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Mothers' advice Family continues to pass along lessons of life

Sunday, May 12, 2002

Motherly advice continues to get passed on in the Miller household, with three generations -- Lou Miller, left, Marilyn Pritchett and Danielle Pritchett, 14, standing -- living together.By Laura Johnston ~ Southeast Missourian

It doesn't matter how old you get, your mother will always give you advice.

While mothers sometimes get a bad reputation for meddling in their children's affairs, they've also offered some sage advice over the years:

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

You can be anything you want to be if you just set your mind to it.

Don't talk with your mouth full.

Always put on clean underwear, in case you're in an accident.

Someday your face will freeze that way.

For three generations of one area family, lessons learned from mothers continue to get passed on.

Lou Miller doesn't remember much of the specific advice she gave to her two daughters, Marilyn Pritchett and Melanie Miller, while they were growing up. But she did try to teach them about values and cherishing family.

While you're giving out the advice, it's not always something you remember saying, Miller said.

But there are a few lessons she remembers stressing. "My mother was a schoolteacher and always took care of the discipline, but she always gave advice and instruction in a kind way," Miller said. "She always taught us to be positive and to love the Lord and to cherish your family. That's what I wanted to pass on to my girls."

And now that there are three generations of women living in the Miller household, the advice continues to get passed on.

Thinking positively

Miller's granddaughter, Danielle Pritchett, 14, now gets to hear some of those wise words.

"I always wanted my girls to be positive about things," Miller said. "Thinking positively is half the battle."

So she often tells Danielle to think positively and to be patient when faced with a problem. When Danielle is about ready to give up, Miller tells her to have faith. "She probably gets tired of hearing that, but it does work."

Marilyn Pritchett, Danielle's mother, thinks it's often easier for mothers to pass on wisdom to their daughters because "they know what they've experienced and have learned from those problems."

"Mothers always have your best interest at heart," Pritchett said. "She just looks after you."

Danielle said that even the mothers of her friends are ready to share advice and listen when someone's having a problem. "It's like having a second mom."

Danielle admits that she would probably go to a friend for advice first but she'd seek some wisdom from her mother and grandmother next.

And sometimes a mother's advice comes back to her. "When the girls were growing up the last thing I'd always say before they left the house was to be careful," Miller said.

Now when she visits her daughter, Melanie, in Memphis, Tenn., it's the last thing she hears before heading out the door.

ljohnston@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 126


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