Learn English – Advice my dad gave me that I hated!

We all love to give advice. Parents especially! Not all of it is helpful.  But some is! In this video I talk about my mom and dad’s advice. Then two of my friends share what they recall from their parents.

Hey there. I imagine that if you live with family now or grew up with family, somebody gave you advice, gave you wisdom. Maybe your mom, your father, a grandparent. That’s what we’re talking about today. Did you like that advice? Did it work?

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories.)

It is human nature to pass on wisdom, lessons that we have learned to others. What advice have you received from someone in your family? Have you followed it? Has it worked? Did you like it? 

My parents are no longer living, but I remember, probably the number one piece of advice that each one gave me. 

  • My father was always saying to me: “Maria, do your best!”  

How did that turn out? Terrible. I hate that advice. Why? Because how do you know when, or if you have done your best? For example, there were a few years when I had a clothing business on the side. I did that on top of teaching French and I had two kids. I was a busy mom. And a husband and a house and all that.

I would go to women’s houses and show clothes and how they went together. And twice a year, our company had a competition to sell clothes, to reach different levels. And I wanted to get a prize. I wanted to win an award.

I remember one time when I worked really hard to get enough sales, but I didn’t make it. Does that mean I didn’t do my best? I could’ve worked more evenings. I could’ve worked more weekends and longer on weekends. Of course, I did not do my best. It never ends. When do you reach your best?

  • My mother would say to me: “Maria, take time and smell the flowers!”

What did that mean? What does that mean? That means: Stop, look around at the beauty of this world, notice beauty, enjoy beauty, receive it as a gift.

Did I follow that advice? Did I like that advice? I like it now. I think it’s perfect. But no, I would laugh at my mom and say, “Mom, you’re retired. You have time to smell the flowers. I have two young children. I have a job. I’m too busy to stop and smell the flowers.”

I asked a couple of my friends about advice, they had received what their mom or dad had said to them. Listen to what my friend, Charley, says about her mom, what her mom told her. Her mom is no longer living:

  • “The piece of advice that my mom used to say was, ‘Remember who you are, remember who you are!’ which means, remember the lessons that I’ve taught you and that your family loves and supports you. So, that’s something that I think about a lot. 
  • A piece of advice my father used to say was, and he still says it today, but he says: ‘Chin up!’, which means be tough. And I used to not like it because I didn’t get a lot of sympathy from him. But I do like it now because I think it made me a stronger person.

I like that advice. Is that anything you heard from your mom or your dad? My next friend is Deb. Her mother gave her very serious advice. Listen to this.

  • The best advice I think my mother ever gave me concerning my children was to tell me, to let them make their own mistakes and pray that the mistakes they make are any not big ones. And that’s been a real challenge for me to let my children grow up and make their own mistakes.

What do you think? Is that good advice?

Her father has given her different advice that she has found very useful. Listen to this.

  • My dad always counseled me: ‘If you commit to something, then you commit a hundred percent.’ So, when I would be on a sports team, I was there. I was there on time. And I never missed a practice. And I think that that really paid off in that maybe athletically, I wasn’t the best athlete on the team, but because I was committed and I was there every day, putting in the effort it paid off in the end.

That makes sense, that makes sense. But, some of these pieces of advice might’ve worked for the parent. Maybe ‘Do your best!’ worked for my dad. But they haven’t always worked for other people.

So, what do you think, what do you think about giving advice? I actually want to give less advice, now that I think about it. Leave me a comment below this video. Tell me what advice you have received, whether it has worked and do you like it, and would you give that piece of advice or wisdom to someone else? 

And remember if you would like the written words, the transcript for this episode, go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com. And there you can find the transcript to this episode and many others. Well, that’s it for this episode. Talk to you next time.

(Outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)



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