Top words of wisdom revealed


8:37am 18th August 2017

Research by Skipton Building Society has revealed that parents hand down 29 nuggets of wisdom to their children.

Popular phrases include "get an education", "always try your best" and "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".

The study of 2,000 adults shows that two thirds find themselves churning out the same old clichés, with "you don't get something for nothing" and "put money aside for a rainy day" also favourites.

Other pearls of wisdom include "you only get out of life what you put into it", "treat others how you wish to be treated yourself" and "practice makes perfect".

Financial advice features frequently too, in the shape of "never spend money you don't have", "look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves", "put money aside for a rainy day" and "always have two months' rent/mortgage saved".

"Always wear clean underwear" and "never let your petrol tank go lower than a quarter full" are among other tips from parents.

Stacey Stothard, from Skipton Building Society, said: "We've all heard these wise words - and some are certainly more helpful than others - but despite recognising these sayings, do we actually take them on board?

"Clearly these pearls of wisdom are passed down for a reason, but it's often not until people learn from bitter experience or regret that more attention is paid to them. For some, many of these wise words have become little more than overused clichés - and the impact is watered down considerably as a result.

"So there's a lesson for us all here - if we want our children to be financially and practically prepared for their life ahead, pass on wise words - but do so with experience and originality!"

More unusual pieces of advice include "never walk under a ladder", "don't eat in the street" and "don't wear your coat indoors".

Parents also want their children to have good manners, so it's no surprise to see that they pass on other words of wisdom such as "keep your elbows off the table", "mind your Ps and Qs" and "don't stare at people, it's rude".

Children up and down the land will also be advised to "never swim on a full stomach", to "never take sweets from strangers" and to "always eat their breakfast".

Other wise words shared in the research are "never go to bed on an argument", "never drink on an empty stomach" and "always hold the door open".

Seven in 10 adults have admitted that they often catch themselves mid-sentence and think they sound like their mother or father, whilst a further 36% frequently think they're turning into their own parents.

The study also found that for 53% of those who took part, mum is typically the first person they'll go to for advice.

But when it comes to guidance on finances, dad is the person most people will turn to - despite people voting their mum as being better with money than dad.

A whopping 72% of people admit that they do still live by the advice their parents gave them when growing up - and still try not to eat cheese before bedtime, always use a hand cream and try to eat with their mouth closed.

Stacey Stothard added: "It's great to see so many people admit to living by the advice given to them by their parents.

"Passing on life lessons and philosophy should never be underestimated, for many people they directly attribute this to getting into the discipline of planning and saving for their future."

Top 50 words of wisdom

1. Always try your best

2. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all

3. Get an education - no-one can take that away from you

4. Never spend money you don't have

5. If you don't ask, you don't get

6. Eat with your mouth closed

7. Put money aside for a rainy day

8. Never take sweets from strangers

9. Do your best - nothing else matters

10. Keep your elbows off the table

11. Never swim on a full stomach

12. Treat people with respect

13. There's no such word as can't

14. You never get something for nothing

15. Don't put shoes in the table


17. Practice makes perfect

18. Look after your pennies and the pounds will look after themselves

19. Courtesy and compassion cost nothing

20. Treat others how you wish to be treated yourself

21. You only get out of life what you put into it

22. 'I want' never gets

23. Mind your Ps and Qs

24. Manners maketh the man

25. Always wear clean underwear

26. Don't stare at people, it's rude

27. Watching too much TV will make your eyes go square

28. Be true to yourself

29. Always hold the door open

30. Never leave the house with wet hair

31. Never drink on an empty stomach

32. Never go to bed on an argument

33. Look up things you don't know the answer to

34. Never go under a ladder

35. Never give up

36. Receive compliments gracefully

37. Don't wear your coat indoors

38. Mum knows best

39. The grass is never greener

40. Always eat your breakfast

41. Life's too short to be unhappy

42. Always have two months' rent/mortgage saved

43. Don't eat cheese before bedtime

44. Give compliments easily

45. Use a hand cream

46. Don't eat in the street

47. Never offer a stranger a lift

48. Don't smoke in the street

49. Never let your petrol tank go lower than a quarter full

50. Men are very different creatures to women

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