Looking back now as a mid twenty something with a child of my own, my parents did a lot of things right. No one is a perfect parent but my parents always tried their best to create a great life for their children given their circumstances. I would explain more on that but that's for a different post.
Here are 10 things my parents did that I’m so grateful for.
1. They listened
Even from when me and my little brother were young, my parents always listened to what we had to say. They listened to us when we were 6 months old. Then we were 11/2 and trying to explain something we were excited about but could really articulate yet. Because they listened, we always felt heard and that our thoughts, even our child thoughts mattered. They never talked down to us when we were 5 just because we were young. My parents talked to us like we were equals. And for that, my brother and i became great listeners ourselves. We were shown how to be good listeners all our lives.
2. They explained changes in life
I will never forget that time my dad sat me down and explained to me at 6 years old how they would need to give a lot of attention to the new baby coming home soon. And that sometimes they would not be able to pay a lot of attention to me because a baby is a lot of work. Thanks for the explanation dad. I'm glad i didn't go all crazy with envy because i wasn't getting the attention i was used to getting. It also helped that i was old enough to understand this concept.
I also remember my parents explaining life and death, my mom explaining losing a parent, or how great it was that we could talk about life together, even why our mistakes were mistakes. My dad explaining what “Santa” means to christmas and that i shouldn’t tell other children that he isnt real. That i should let their parents do that when its the right time for it.
3. They were open.
My parents were always open with us kids. They never lied to us about things. They told us when money was tight, they let us know they wouldnt judge us if we made mistakes. They were open about their mistakes too. They had nothing to hide from us because we were their best friends and they treated us that way. And thus we learned how to be a good friend.
4. They made us make time for family.
Family vacations. Bringing friends? Not as often as we would have liked to but I'm glad they had that rule. Family time was family time, vacation time was family time.
5. They knew how to throw awesome parties
Yeah, my parents were great partiers. Every year I always threw a Halloween sleepover with my friends and they were the best. We would go to haunted houses, my dad would scare us and tell jokes. It was a great time. They would get all the decorations, face paint, and costumes. Or my mom would do everyone's hair.
My brother got great birthday parties with doughnut on a string eating contests and hay rides.
6. They were available
My parents were always available when us kids needed something. My mom was a stay at home mom who ran a daycare for most of mine and my brothers childhood. She always said it was the best decision she ever made because she got to watch is grow up.
My dad had his “my shop door is always open” policy. If either of us ever wanted to talk, we knew we could always go out there, sit in his big blue chair and talk while he tinkered on his various projects. They made it known that if we ever had something on our minds, to never hesitate to talk to them.
7. They let us be free and play in the dirt
Most days spent at home, outside was the only option. We could go outside and play or we could go outside and pout. Either way, it was outside. It was okay to get dirty and muddy. We climbed trees, sometimes not as high as we wanted to climb. We even explored farther than we were allowed to but all kids do.
8. They did not shelter us
My parents, when they felt we were old enough to know, told us about all the different things that happen in the world. Both good and bad. They made us aware of things we would encounter while growing up.
9. They made us work
We had summer jobs by 12 years old. That's it, no choice. And it sucked. But it was also a great time. We worked on my grandpas farm. Great values were learned and it built a lot of character
10. They were patient
We always had the time to make decisions in our own time and learn things in our own time. They did not expect us to grasp things at a certain point or age. Therefore, we were given the time to let our brains figure things out when they were able to.
11. They respected our privacy
Because they were good about letting us have our privacy, we in turn were more open with them because we didnt feel like they were constantly prying. When people feel in control of their privacy, they are more willing to be open. When people feel they have no control over their privacy, they hide everything.
12. They never were the “Do as I say, not as I do” parents
This is a big one and probably the most important. This eliminated any kind of hypocrisy in the house. My parents practiced what they preached. Thus we had complete faith in my parents and trusted them.
So that's my list of things my parents have done that I'm super grateful for. Are there any other things that your parents have done that i could add to the list? Let me know in the comments!