Friday Fun — Does Dad Know Best?

Friday Fun is a group post from the writers of the NHWN blog. Each week, we’ll pose and answer a different, get-to-know-us question. We hope you’ll join in by providing your answer in the comments.

QUESTION: It’s Father’s Day on Sunday. What’s the best advice your dad ever gave you … about life, writing, love, family, or about just about anything you’d like to share.

Dad-Mom-Susie-Brenda_02Susan Nye: Both my grandfather and great grandfather had a huge influence on my dad. Here is one of Dad’s favorite lessons from his father that he has passed on to me:

When you are out to eat and order dessert, always ask for your pie à la mode. That way, if the pie isn’t any good, you can still enjoy the ice cream.

My dad is an optimist. No matter what the circumstance, he can always find something good to enjoy in life.

Lisa J. JacksonLisa J. Jackson: His advice to me in my 20s: “start saving at least 5% of your income now, but more if you can.” It took me a while to get started, and it ‘hurt’ a bit to have the money out of play, but I’m so glad I did that. It’s part of what eventually gave me the security to start my own business. No regrets following that advice and I’ve shared it many times over the years with others.


headshot_jw_thumbnailJamie Wallace: This question made me smirk a little. My dad will be the first to admit that he’s an expert at giving advice, but he’s not so great at following it. Ever since I was a wee thing, my dad has been giving me all kinds of advice about how to be true to my dreams, beat my own drum, and stand up for myself. My dad is great at breaking down difficult situations. He has a way of combining logic and psychology that helps you quickly get to the bottom of any interpersonal dynamic. He also gives a hell of a pep talk. Though I am grateful for all the advice he’s given over the years, I think the one I still love best (even though I sometimes hate to hear it) is, “You can have anything you want. You just can’t have everything.” Though it annoys me to have to admit the verity of this statement, it’s a damn important reminder about setting priorities and remaining focused. And it’s a piece of advice that you can apply to every aspect of your life. Life is short. You really do have to pick and choose where to focus your energy.

Diane MacKinnon, MD, Master Certified Life CoachDiane MacKinnon: The piece of advice that comes to mind immediately when I think of my Dad is: “Family comes first.” Growing up in a house with four siblings, there was a lot of vying for attention, but we always knew we were important to both my parents. I think that gave me a certain kind of confidence when I went out into the world. And now that I’m middle-aged, my relationship with my parents has changed but they still come first with me. Another benefit is that my brother and my sisters are all my closest friends.

hennrikus-web2Julie Hennrikus: I am blessed with a really wonderful father. He was/is always supportive, and is proud of his three daughters. His best advice? I was going to college in the early eighties, and he told me not to learn how to type. (This was pre computers.) Typing might limit my opportunities from management. And he also told us never to offer to make coffee for the office–it would undermine as equals. I did learn how to type, but I still don’t make the coffee. Happy Father’s Day Paul Hennrikus!

dll2013_124x186Deborah Lee Luskin: My dad has given me lots of advice, some of it memorable, some of it good, but the best thing he has done is taught by example. From him I’ve learned that life is a gift, to follow my passion, and to pick myself up after a fall.

26 thoughts on “Friday Fun — Does Dad Know Best?

    • Hi topazshell,
      That is great advice. I always say to my son: “Everyone’s different,” and now he says it back to me!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


  1. My Dad has always been there to give advice when asked, but at the wedding of one of my siblings we had a chance to dance. He is not an emotional kind of a man, but stopped and simply said “you will find your perfect match some day” as we watched my brother dance with his wife. It did come true after all, and years later I think of his words with a smile, for that season in my life I was not nearly as confident in that dream coming true.

    Thank you for reminding us all what Father’s Day truly means.

  2. Breaking up with a dud boyfriend a few years ago, my dad advised me that men do what they want. He saved every penny he had after graduating college and proposed to my mother at 24 because he wanted to. My dad said if my dud boyfriend wasn’t willing to step it up, then its time to move on- and he was absolutely right!

  3. Pingback: Happy Father’s Day! | the self-styled life

  4. I love the “dud boyfriend one!” 2 things come to mind as far as my dad’s advice. One: “the two most important things to give ur children: independence and responsibility.” And two, “Always tell the truth- then I won’t have to extend any energy trying to remember what u said.”

  5. Thank yo great dads! My dad once said, “How will you know that you have the best soup if you have tasted only one soup?” Let us explore because there are so many things about life that we can enjoy!

    • Hi Inside the Mind of Isadora,
      It’s turned into a great collection, hasn’t it? Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who’s contributed!

      Happy Father’s Day Dads!


    • Hey writerann,
      For me, they became important toward the end of med school. But not as important as my career. Boys didn’t really become important to me until after I’d established myself in my work. I think that’s why my parents said it–they wanted me to have a career first!

      Now I know there are a million different ways to do things, but back then, I just followed their advice. It served me well, but I can see now I had other options!


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