David Barnett

British Council

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What is the most important piece of advice/knowledge that you have to hand down to your children?

Be good? Play fair? Work hard? Use your head? Don't kick the other man while he's down? Help one another? Share? Love? Be honest?

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    Feb 11 2012: Dont be afraid of being yourself!
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    Feb 10 2012: I don't know how applicable this is because I'm a 17 year old kid, but I'll be telling my kids to do everything with heart and to make sure that it is what they want to do
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    Feb 10 2012: For my kid I hope to pass the same advice I got from my father, on the lines of the following (unfortunately is not a single one but I must note that if you need to choose, the last one would be it):

    Don't buy a boat.
    Be honest with yourself and others.
    Don't have kids too soon.

    And the most important: Never get into ANYTHING that you will not be able to get out by yourself.

    Those are the practical advices that helped me through all my life until this point and I think that will get me going until the end.

    And complementing: Those were the only specific "rules" that my family imposed to me and my brother, and I must say that was a very positive aspect of my life.
  • Feb 13 2012: Do not let other people decide who you should be. Become who you really are, learn from within yourself not what is forced on you by society. Nurture what comes naturally to you and grow from that.

    I actually came upon this from my son. I never would have thought this would be my advice to my children until I had the opportunity to be a part of guiding my 17 year old son. I believe the advice you give your children will be based on your child as an individual. When you begin to see the unique being your child is, that to me is when your advise to them will be as unique as them.
  • Feb 12 2012: Discover your passion and cultivate it.
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    Feb 20 2012: I think from what people are saying, Do not be afraid, is just about the best advice...to be yourself...to try your best...to give love...to challenge and question... Yes, I'll settle with that...Do not be afraid.
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    Feb 19 2012: Become what you are, don't follow what others think and followed your own mind/heart.
    Do every thing which your mind and hearts says so that you don't repent later.
    Remember if someone can do something (positive of course) then you can also do it and do it a better way.
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    Feb 19 2012: Appreciate people for who they are, not what they are.
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    Feb 19 2012: My most important piece of advice would be "Know yourselves...and nurture who you come to know". This of course, followed by teaching them the skills required to follow that advice.

    The skills they need are first how to be self-reflexive...how to know themselves...and second, how to enact who they are in their interactions with others. This requires teaching them to love, cherish and nurture who they know themselves to be. There are times this is easier said than done, especially when faced with others who don't value their uniqueness and who would expect them to conform to some standard that inhibits their growth and ability to love themselves and nurture their inherent talents and gifts.

    It's often hard to parent kids toward making this choice when we can see that the path of conformity is less painful...and has some very real rewards in the form of acceptance and popularity and social approval. Sometimes conforming to social expectations is an expression of who they are...but other times, it's not. Learning the difference and possessing the skills to navigate these kinds of situations is, in my view, essential to their happiness and well being as individuals.
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    Feb 15 2012: The best advice is the example you give in loving them.
  • Feb 15 2012: "I can't " should never be a part of yor vocabulary.
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    Feb 12 2012: Everything can and must be questioned.
  • Feb 10 2012: That every human being is unique and has the natural ability to overcome any old-fashioned belief that being a member of a gender, ethnicity or race limits them to a finite range of capacity. I'd find a way to say that with sugar on top but it's a truth that one must actually fight through a great deal of cultural misinformation to internalize as true. Most others would just put it as "don't let anyone put you down or tell you you're not good enough" but that misses the boat of imparting a sound logic and instead simply conveys an authoritarian command to fight. I can do better than that. I think we all can and should try to do better than that.