17 Women Share the Best Advice Their Dads Ever Gave Them

17 Women Share the Best Advice Their Dads Ever Gave Them

These memorable words of wisdom remind us why sometimes Father really does know best.


By Leah Maxwell

When you’re growing up, it isn’t always easy to listen to your father. Whether he’s telling you, “No, you can’t have ice cream for breakfast,” or “Yes, you must finish your homework before you can go to the mall with your friends,” a lot of what he says can be a real drag to a kid who just wants to have fun. But tucked in among the rules and restrictions, dads are also teaching us what they know and how to live. They’re doling out life lessons that can make us better, wiser adults.

To honor all the dads out there (and to make us all a little better and wiser), we asked women to share the best advice their dads have given them over the years, on everything from relationships to car mechanics to cooking the perfect omelet to parenting the next generation. Check out what they had to say, and then share your own dad’s wisdom in the comments below!

1. “Every day before he dropped us off at school, he said, ‘You can choose whether today will be a good day or bad day. You decide.’” -- Liz B., Austin, Texas

2. “He said, ‘No one said life was fair.’ Harsh, but something I’ve revisited a million times since.” -- Jamie D., Chicago, Illinois

3. “It’s more important to be rich in love than money.” -- Whitney M., Berkeley, California

4. “When my twins were born he said, ‘You have to do nothing else but survive for the first two years. Nothing else!’ Thinking of it as survival mode really did help. It took off the pressure to do anything non-essential.” -- Sarah S., Minnesota

5. “He said, ‘A husband is not a home improvement project.’” -- Katrina R., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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6. “He told me, ‘Keep your eye on the ball, and always back up home plate.’ (I was a pitcher.)” -- Amanda G., Minneapolis, Minnesota

7. “‘Take the long view,’ -- i.e., nothing that seems really important today will likely be terribly important in the future, and things always get better.” -- Amy E., Sacramento, California

8. “He told me, ‘When your baby starts walking, rub her legs every night before bed.’” – Daisy C., Chicago, Illinois

9. “My dad quoted Shakespeare: ‘To thine own self be true.’ He told me if you’re honest with yourself you won’t lie to others. That isn’t what that quote means to me, but it’s what it meant to him.” -- Kalisa H., Louisiana

10. “Love doesn’t pay the rent, and a leopard doesn’t change his spots.” -- Christina P., Columbus, Ohio

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11. “Don’t pack a bag heavier than you can lift yourself.” -- Tessa C., Phoenix, Arizona

12. “Give your money to those who need it. If you don’t have money, give your time; you always have time.” -- Katie B., Franklin, Tennessee

13. “Take care of your car, and it will take care of you.” -- Cari T., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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14. “You’re never bigger/better than the job you have.” -- Norah B., Denver, Colorado

15. “Give blood as often as you can.” -- Catriona R., Sterling, Scotland

16. “Family trumps everything.” -- Andrea X., Kentucky

17. “Duct tape fixes everything.” – Shaugnessy J., Seattle, Washington

What’s the best advice your dad has ever given you?


Leah Maxwell is a book editor, freelance writer, cereal addict, wife, and mom to two young boys. She has been blogging at A Girl and a Boy since 2003.

Image ©iStock.com/noemosu


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