Grandparents’ wisest words: “A leopard never changes its spots”

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We’re often told that ”Grandma knows best” and now a new study has revealed exactly how true that idiom is.

Flower experts Interflora has identified Britain’s most valuable nuggets of grandparent’s wisdom, with “a watched kettle never boils” to “a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips” making the shortlist.

The research was commissioned to help Interflora celebrate Grandparents’ Day (Sunday October 4).

It revealed that almost two thirds of those in the South East (64%) acknowledge their grandparents have influenced their lives profoundly, while more than half (52%) say they would confide in their grandparents over their friends or immediate family.

A further 63% pass on their grandparent’s wisdom to their own children.

The study also explored the specific pieces of wisdom, advice and phrases our grandparents have passed on from generation to generation. The list - which includes health, relationship and life advice – has been broken down into 25 “nuggets” of wisdom, from the clichéd to the obscure.

1. A leopard never changes its spots

2. A minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips

3. A watched kettle never boils

4. Your hair can be trained

5. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself

6. An apple a day keeps the doctor away

7. There’s no fireside like your own fireside

8. An hour before midnight is worth two after

9. Be nice to people on the way up as you will meet them on the way down

10. Cleanliness is next to godliness

11. Always wear clean underwear because you never know when your last day could come

12. Don’t leave until tomorrow what you can do today

13. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger

14. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

15. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

16. Life is for living ...so live

17. Don’t cast the clout till May is out

18. Look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves

19. Neither a borrower or lender be

20. Never go to bed on an argument

21. Too many cooks spoil the broth

22. Everybody puts their trousers on one leg at a time

23. Live life as though every day could be your last

24. Always put family first

25. Don’t drink alcohol on an empty stomach

As part of the campaign, Interflora has teamed up with family and parenting expert, and top-selling author of “New Old Fashioned Parenting”, Liat Hughes Joshi.

She said: “Our grandparents play such a huge role in our lives - I’m passionate about the benefits of the relationship between the youngest and oldest generations. Their years of wisdom and knowledge give them a body of experience, insights and perspective that younger generations cannot match. There is huge value in taking the time to hear about their experiences, many of which can provide context and relevance for our situations now. It might be relationship advice, teaching the importance of principles and values, or simply transferring skills such as baking or DIY. It might just be a lovely chat and catch up over a cup of tea or Sunday lunch. Whatever it is, this campaign with Interflora is about celebrating their limitless influence on today’s generation”.

Bethany Day, brand manager for Interflora, says: “Our study reveals the profound influence that grandparents have on our lives. However, all too often their hard work, wisdom and advice can be taken for granted. Grandparents’ Day is the perfect opportunity not only to reflect on the many ways grandparents enrich our lives but also to show our appreciation for their words of wisdom which stay with us for a lifetime.”

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