I Don’t Want to Give My Kids Advice

 I don’t want to give my kids advice, I want to impart wisdom.

wisdom is a gift that keeps on giving


 a proposal for an appropriate course of action


ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight

Many will give my children’s advice as they mature — doctors, dentists, teachers, friends, colleagues — but as a mother, I want to be different because I know and love them unconditionally.

I want to offer my children something more than advice. I want to give them the gift of wisdom.  I aim to impart insight based on my knowledge of them and unconditional love of who they are.   I hope this will enable my children to make good choices for themselves, long after the wisdom is given. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

I don’t want to say, “You should do this.”

I want to say, “What do you think?”

I don’t want to say, “Believe this.”

I want to say, “What is truth?”

I don’t want to say, “Behave like this.”

I want to say, “Do right.”

In the small things, and the big things, I aim to give wisdom, not advice.

I often fall into the trap of advising my kids because it’s easier and usually black and white. It’s there, and then it’s gone.

However, the complex shades of wisdom are an investment built over time and take a great deal of energy, thought and love.

Like a painting starts with shades, so I hope wisdom gives my children an individual map to work on which is grounded by knowledge and love. 

As colour is built on the shades to reveal a picture, so I hope my children will add colour and shape to their own life as they live.

blossom tree painting

Then, as a mother, I can stand back with excitment to admire the ever-evolving picture I see.

What I see won’t be my work. But my love.

What I see won’t be what I picked. But what I sowed.

What I see won’t be a destination. But a journey.

What I see will be beautiful. Individual. Unique.

And a surprise.

I’m sure of it.

Wisdom is a gift that keeps on giving.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. says

    Oh so true. My lovely husband occasionally teases me when he overhears me say “so what do YOU think…..?” to the kids. It’s sometimes painful, but such a good investment…


  2. says

    Love this parenting philosophy! Thanks for sharing! It is easy to fall into the advice giving – its kind of like counselling actually – the counsellor/social worker is not there to give advice – they are there to help you consider options and develop strategies and goals to cope with situations effectively.. (learnt this in my youth work course and its good to be reminded of these things!)

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