, so sometimes I had to apologize just to clear the air with someone because at times we would all get on each other's nerves. Anyway it usually helped so I was glad to do it even if I didn't feel in the wrong.
regards
jmb