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As grandma and grandad used to say

10th December 2019

When you were younger, your grandparents were likely the people you went to for endless love. Spoiling you with sweets and presents, it is quite often the case that grandchildren get away with much more than they would with their parents.

Even for grandparents that struggle with mobility and need stairlifts at home, they can always find a way to get grandchildren playing games and keeping active. In addition, they are frequently considered to be the wise ones that you’d go to for advice, as they have seen lots more of the world than you.

Many things said by grandparents are remembered and repeated to children. This guide looks at some common sayings and nuggets of wisdom that grandparents often pass down through the generations.

Practical advice for grandchildren

Grandparents have little sayings to help you get along in the world. Here are some popular bits of advice that many of you will have heard before.

The saying “cleanliness is next to godliness” is something many people will have heard in their life, but according to Wise Old Sayings, this saying can be attributed to Indian lawyer and political ethicist Mahatma Gandhi.

As Goodreads reveals, Benjamin Franklin once said this famous quote and since then it has become widely used. This piece of advice simply means if you can do something immediately, why wait until tomorrow?

The saying “actions speak louder than words” is a nugget of wisdom that is often passed down through the generations. It means that people are more likely to believe what you do rather than what you say. It suggests that it is much easier to lie with your words than with your actions.

Writing Explained talk about the origin of the saying: “The proverb is more than several hundred years old. Some of the first expressions of it are found in the Bible, including this verse in the book of John, which stresses that saying you love someone is not the same as doing things for them.”

The phrase “a leopard never changes its spots” means that a person will not be able to change their character. Ginger Software believes the phrase dates back as far as the Old Testament: “It was used in Jeremiah 13:23, where the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah had originally said: “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard its spots?”

Positive advice for grandchildren

Grandparents often encourage their grandchildren to be positive and to avoid being negative or bitter. They often have some sayings and advice they pass down the generations and here are some you may have heard before.

The saying “find the good in everybody” is a simple but very powerful statement. Rick Hanson PhD on Psychology Today says that seeing the good in others helps people “feel happier and more confident, and become more loving and more productive in the world”.

In an article on Gen Twenty, Natalee Desotell said something her grandad always taught her was to “appreciate the little things”. Her earliest memories of this came when she picked raspberries in the garden until an empty ice cream container was full.

She said: “Those summer days under the hot sun with him were some of the most blissful days of my childhood, and to think all it took was a bucket and a few raspberry bushes.”

Natalee went onto say that while these little things could change, she hopes the appreciation she has for them doesn’t fade.

The saying is telling you to always be polite to others and as Angela Marshall says it can improve your relationship with other people.

She said: “Showing courtesy and respect to others is a sign of good manners. It is about making people feel comfortable around you and showing respect. Different cultures have different rules and it is important to understand other cultures especially when visiting or living in a different country.”

In the UK there are lots of things people do to show good manners such as saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ or putting your hand to your mouth when you are yawning or coughing. Table manners are especially big in the UK and this includes not eating with your mouth full or using a knife and fork correctly.

“Treat others as you would like to be treated” is known as the ‘Golden Rule’ and is something many grandparents have told their grandchildren as it encourages you to avoid doing things that would annoy you. Healthy lifestyle blogger Jill Whalen, who runs the What Did You Do With Jill site, says she has tried to live by this rule.

“For instance, I don’t like to be yelled at, or hit, or talked to incessantly about things that I’m not interested in, so I don’t do those things to others.”

This bit of wisdom that is often passed on is encouraging people to ask a question or ask for help if they need it, so you don’t suffer in silence. In an article on Forbes, they say one of the most important questions you can ask is ‘will you help me’ and this links into the saying ‘Always ask. They can only say no’.

This saying can relate to all walks of life; from your health to business. Molly Cain from Forbes says, “Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of a confident person knowing what they need to get ahead – help.”

Popular sayings that grandparents tell their grandchildren

There are lots of sayings and bits of wisdom that grandparents pass on to other generations and here we recap the ones featured in this article:

•Cleanliness is next to godliness

•Don’t leave until tomorrow what you can do today

•Actions speak louder than words

•A leopard never changes its spots

•Find the good in everybody

•Appreciate the little things

•Good manners don't cost anything

•Treat others as you would like to be treated

•Always ask. They can only say no

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.