Do your homework right now! Do not wait until later.
Why do you eat candy? You know that candy is bad for you!

Above is the sound of a parent’s wise advice. What is your usual reaction to such wise words? The younger kids will usually become defensive and angry, and begin to fight. The older kids may do the same thing, or even roll their eyes.
Most parents are left confused and frustrated by their child’s intense reactions. We give up and say, “I tried to help! I don’t wish for them to make the mistakes I made. If they would just listen to my advice, they wouldn’t need to!
We can put ourselves into our children’s shoes to better understand their reaction. What would you feel if your partner gave you the exact same advice (see above). What would you think? Are you angry, defensive or ready to fight? You probably nod your head and say, “Yes! I feel all of that!”
Both children and adults find it difficult to accept advice. Even if the advice is requested, this is still true. Even if they ask for it, giving advice to our children or other adults can make them feel stupid. (“I should have done that myself”) Also, they may feel control (“Why do you always tell me what to think?”) or defiant (“Maybe that’s the solution I already thought of!”). Why do you tell me what to Do !”).? The constant lecture-style advice can be boring and tiresome. (“I will never ask for her advice again, she just goes and on !”).

When we give our children advice, it can be even more problematic because this interferes with the autonomy they need. Making decisions is a part of growing up. We all know deep down what’s right for us. We as parents need to help our children listen to their gut instincts. We must help them develop their intuition, so they can connect with their moral compass and inner conscience. Advice can hinder this process. Children must make their own errors. This is the only way they can learn not to make them again.

It is difficult to let go of our children and allow them to make their own mistakes because our biological programming is designed to protect us from harm. There is also the need to be right. It is very satisfying to be able to tell someone, or just to suggest, “I told ya so. If you had listened to my advice, things would have been going well for you now!”

What can we do, then, to teach and guide our children if advice is not working? How can we teach them to trust their instincts and guide them? How can we let go of our need to protect them from harm, and our human tendency to want to be right?

1. You can talk about yourself.

Talking about our decisions and how we make them is a better way to guide our children than giving them advice. Talk about your efforts to do the right thing in your everyday conversation with your children.

“I didn’t really want guests for Shabbos, but I thought that the Cohens had just moved into their new apartment and would need somewhere to eat while they got it all together. I’m busy this week so I will buy take-out and make some homemade food. “It’s a hard week, but I know it was the right decision.”

“I was a little unsure of this new client. I had a gut feeling that he would be dishonest. I asked him some questions and I believe I was right. After that, he didn’t call back.”

2. Answer a query with a simple question

You may be asked to give advice by children. You should know that children usually know what they are looking for before they ask you. Remember that the advice they seek is not usually helpful to them. You want to encourage the person to take their own decision.

Should I wear a blue or green dress as a child?
Adult: What do you want to be?

You can also make a gentle joke about it with your kids. When parents tell their children what they should do, or wear, the children will usually want to do exactly the opposite. Human nature is funny.

Do I have to do my homework right now?
Adult: When do you think you would enjoy yourself? What is your schedule for the next few weeks?

Child: Do I have to eat the candy right away or can I save it?
Adult: What is your opinion?

You can also ask them:
What is your gut telling you?
What would you do in this case?
What is the best solution for you?

3. Advice should be given in a manner that can be understood:

Sometimes it’s hard to resist giving our children advice or suggestions on how to solve their problems. We can use these phrases at those times:

I am not sure if you agree with ….but, it’s cold outside and the blue dress would be warmer.
Do your homework right now so you don’t have to worry later.
How would you feel if ?…….was told to save that candy for Shabbos?

4. You can now soften those “I told ya so” “:

It is human nature to want to protect your children. When they make a mistake, you may find it hard not to say “I told ya so”.
Here are some gentle methods to help your child accept that they made a wrong decision and get back on track.
Instead of:

“I told you that you should have placed your snack right away in your backpack- you wouldn’t forget it!”


I thought of you today. I knew you were eager to have that snack. “I am sure you will put the snack into your bag tomorrow when I give it you.”
Instead of:

You’ll have to walk now to school because you missed the bus. You never listen when I tell you to get up earlier. …”

Not again! ” Oh no! Here is a sweatshirt …. You will need this for the walk to school. It can be helpful to mentally walk backwards through your daily schedule to determine how long you will take to get ready.

It’s difficult to give advice. It’s hard for parents to hold back, but ultimately it is best for their children. Talking about yourself, answering questions with questions, using respectful words and refraining from saying “I told you that” can all help your child to make good decisions on their own.

By admin

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