Hear, my child, your father’s instruction,
and do not reject your mother’s teaching; (Prov 1:8)
This quote from the Jewish wisdom literature is really another way of expressing the commandment ‘honour your father and mother’. For this to be written, it meant that it was not always practiced! As such, it shows we parents that there is ‘nothing new under the sun’. It also indicates that despite any rejection we may receive, we have a duty to share the wisdom born of our experience. How it is received is another matter, since there will always be a difference in worldview between the young and not-so-young.
As teachers and parents, we need to remind the young people in our care that those who have lived more years than them may well have something to share with and help them. We also need to remember not to be too pushy or insistent for fear of pushing them away. Also to remember that this dialogue happens in the context of ’the dance’ – the struggle of young people to assert their individuality. Finally, we must not fall into the trap of ‘being right’ – rather to share our wisdom in love.
Have a great week!