Parents hand down 29 nuggets of wisdom to their children – including 'get an education', 'always try your best' and 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all'. A new study of 2,000 adults revealed two thirds find themselves churning out the same old clichés, with 'you don’t get something for nothing' and 'put money aside for a rainy day' also favourites.
Other pearls of wisdom include 'you only get out of life what you put into it', 'treat others how you wish to be treated yourself' and 'practice makes perfect'. Financial advice features frequently too in the shape of 'never spend money you don't have', 'look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves', 'put money aside for a rainy day' and 'always have two months' rent/mortgage saved'. 'Always wear clean underwear' and 'never let your petrol tank go lower than a quarter full' are among other tips from parents.
Stacey Stothard from Skipton Building Society, which carried out the research said: "We've all heard these wise words - and some are certainly more helpful than others - but despite recognising these sayings, do we actually take them on board? Clearly these pearls of wisdom are passed down for a reason, but it's often not until people learn from bitter experience or regret that more attention is paid to them. For some, many of these wise words have become little more than overused clichés – and the impact is watered down considerably as a result. So there's a lesson for us all here – if we want our children to be financially and practically prepared for their life ahead, pass on wise words – but do so with experience and originality!"
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More unusual pieces of advice include 'never walk under a ladder', 'don't eat in the street' and 'don't wear your coat indoors." Parents also want their children to have good manners, so it's no surprise to see they pass on other words of wisdom such as 'keep your elbows off the table', 'mind your Ps and Qs' and 'don't stare at people, it's rude'.
Children up and down the UK will also be advised to 'never swim on a full stomach', to 'never take sweets from strangers' and to 'always eat their breakfast'. Other wise words shared in the research are 'never go to bed on an argument', 'never drink on an empty stomach' and 'always hold the door open'.
Seven in 10 adults admitted they often catch themselves mid-sentence and think they sound like their mother or father, while a further 36 per cent frequently think they're turning into their own parents. The study also found for 53 per cent of those who took part, mum is typically the first person they'll go to for advice. But when it comes to guidance on finances, dad is the person most people will turn to – this is despite people voting their mum as being better with money than dad.
And a whopping 72 per cent of people admit they do still live by the advice their parents gave them when growing up – and as such still try not to eat cheese before bedtime, always use a hand cream, and try to eat with their mouth closed. Stacey Stothard continues: "It's great to see so many people admit to living by the advice given to them by their parents. Passing on life lessons and philosophy should never be underestimated, for many people they directly attribute this to getting into the discipline of planning and saving for their future."
TOP 50 WORDS OF WISDOM
- Always try your best
- If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all
- Get an education – no-one can take that away from you
- Never spend money you don’t have
- If you don’t ask, you don’t get
- Eat with your mouth closed
- Put money aside for a rainy day
- Never take sweets from strangers
- Do your best – nothing else matters
- Keep your elbows off the table
- Never swim on a full stomach
- Treat people with respect
- There’s no such word as can’t
- You never get something for nothing
- Don’t put shoes in the table
- Practice makes perfect
- Look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves
- Courtesy and compassion cost nothing
- Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself
- You only get out of life what you put into it
- ‘I want’ never gets
- Mind your p’s and q’s
- Manners maketh the man
- Always wear clean underwear
- Don’t stare at people, it’s rude
- Watching too much TV will make your eyes go square
- Be true to yourself
- Always hold the door open
- Never leave the house with wet hair
- Never drink on an empty stomach
- Never go to bed on an argument
- Look up things you don’t know the answer to
- Never go under a ladder
- Never give up
- Receive compliments gracefully
- Don’t wear your coat indoors
- Mum knows best
- The grass is never greener
- Always eat your breakfast
- Life’s too short to be unhappy
- Always have 2 month’s rent/mortgage saved
- Don’t eat cheese before bedtime
- Give compliments easily
- Use a hand cream
- Don’t eat in the street
- Never offer a stranger a lift
- Don’t smoke in the street
- Never let your petrol tank go lower than a quarter full
- Men are very different creatures to women