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“You’ll Understand When You Are Older” And Other Fatherly Advice

Fathers Day

Who Knew—Dad Was Right!

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
Mark Twain

This is one of my favorite Mark Twain quotes because it so perfectly expresses how we learn to appreciate our fathers, especially as we get older and discover they may have been right.

Remember some of the great fatherly advice we received over the years?

Stand up straight.

Think before you speak.

Your mother is right.

Just Some Common Sense

Just some common sense

I’m sure we also have memories of our Dads doling out these old chestnuts as we helped him do chores or complete his list of honey-dos around the house. Some of those little nuggets of wisdom are just as relevant today as they were years ago.

“Don’t throw it away. Try and fix it first.”

Try and Fix it

Advice undoubtedly passed down from our father’s father. When you think about it, some of our grandparents were the original conservationists. Living through a World War and the Depression, they became experts at finding ways to repair, reuse or repurpose stuff all the time. Rarely was anything thrown away. Why, I remember cutting up old clothes to be turned into potholders, work cloths, dust rags or quilts.

“We’re not trying to cool/heat the whole neighborhood.”

Heat and Cool

This priceless gem was heard every time a door was standing ajar, a light was left on in an empty room or you couldn’t find what you wanted from the fridge fast enough. Who knew frugal fathers were also helping the environment along with their pocketbooks. That is why I’m sure these tips on staying cool would be Dad-approved.

“Spend a little more now, and you will save more later.”

Spend More Save Later

It makes sense to buy quality over quantity. Remember that classic suit or work boots Dad owned? He probably only had to replace it once—if ever. So he not only saved money, but he reduced waste by not having to get rid of poor-quality items. Even more profound advice when you consider purchasing items that are being ethically manufactured.

“Stop wasting water!”

Stop Wasting Water

Urgent and direct—this was most assuredly the mantra to live by anytime work in the yard or garden was to be done. No matter what part of the country you came from or the climate, this was always the one hard-and-fast rule when it came to yard work—never waste water.

Who knew? Dad was a tree hugger!

Tree love

So, no matter what your Dad may have bellowed out across the yard as you spent your Saturday toiling in the hot summer sun or conveyed across the dinner table, you can look back and trust that most everything he told you as a kid turned out to be sound advice for life. And also the environment.


Discover the kind of hobbies and activities your father enjoys. Then plan a day he would love by doing some of those things together. Find something worth sharing and create a new family tradition.

comment_2What is some of the sage advice or wise words you received from your father? Share your favorite memories in the comments below.


Will you pass your father’s advice on to your children?

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LaBetha Casey
LaBetha Casey
4 years ago

my father taught me how to manage money. 1. Pay your tithes 2. Take care of your needs (food, clothes, shelter, etc.) 3. Put some in savings. 4. If any is left, help the poor. 5. If any is left, then you may buy something you want. This advice has helped me through the years when our family had so little money to live on, but we never went hungry and never went bankrupt. Now, we are able to help many people who are in need.

4 years ago
Reply to  LaBetha Casey

What a wise Father! Thanks for sharing, LaBetha.

Amy Hepfner
Amy Hepfner(@amylmh)
4 years ago

My dad was the wisest man I have ever known…and that’s with nothing more than a 6th grade education. He was truly a conservationist and taught me about taking care of the environment. He was an avid gardener, outdoorsman and fisherman and taught me conservation of both wildlife, water, soil and composting. Many times growing up I was reminded of the stories of the first European settlers and how the Native Americans learned to put fish in the soil when planting corn, because my dad would put fish heads and other fish scraps from cleaning in his compost heap. We had the best garden soil!! He taught me so much and yes, I’ve passed down many of his pearls of wisdom to my children, as they never had the chance to learn from him directly.

Angie Scott
Angie Scott(@gracierie)
4 years ago

The poll is difficult for me to answer… I do not have children. Will I pass advice on to the younger generation? Yes. But, without children of my own, I had to answer “no”. 🙁

Karen Codrington
Karen Codrington(@karen-codrington)
4 years ago

“Look after your pence and the pounds will take care of them selves”
“A car is just a means of transport and should be treated as such”
He taught me not to be wasteful and that hard work will get you anywhere you want to be.

Tanya Aoyagi
Tanya Aoyagi(@spokanegreenclean)
4 years ago

My dad taught (and still teaches) me so many things! One of my favorites: “Friends may come and go in your life, but your family is forever. You don’t always have to like them, but they are yours, so hold on tight.” My family’s definition of family definitely includes those who may not be blood-related but are precious to us!

Christy May
Christy May(@christy-may)
4 years ago

My father was an outdoorsman, a steward of nature and a great leader by example. I remember him riding his bike to the grocery store with a backpack and reusable bags long before it was cool. 🙂

Sherry Lyle
Sherry Lyle(@the-simple-hive)
4 years ago

My dad is an outdoorsman. He loves to fish and hunt for his food and lives simply. I didn’t know him until I was 21 years old. During a power outage, we sat in the dark and had a great conversation. He said, “I don’t need as much as I have.” It stuck with me and fit right in with the life I was beginning to cultivate.

Jennifer Rottman
Jennifer Rottman(@jenniferrottman)
4 years ago

My father taught me to try and fix things yourself versus instantly buying new.

Gingi Freeman
Gingi Freeman(@domesticgeekgirl)
4 years ago

My dad is like a living fortune cookie.. always filled with vague but spot on advice, hehe! 😉