10 Wise Rules That Our Parents Followed, but That We’ve Forgotten

Family & kids
4 years ago

When we become parents ourselves, we realize our own parents might have had more sense than we usually give them credit for (and they probably realized the same thing about your grandparents!) Even today, we can admit that a lot of the words of wisdom families of the past used to live by... are actually pretty good advice.

We at Bright Side love giving a helping hand to parents, so we’re sharing some old rules that are probably worth bringing back.

1. “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

When you want something from somebody, it’s better to be polite, respectful, and not too demanding. Children need to learn to be courteous when they expect something from their parents, be grateful for what they get, and be accepting of what they aren’t able to get. Children should never throw tantrums to get what they want, especially from family.

2. “It’s important to learn the value of a dollar.”

When children get everything they want in life, they can get spoiled and learn to expect the “better” things in life. Even at a young age, children should learn the importance of managing money, like saving for something they want, for when they are older. After all, you don’t want your children to still be financially dependent on you once they become adults themselves.

3. “Take advantage of your education.”

Education is important to help your child obtain their goals in life, no matter what they want to do. Whether they end up going to college or vocational school, children should be encouraged to do their own homework, behave well in class, and take responsibility for when they do poorly in class (there are times when teachers are to blame... but not always).

4. “You should always send a thank you note.”

It’s always nice to let people know that you care, so teaching your kids to send thank you notes after getting a gift lets them know that they should be grateful and respectful of their loved ones. There’s also a pragmatic side to this: people are more willing to be indulgent, if they know you will appreciate it.

5. “Everyone makes mistakes... you just have to learn from them.”

Everybody makes mistakes and that’s okay. Kids need to know the most important thing about making mistakes is that you can learn from them. Because of this, it’s sometimes important to let your kids make mistakes, and not always protect them, in order to teach them a lesson. If they forgot about a homework assignment, it isn’t your place to do it for them.

6. “Do the crime and do the time.”

If you tell your kids they will be punished for disobeying you, and they do, you have to stick to what you said. Remember, kids need their parents to be parents, not friends, since they can always go out and make friends. They also need to learn that their actions have consequences.

7. “Dinner should be eaten as a family.”

A nice family dinner, where everyone sits together, helps a family build a community with each other and also helps family members to talk with one another. Added to that, a homemade dinner is also the perfect time to teach healthy eating habits and proper etiquette.

8. “Because I said so.”

Parents usually have a practical reason when they say “no” to their kids, and the stock response to complaints, “Because I’m the parent,” can come off as petty, but there is a reason parents should resort to it. Ultimately, kids need to respect authority and learn that they can’t always have what they want and, despite that, their parents still have their best interests at heart.

9. “Chores help build character.”

While schoolwork is important, parents who don’t expect their kids to do chores so they can spend all their time studying are pushing things too far. Not only do kids need to learn the importance of responsibility at a young age, it’s also important that they learn to take care of themselves for when they grow up.

10. “Always finish what’s on your plate.”

Unless your child has certain allergies, children should learn to eat what they are given. Let them know they should be grateful to have something to eat, since that is something that is not always guaranteed in life. This is especially important for when they are guests at another person’s house. Kids should also be encouraged to help with preparing and cooking, to help learn the value of good food.

What are some old parenting rules, like ones your parents had, that you realize were right all along? Please share with us in the comments!

Preview photo credit Shutterstock.com, Depositphotos.com


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I'm so glad I grew up when I did. I was doing the dishes after dinner every night by age 8, we always ate dinner together as a family, and when I was growing up the internet was just coming around. I always had to ask permission to use it. Homework and chores before leisure activites, consequences if I had a bad report card. If I was disrespectful or misbehaved, I was reprimanded. The world is so backwards and crazy these days...


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