Advice From a Dad

Listen, my son (my child), to your father's instruction, and don't reject your mother's teaching.
-Proverbs 1:8 (4:10, 20; 5:1,7; 7:24, 8:32, 19:27, 23:19)

I picked up a book by Robert E. Carey: Daddyisms 'Lessons from my Father, Lessons for my Children'

From the back cover:

DADDYISMS is an easy read for people seeking reassurance that doing the right thing is still the salve that soothes our soul.  Timely advice is woven through each brief chapter in both serious and humorous tones.  At times irreverent, but always to the point, the stories are written from the heart...

Here are the first 53, my notes are in parentheses.


  1. The two most important things you can say to your children are, "I love you", and "No".
  2. Showing up is half the battle.
  3. The most important things in life are your health, your friends, and your credit.
  4. Successful people work at it.
  5. If you draw a line in the sand, make sure it isn't crooked. (Principle is more important than winning)
  6. When in doubt, smile. (Smiling sincerely encourages others and builds connections)
  7. Say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no.
  8. Before making a big decision, take 8 hours of sleep and mix it with patience.
  9. Try to be the first to forgive and the last to give up.
  10. A man stands tall when he stoops to help a child.
  11. Because each child is an individual, they need individual attention.
  12. Never go to bed angry with your kids or your spouse, they may kill you in your sleep.
  13. If you think your teenager is angry, you are probably right.
  14. If you expect gratitude from your children before life has kicked them in the teeth, you're going to be sorely disappointed.
  15. Why didn't life's problems hit me when I was a teenager and had all the answers?
  16. Try your best to be as loyal to your family and friends as your dog is to you.
  17. Don't give your child ultimatums.  Give him a choice and teach him to choose wisely.
  18. If you think you understand your teenager, you may not be listening.
  19. The greatest sin of all is hypocrisy.
  20. Trust is the bridge that connects us to those we love.
  21. This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you, unless I use a belt. (Tush & hand only)
  22. Love is inexhaustible, patience is not. (People do lose patience and get angry)
  23. Procrastination can end more dreams than an alarm clock.
  24. Everybody eats sh__: some with a shovel, some with a spoon. (Everyone has losses, suffering)
  25. Screw me once, shame on you.  Screw me twice, shame on me.
  26. He/she is beginning to believe his/her own press clippings. (Keep yourself grounded)
  27. A little religion never hurt anyone. (Love the Lord and do the right thing)
  28. Beware of the person who doesn't like dogs or small children.
  29. Hang in, hang on, and hang tough. (Perseverance and courage)
  30. Don't drink too much, don't drive too fast, and don't smoke.
  31. Sometimes silence is louder than anything you say. (Silence is golden)
  32. The best way to be the life of the party?  Ask about others and listen.
  33. Yesterday is over, gone forever.  Tomorrow never comes.  Makes today look pretty damn good.
  34.  The greatest regret won't be over something done, but rather something not done.
  35. Fear and greed are the great motivators in life. (In the world and in you: learn to control it)
  36. Birthdays are great, they defy gravity. (Learn celebration)
  37. If you try something and it works, do it again and again and again.  If you try something and it doesn't work, learn from the experience.
  38. When it comes to business, the bottom line is the bottom line.
  39. When crossing the line, don't trip. (Goal setting)
  40. If you're constantly looking over your shoulder, you're gonna crash.
  41. It's always easier to focus on a written goal.
  42. The greatest gift we can give our lover is love.  The greatest gift we can give ourselves is peace of mind.
  43. We had to listen before we learned to speak.
  44. The best place to look for a helping hand is at the end of your arm. (Self control)
  45. When the instructions say 'easy to assemble', don't count on it.
  46. The hardest job in the world is killing 8 hours. (Do-nothing jobs are worse than productive long hours)
  47. In most romantic relationships it takes two to make it work or screw it up.
  48. Pulling in opposite directions causes rope burns. (Know when to hold or walk away)
  49. Nickles, Dimes, and Quarters! (Learn money, budgeting)
  50. Never die in a down market. (Long-term approach)
  51. You have not failed until you give up.  Don't give up and you won't fail.
  52. When each side believes it stands on the moral high ground, compromise is impossible.
  53. When your teen asks a question, try answering with a question.

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