Knowledge vs Wisdom

family enrichment Nov 21, 2021

It may seem like the difference between knowledge and wisdom is relatively small, but I would assert that when it comes to the impact love can have within your family bridging this gap is where miracles happen. Think of it this way: When you learn about a topic you are gathering information. You would say that you know about the topic; this is knowledge. Wisdom involves the application of the information in your life. This is when information goes from something you know about to something you “get.” It becomes a part of who you are and it guides your actions and your decisions. The way information is moved from knowledge to wisdom is through doing. Through your own personal experience. For example: You are going to teach someone how to ride a bike. You could sit them in a classroom and teach them the physics of balance, how to move their legs to pedal, how to steer and what to do if the bike starts to lean to the side. They could even pass a test demonstrating their bike-riding knowledge, but if you put them on a bike they won’t be able to ride it. The only way to move all of this knowledge to wisdom is to get on the bike and start trying to ride it. By doing it.


So what does this have to do with your family and parenting your teenager? Through my work as a family enrichment coach I have found that while parents are eager to learn about our love-based strategies for building connection and empowering their teenagers, they struggle with putting this knowledge into practice in the heat of the moment. For example: When their daughter opens up to them one night they know they should just be present and listen, but they still launch into a lecture. Or when their son brings home a bad grade on a test they know they should be forgiving and compassionate as they empower him to develop his own plan to do better next time, but they take control in an attempt to rescue their son. They know about love-based principles, values, and beliefs, and they see the value in approaching the circumstances within their families from a loving perspective, but they struggle to bridge the gap between knowledge and wisdom.


When it comes to empowering your teenager to be their absolute best, you must attempt love-based strategies in the heat of the moment. You have to get on the bike and start riding. Will it feel awkward? Yes. Will your attempts sometimes fail? Yes. Will you feel like you will never get it right? Yes. But with each attempt you will be getting closer to handling the situation with wisdom instead of just knowledge.


When you have one of these breakthrough experiences and one of the strategies for building connection or empowerment moves from something you are familiar with to something you live by, the whole world changes. What used to seem impossible becomes effortless. What used to take forever now can happen in an instant. What used to be unthinkable becomes a reality.


When you take that journey from knowledge to wisdom, you open up space for miracles.

Love is always the answer,

Jim White

Family Enrichment Coach








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