“There’s Nothing New Under The Sun”

by Mark Timm, CEO Ziglar Family


I’ve noticed that when a first-time mom- or dad-to-be gets around other parents, it’s like a geyser of advice erupts, and everyone starts sharing their best “do this” and “don’t do that” tips.

If they’re wise, the new parents will soak up as much of that practical wisdom as they can, because there’s most definitely something to be said for listening to the voice of experience.

Of course, some parents might disagree, insisting on figuring out what’s best for them and doing it their own way.

I’d like to share with you some insight I picked up a couple of weeks ago from Ryan Levesque, a marketing expert who also taught neuroscience at the university level. He contends that one of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re doing something new — both in business and at home — is they try to innovate instead of emulate.

Oftentimes, we have plenty of good people around us whose ideas and behaviors we can emulate — people in our lives who have experienced success in some area(s) of life.  Another option is to read the books or follow the work of an expert we admire. There are plenty of ways to seek out examples of success, no matter what the topic.

When it comes to raising a family, one place we could start might be with our own parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles.

It’s funny that sometimes as young parents, the first thing we want to do is everything different than our parents did. We need to be different. We need to do things differently. We need to do it our own way.

Then, as we get older, we often realize that there was plenty from our own upbringing that we can emulate and build on.

The truth is, as Solomon declares in Ecclesiastes 1:9, There is nothing new under the sun.

What we really should do is look to those who have successfully gone before us, done essentially what we are trying to do, and we need to emulate them.

We need to make sure we understand and follow their proven best practices and procedures.

We need to first emulate before we innovate.

A few days ago, I was talking with a couple who are part of our Ziglar Family community. They have seven kids, all under age 11, so they definitely have their hands full. At the end of the conversation, I asked these parents, “Is there one piece of advice that you would offer other families based on your own parenting experiences?”

Jason, the father, said, “If there’s anything that I’ve learned over the last decade, it’s that if someone else can do it, I can do it too. If a guy I admire can be a good dad, I can too. If my own dad was a good dad, I can be too.”

He was talking about studying them, really looking at them, and then emulating them.

There are times when we, as parents, get overwhelmed, and we’re not sure what to do next. Part of it’s because we’re trying too hard to innovate, or find new solutions to deal with the issues at hand, when the truth is that we have lots of great examples all around us to draw from.

We just have to be open to learning from them.

Way back in the mid-1980s, Zig Ziglar wrote a program called Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World, and for the most part, his wisdom and advice is relevant still today, more than 30 years later.  He’s absolutely one of the admired mentors I emulate as a father!

If you’d like a free eBook with excerpts from Mr. Ziglar’s Raising Positive Kids program, just visit the ZiglarFamily.com home page and click the red “FREE EBOOK” button to download your copy. You’ll appreciate the timeless wisdom he shares!


What is one piece of wisdom or advice that you can share from your own parenting journey that might help others coming behind you?  Share your thoughts here — we can all benefit from each other’s experience!




  1. Jody October 21, 2017 at 8:33 pm - Reply

    Pray and trust God. Being in Mom’s in Prayer has helped me tremendously. I have these lovely group of ladies, sister’s-in-Christ, prayer warriors, who pray for me as I pray for them. The more I meet with them, the more I know I am not alone in my struggles and challenges. Furthermore, I see answered prayers and the Almighty God at work. Praying scripture has helped us pray effectively and see the true character of God.

    • Jen October 22, 2017 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Yes, Jody! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jessica October 22, 2017 at 12:08 am - Reply

    My biggest piece of wisdom would be to always in all things (including your kids) is to trust God! He knows every parents heart for their kids. He is always in control of everything. Even in situations that are like the prodigal son. No parent wants their kid to go that route but the prodigal son eventually did realize and returned home. Lots of praying and trusting that no matter what God’s taking care of them. After all He is their Father.

    • Jen October 22, 2017 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Amen! 🙂

    • Jess October 22, 2017 at 1:51 pm - Reply


  3. Sylvia Ann Ballou October 22, 2017 at 12:50 am - Reply

    Having a child with special needs (Autism)has been a learning experience and still is an everyday journey. I would love to give some helpful advice to parents out there that may have just recently found out there child has autism. The most important thing is get early intervention. And your child will be aproduct of there inviorment.what ever you teach your child ;they will conform to it. For example. When my child was a toddler my husband and i collected toddler read out loud stories for our sonon the internet. Diskv.it went from that to vhs movies and now my son is 19 it has went from vhs to collecting dvds and blu-rays and still collecting vhs. And well now….lol his room looks like a video store and its endless. We cant stop it .weve created a monster. Theres no more room and its not in his vocabulary to tell him he cannot collect them anymore. So as a parent,i wish i would have gotten my son interested in a different variety o other f things. As well or maybe out doors more or. Other hobbies. But now. The dvds vhs and blu-rays s are all he knows .i wish i would have done things different.children with autism love repetion and a schedule and stability. Which is good.but if you let them conform to one hobbie or love something that it goes beyond festish then they wont get away from that and will never try new things.change is good often i hope this was helpful.

    • Jen October 22, 2017 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Thanks for sharing that, Sylvia! I’m sure this will be good information for other families who are in a similar situation.

  4. Suzanne Humpleby October 22, 2017 at 8:17 am - Reply

    My advice would be: Build a relationship with your spouse, based on Biblical principles. That is one important piece of advice that I can give.

    • Jen October 22, 2017 at 10:55 am - Reply

      Thanks, Suzanne! Good advice!

  5. Teresa October 22, 2017 at 11:55 am - Reply

    As a parent of 17yrs (3 teens) and teacher of special needs teach (multiple diagnoses and behavioural challenges) encourage kids THEY ARE CAPAPBLE!
    No matter how small or menial the task, reward with true feedback, “I love how you did that” “wow, you pay attention to detail” “I love to see your best efforts at work” “that’s a cool way to do it.”
    Also, be transparent and honest and let them know if they haven’t met the standard you set out. Example, sweeping the floor, “ you did great on the big spots, now I expect you to get the edges too”.
    If they come up with an idea, simply say “wow”, not “ well how are you going to do that?”. Just say “ that’s great, is that your own idea?” Boys especially need this encouragement to be creative.
    Lastly, to develop “grit”, which is passion and perseverance, never let them quit something when it is hard or when they are at a low.
    Push them to complete a task/activity/project even if it’s not what they expected, and then say, “ok, you did it, would you like to continue?” That way they learn to be finishers, have commitment, follow through and the benefit of completion and then decide if it was worth the effort to them internally.

    • Jen October 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm - Reply

      All awesome and great advice! So many adults could benefit from the “grit” message, too!

  6. Laurie October 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm - Reply

    Use “please” and “thank you” generously. If you want your children to be respectful to others, model it.

    • Jen October 23, 2017 at 8:08 am - Reply

      Yes, Ms. Laurie!! Great advice! 🙂

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