Let’s be honest. If it wasn’t for the hard work and dedication our moms and dads put into raising us, many of us wouldn’t be where we are today.
Quite simply, they’ve given up everything they had to see us through the hard times without expecting anything in return.
The fact that they’ve always been so committed to our happiness makes them the Super Men and Wonder Women of our lives when we needed them most.
That alone should make us want to honor them every chance we get!
It’s for this reason we’ve compiled this list of 9 tips you can do to respect your parents all day, every day.
Although Respect for Parents Day, which was established in 1994 by Bill Clinton, is celebrated on August 1 in the United States, we believe it should be a 365/24/7 affair in all parts of the world.
The basic tenets of this day are things that we should all practice in order to give back all of the love and joy your parents have shown you over the years.
Got any more #RespectforParents day tips? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!
1. Give Them Your Undivided Attention
Whether you live with them or not, you can still make the effort to catch up with them either in person, if possible, or by Skype, email, chat or any other form of communication.
Talk with them about the things they’re doing, what they’re interested in and care about, what they’ve been cooking, what they did that day, plans they have for the week, what they’ve been watching on tv, how their job is going, etc etc.
At the end of the day, talking with your parents is just like talking with your friends: There’s no pressure. Think of it as an informal gathering with someone you’ve known for a very long time.
Along with the theme of giving your parents your undivided attention, when you’re with them (even if it’s a long distance chat), try to avoid being distracted by your phone or other technologies.
Let your time with them be about them.
2. Send Them Respectful Gifts As Often As Possible
Thoughtful gift-giving is one of those of those things that slips away from us throughout the year. We all miss holidays and birthdays, and it can hard to pre-plan for them when you have so many other things going on.
But one way to navigate around this is to pre-plan and budget holidays by treating them as projects or errands you need to complete, rather than as an option.
If you need some help figuring out what to gift your parents, check out How Does She? Introducing the Reverse Care Package for Parents.
Keeping a list of items you need to create a shippable present, and storing it close to your more frequently-used gifts, will help you buy those items the next time you’re out.
For budget-friendly gifting, scout drug store pharmacies and craft stores for decorating supplies, such as wrapping paper and ribbon.
3. Pay It Back When Possible
The fact is that throughout their lives, our parents often give us more of themselves than have at any given moment.
This includes giving us money when we need it without so much as a second thought to their own needs.
So, if it’s within your means, pay it back as often as you can.
While it’s not something that’s expected, it’s a nice, respectful thing to do when you’re in the position to take care of all your needs, while also having an ample sum left over.
Check out this interesting podcast by Freakonomics: Should Kids Pay Back Their Parents for Raising Them?
Also, for a breakdown of what it costs to raise a kid, check out CNN Money’s Here’s A bill for What You Owe Your Mom, - Or Dad.
4. Show Affection
Let’s be honest, parents would much rather have their love repaid with love, than money.
So simply showing affection every now and then is a great way to show them you care.
As humans we crave human contact.
Unfortunately, as we age, many of us are less likely to be as open to affection as we once were.
But, showing affection to our parents through hugging and kissing sends an instant emotional spark from our heart to theirs that translates to feelings of (love), gratitude and respect.
5. Be Mindful About What You Say
Words hold power.
That’s why you need to practice mindful communication when you’re talking with anyone.
When it comes to your parents, out of respect, it's important to be careful of talking too bluntly about anything which may be a source of emotional trauma.
Especially when you’re re-phrasing harsh truths, or trying to say something encouraging, but that has the potential to be misinterpreted, it’s important to articulate your thoughts in a way that can help them see your point, and the reality of your message, without making it sound intentionally offensive.
Here are a few things we should all avoid saying when talking to our parents.
6. Go Out Of Your Way To Visit Them Often
As our lives get busier and busier, we will find that we simply don’t have the time to do everything we want to do.
In reality, however, we often do have the time, but may have to work even harder to find free time for our own personal endeavors.
Visiting your parents is one of those respectful things that is absolutely necessary to do, but can be hard to juggle around other priorities.
So, how can you do it?
Depending on your school or work schedule, you have to make time during the days you are off.
This may be during the vacation days you get off from work, during the holidays - such as Christmas or Thanksgiving Break, or any other such holidays.
Realizing that your time with your parents is a blessing, one in which you have to make personal sacrifices in order to give them the time they deserve, will help you be able to find a happy medium between time off for yourself and time off for them.
7. Respect Their Point of View
While moms and dads can be strong-willed about their way of life (Which includes their lifestyle, opinions, etc), we should always aim to respect their decisions.
Life is about finding our own path.
If your parent wants to make a major change in their lives, be in with career or otherwise, instead of discouraging them, help them navigate their new path as much as you are able to.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much you think you know about something: The best thing you can do for your parents is to support them.
Magic happens when we follow our intuition; And it happens at any and every age.
Did you know that How You Treat Your Parent Says A Lot About You? Check out this article by The Odyssey to learn why.
8. Keep Them Up To Date
As we all know, some parents are more “in the know” than others.
Your parents might know all of the internet lingo and pop culture references there are; While someone else’s parents may have never heard of Justin Bieber or Ted Talks.
If you’re looking at something interesting online, whether it’s informational or entertaining, you can do a lot of good by sending it to them as well.
It may help them to see a certain topic in a new way, or just laugh for a few minutes of their day.
You might even start a discussion with them about it, where you both challenge your own stance on issues by civilly arguing them out.
9. Encourage Them To Go As Far As They Can
Finally, the last way you can show respect for your parents is by encouraging them to live their lives as fully as possible.
Life doesn’t end once you get old. Neither do dreams.
So it’s important to encourage whatever dreams your parents may have, whether it’s going back to school, starting a business, traveling more, living or working abroad, etc.
Well there you have it!
Most of us know what it’s like to simply get a medal for being the kid of the best mom or dad in the world.
Parents make the lifelong sacrifice of raising us that is hard to ever repay back. But the best thing about parents is that they don’t expect financial compensation.
But the lesson we should take from this is that while they don’t expect anything from us but a little love every now and then, there are several material and non-material things that we can give back which can show our appreciation for them.
Our parents deserve the best.
We should always work to make our relationships with them more united and strong.
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