Open Phones: Best and Worst Advice from Mom

Thursday, May 09, 2013

What is the best piece of advice your mom has ever given you--and what's the worst? Call us at 212-433-9692 or tell us in the comments. And don't forget, it's Mother's Day on Sunday. 

Comments [35]


If you don't have something nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all. I have violated that principle many times, but it is good advice that has served me well in the workplace. Thank you, Ruth.

May. 09 2013 08:36 PM
Carolita from NYC

Best: (on my way to play with friends in the park) If you see a pervert, don't talk to him, just run.
Worst: (later, when she thought I was having trouble meeting "nice" men) Men like it if, when they meet your eyes, you look down, shyly.

May. 09 2013 06:53 PM
Jill from Rye, NY

"Don't wait until you are married to have sex." She looked away from us and dropped her voice, "you are married for a very long time."

May. 09 2013 03:37 PM
ewoo from NJ

Best: Always have a space in your heart for others.
Worst: Don't go outside, it's dangerous.

May. 09 2013 12:58 PM
Mihaelagh from Riverdale

Best advice from my mom is to be a child at heart.

May. 09 2013 12:15 PM
Veronica from Brooklyn, New York

In the wake of a cheating scandal and subsequent divorce of a classmate's parent when I was in fourth grade, my mother told me: "Don't cheat with a married man - marriage is difficult and sometimes boring, so it is easy to seduce a married man, but it doesn't mean you are special or better than his wife just because you got his attention- and most likely, it will only be temporary - in most cases men don't leave their wives - and even if they do, you are just getting a cheater, so you're not really getting anything worthwhile anyway". That has always stayed with me and had the effect of ensuring that I never had any interest in anyone who as already in a relationship. And as I have grown older, and seen friends of mine be "the other women" I have seen how truly accurate my mother's insight was.

May. 09 2013 12:12 PM
adrienne from UWS

Put on a little sweater! ("warm" words of affection)

May. 09 2013 12:02 PM
The Truth from Becky

Respect is earned and what goes around comes around.

May. 09 2013 12:01 PM
Betty Feniak from Elizabeth, NJ

My mother's best and worse advise at age 13 [1950's]: If you are going to smoke, I will give you your first cigarette, so, of course, at 13, I wasn't going to listen and the result is that I have never smoked one cigarette in my 68 years of life.

May. 09 2013 12:01 PM
KBrooklyn from brooklyn

Best: Always say yes.

Not best: Keep your options open.

May. 09 2013 11:59 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Worst advice, from both my mom & my dad, when I told them I was being teased at school: "Just ignore it." They never told me *how* I could ignore it.

May. 09 2013 11:59 AM
micaela from Brooklyn, NY

Best advice from Mom: Doing stuff and having a life are not the same thing.

May. 09 2013 11:59 AM
elizabeth from nyc

it's really all about love

May. 09 2013 11:58 AM
Teal from tarrytown

Every once in a while your child looks "peaked" and should stay home from school. to go downtown with mom for a therapy lunch at "Blums"

May. 09 2013 11:58 AM
victoria from Park slope

establish yourself and your career first!! best advice from jackie norkin :-)

May. 09 2013 11:57 AM
Michael from NJ

Best advise: When you are not being interesting, be funny.

May. 09 2013 11:57 AM
Nancy from NYC

Pick your battles.

May. 09 2013 11:56 AM
Kiera from lower manhattan

Best - always stand up straight!

May. 09 2013 11:56 AM
Yvonne Aspengren from Suunyside, NY

Worst advice, and misleading:

When trying to explain the sex act to me: It's like the man has the hot dog, and the woman has the bun.

May. 09 2013 11:56 AM
Brittany from Brooklyn

Always carry something to read - you never know when you'll have time to kill.

May. 09 2013 11:56 AM
larry from manhattan

My mother told me to go out with a girl knowing that I hated blind dates.

I went and we have been married for 52 years

May. 09 2013 11:56 AM
Katie Sue from NYC

My Grandma Barb (BaBaBob) once told me "Too many choices make you unhappy". That one rings true alllllll the time. :) Love you, BaBa!

May. 09 2013 11:55 AM
Wendy from Paramus

My Mom was a great saver of money without giving up fun things. She always said, "pay yourself first".

She also advised me not to squeeze the packet of yellow Chinese mustard in my mouth.

I did heed her advise on saving money, but unfortunately, not the latter.

May. 09 2013 11:55 AM
Shari Hammel from Brooklyn

Bring a sweater.

May. 09 2013 11:54 AM

My father told me to learn the lyrics to Meatloaf's 'Paradise by the Dashboard Lights', that girls like that song and it would help at parties.

May. 09 2013 11:54 AM

There is nothing wrong with crying as long as you still wake up and milk the cows in the morning

May. 09 2013 11:53 AM
Tom Jones from Nyack

The best advice I got form my Mom--"Don't fish off the company pier." This was mostly about dating co-workers, but it has a wide range of applications.

May. 09 2013 11:53 AM

Best advice: Make sure you (as a woman) have your own money!

May. 09 2013 11:53 AM
Michael from Brooklyn Heights

Learn to type. You'll never be out of a job if you do. (She was right).

May. 09 2013 11:52 AM
Truth & Beauty from Brooklyn

Best advice: Actions speak louder than words.

May. 09 2013 11:50 AM

Best advise "Don't eat the yellow snow!"

May. 09 2013 11:50 AM
Stephen from Prospect Heights

Actually no advice. Because she wanted me to think for myself. Hence feeling like I was adrift without rudder or compass when I left home at 17

May. 09 2013 11:50 AM
Pretzels from Reading, Penna.

Best advice: Don't do anything stupid (when she already knew I was doing something stupid but was too polite to call me on it). That was a well-placed, verbal road bump that made me stop and think.

Worst advice: Everybody is scared of babies until they have one of their own. *sigh*

May. 09 2013 11:40 AM
Erin F. from Brooklyn, NY

When stuff like what just happened in Cleveland happened in the news, my mom would remind me: Never get into a car with a stranger. If you do, risk death jumping out of the car. If someone has a gun, risk getting shot in the back running away. You don't want to end up locked in someone's basement for years.

Second best advice: Never think you can "fix" a man. You marry them as they are.

May. 09 2013 11:20 AM
D from Brooklyn, of course

Best advice: Mom advised me not to dump my girlfriend, now my wife, when she cheated on me years and years ago. Counter-intuitive but good. Worst advice: Hey, that's dangerous. Don't do _______________. (Whatever it was that I was doing at the time. And it could have been anything.)

May. 09 2013 10:13 AM

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