Perhaps there is some truth in feeling that our parents and elder relatives might not be cognizant of what we are going through. But our elders do know us better than anyone else does. They have spent far more time with us than any teachers, coaches or even friends.
If we are patient enough to explain our problems to them, they can combine their decades of life experience with their knowledge of us and offer some really helpful advice.
When you may be dreading or avoiding it, here are 6 reasons to take your parents’ advice and a few tips to make the conversation go down smoother too.
1 – Have Been There, Have Done That
Well, maybe they haven’t made the same mistake they are about to help you avoid, but they likely know someone who did something similar. Sometimes it’s unavoidable to learn from our own mistakes, but it’s great if an elder can steer us clear of something they know for sure is no good.
2 – They See Things Differently – And This Can Be Good!
Your elders’ judgement, unlike yours, isn’t clouded for their feelings towards your best friend or based on what your peers may think – they have healthy detachment from the situation. Looking at things from another angle, they can offer you fresh eyes on a problem. They will likely see opportunities and solutions you never could have imagined.
3 – Your Relationship Will Just Improve
This is a truly unexpected aspect of listening to your elders. The simple act of listening to their advice is a sign of respect. Feeling respected in turn makes them feel more connected to you. It really improves your relationship, paving the way for better and better exchanges.
4 – They Love You More Than Anyone Else
Really they do. And while that love is overbearing at times, still they want the best for you and their advice will reflect that they love you.
5 – No Regrets
If you listen to your elders and take their heartfelt advice, well then you don’t have to worry about what could have been if you had just listened.
6 – Obeying Parents Takes You to Jannah
Obeying and honoring one’s parents is a means of entering Paradise. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying:
“He is doomed, he is doomed, he is doomed.” Then someone said, “Who, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “The person whose parents, one or both of them, reach old age during his lifetime but he does not enter Paradise.” (Muslim)
Respecting and obeying one’s parents is a way of showing gratitude to them for bringing one into this world.
Allah the Almighty says,
“And We have enjoined upon man concerning his parents. His mother bears him in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Give thanks unto Me and unto thy parents. Unto Me is the journeying.” (Luqman 31:14)
To fully benefit from your elders’ advice, you can practice these communication tips to make things go as smooth as possible:
1 – Ask for clarification. Don’t get their drift? Ask your adviser to explain themselves. Be patient, this will be worth it.
2 – Don’t interrupt. No, actually you don’t know what they are going to say before they say it, so just listen, absorb and then respond.
3 – Watch your body language. This could be completely unintentional, but rolling your eyes, crossing your arms and fidgeting could all come across as impatience and annoyance to the person trying to advise you towards the better. So guard your body language.