SURVEY SAYS: More Like Mom or Dad?

PLANSPONSOR NEWSDash readers share words of wisdom they’ve received that help them get through current events.

Last week, I asked NEWSDash readers, “Are your personality traits more like your mom’s or your dad’s?” I also asked them to share words of wisdom their parents gave them in the past or are giving now that help them get through current events.

Half of responding readers said their personality traits are more like their dad’s, and 40% said their personality traits are more like their mom’s. Five percent each selected “neither” and “don’t know.”

Asked to share words of wisdom their parents or someone who is parent-like has shared in the past or is sharing now to get through current events, readers offered:

  • My parents are in their late 70s and have worn maskes, generally stayed home and social distanced when out. However, they have made it clear that if they were younger and healthier, they would probably not be doing those things. People need to be able to have the freedom to live their lives, without fear.
  • From my father: Think fast and talk slow, listen, analyze, evaluate, prepare a fallback strategy, then act.
  • My father always told me: Don’t come to me with complaints if you can’t offer a solution, resolution or suggestions to make it better or make it work. Complaining for the sake of complaining gets you nowhere.
  • “This too shall pass.”
  • Things always happen for a reason.
  • My mom always told me to never offer advice to anyone who didn’t solicit it, especially your children. These weren’t just words to her either. She practiced this as well. She never gave me advice on how to raise my son, handle my finances, relationships, but offered advice based on her own experiences. I never felt pressured to take her advice but I was grateful for any she gave to me. Wish she was still alive today to offer any of that sage advice to me now. I only had her in my life for 31 years.
  • Give 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay. Find a job and stick with it.
  • My grandfather never took on a penny of debt his entire life. He and his brothers built the first house he and my grandmother lived in. He refused to have a credit card and always paid cash, for everything. I inherited his thrift, and it has served me well during the many economic shocks that have occurred during my adult life.
  • “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” We sorely need that these days!!
  • Patience is a virtue.
  • When complaining about doing something my mom always told me “If you would have just done it instead of complaining about it, you would be done by now!” This can be used today during the current events – don’t complain – do something about it.
  • Mom would always say “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
  • Both my parents taught me the importance of home and family. We take care of our people first, and then worry about the rest of the world. That is helpful when sheltering at home with my family! I am very content to be here with my husband and kids.
  • It was more about doing by example, than words of wisdom.
  • How you conduct yourself is a direct reflection on your parents and family. Consider them in your decision-making.

Responding readers who left comments elaborated on how they are like their mom or dad and/or discussed their parents’ personalities. Some left touching statements. No Editor’s Choice this week, but thanks to the reader who taught me the word “garrulous.”

A big thank you to all who participated in the survey!


Mom is a retired rehab nurse, which makes her jaded when it comes to people complaining about things. Her opinion is that everyone needs to get up and do things on their own, and not wait for someone else to do it for them. That led to a childhood of forced independence. My dad tried and failed in a lot of businesses, except for the one he retired from. There was no quit in his vernacular so there was no way that his kids would be allowed to quit either.

My dad was a loving, goal driven man who, thanks to a stint in the US Navy, was someone who enjoyed things being ‘squared away’

My parents were both Quakers, and I was raised with these beliefs and lived that way of life. Being the first one in the family to go to public school I had to learn to balance beliefs with the reality of growing up in the outside world. Hopefully I made my parents proud, while living with the values and beliefs they taught me.

My dad was as close to perfect as a person could be. If I can be a fraction of the person he was, I will have had a life well lived.

My mom is fairly easy-going, as was my dad, so I feel like I’ve gotten that from both of them. But my dad was more edgy and unconventional than my mom; I think I got that from him.

I take after my dad for the most part. I am quiet like him, keep my thoughts and opinions to myself but sacrifice my time and money unselfishly to my family.

My Dad was the caregiver in the family due to my Mom’s illness. He was patient and kind. He worked hard and taught me to do the same. I still miss him every day.

My father was taciturn, with a dry wit. My mother is garrulous, and also humorous in her way. Their personalities were complete opposites. At first, opposites attracted–and then, after 20 years of marriage, they drove each other crazy, divorced, and never spoke again.

My mom was always sunny and positive, and I tend to try showing the positive side of things when others are going negative. My dad would always be wary of others, their intentions, almost to the point of appearing paranoid and distrustful of others. I’ve evolved into those patterns due to experience where the paranoia and distrust were completely warranted. Having a healthy amount of awareness mixed with the ability to see a positive side of things is what I try to do every day.

Mom and Dad had very different personalities. Very grateful that I have “blend” of each.

My mom never met a stranger. My dad never talks to strangers nor most family members. We like mom the best!!

I am a strong mix of both but probably favor my dad more. They both taught me so much in their own way. They both wanted me to be fierce and independent, but they are also both givers and carers, so I try to live up to all those things!

I’m definitely a little bit of both. The emotional, caring side from my mom and my analytical, level headed, thinking side from my dad. Surprising enough though, my creative streak comes from my dad too! 🙂

Dad taught me about finances, money, saving, etc. Mom taught me about charity, helping others and what to do with some of that money.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) or its affiliates.