10 Pearls of Wisdom I Learned from My Dad

These are 10 things that my dad said to me that made absolutely no sense when I was a kid, but I now consider them little pearls of wisdom. I find myself handing out these little gems to my daughter and my students more and more. I couldn’t arrange these in a hierarchy; they are in no particular order as I consider them all sage advice on equal ground.

1. Never park in someone’s driveway unless told to do so. I get it now! It is very frustrating to come home and not be able to put the car in the garage because someone has parked in the driveway. I mean, I get irked when my neighbor parks in front of my house. It’s not even my driveway, but I want that space for myself and my guests.

2. Don’t slam the car doors! It jars the windows and is completely unnecessary. Simply close the door gently but firmly. My dad would emphatically tell me this (and by emphatic, I mean in red-faced frustration he’d blurt it out), which is exactly the reaction I have when people slam the door. I have to do the ol’ “3-2-1…1-2-3, what the heck is bothering me?!” Carl Winslow calm down routine. I get it now, dad; it’s super annoying.

3. Don’t slam the doors in the house! (for the same reasons listed above).

4. Turn off all the lights when you leave the room! My dad would add “What is this? The Edison company?!” Now I’m the one walking through the house turning off lights, muttering to myself about the electric bill and saving the planet…

5. You get what you pay for. Somethings are worth the investment. I’ve learned this the hard way; after returning 3 broken blenders, I finally sprung for a nicer one.

6. Hang up your towels in the bathroom! I don’t know why I always had a problem with this, but apparently being careless with towels is genetic because my little girl has the same problem. I’m always finding her bath towels on the floor in her room, in the hallway, and in the bathroom. Early on in my marriage, my husband had to get on me about the towel thing. I guess I was just really focused on getting ready, I would forget to take the two seconds it takes to hang up the dang towel. I’m happy to report that I am now a responsible adult who hangs up her towel after using it (most of the time).

7. My dad always says, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. Had I believed this early on, I would not have been suckered by those timeshare presentations and those crazy emails and sweepstake mailers about winning large sums of money or free vacations. Seriously, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Save yourself the trouble; just walk away.

8. Whenever you are a guest at someone’s house always offer to clean up and do the dishes. This has proven to be very helpful at winning over my friends, and when I was younger, it helped me get in the good graces of my friend’s parents. Who doesn’t like a happy helper? I’m helpie helperton!

9. Never let your car get under a 1/4 of tank of gas. First, it’s not good for your car to run on the fumes, and second, this way you will never run out of gas. Sage advice! I don’t always listen to it, but I’m aware of its merit.

10. Life’s short, eat ice cream. A popsicle (or five in my dad’s case) at night will not kill you. It’s the little things that bring joy, so go ahead and indulge a little. (For the record, I always understood this maxim and have lived by its truth since I was a small child). I love my dad and am so thankful for him and all the lessons he taught me! What are some of the things your dad told you?

3 thoughts on “10 Pearls of Wisdom I Learned from My Dad

  1. Great post! Agreed on each item! #9 was my mom’s insistent advice to me when I first started driving. To this day, if I ever drop under a 1/4 tank and am rushing to find a gas station, I really shake my head at myself. I was actually think about this kind of stuff the other day when my niece was asking for something we declined. I wish kids could understand that when parents say no and give rules, it really is out of love! 😉 One of the things that comes to my mind that my dad taught me is being on time. It’s been a long struggle for me to realize that most of the world is in fact NOT on time! And I find it terribly rude when people are late, or when my students are late to class. My dad kept us on a tight schedule anytime we were leaving the house. He would march down the hallway giving warnings: “10 minutes! …. 5 minutes!” I thought he was nuts. But we were never late. Once. And I respect that. 🙂


    1. Thanks mythgirl! Being on time is such a rare quality these days. That’s great that your dad instilled that in you early on; what a gift! As I get older, I realize more and more just how much my parents did for me and sacrificed for me. It makes me so thankful for all the lessons they taught me; even if it meant I had to learn things the hard way. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂


  2. LOL- love these…the only one I remember dad telling me is the one about the tank of gas… 🙂 I usually don’t let me tank get below 1/4 tank.!


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