Have you ever wondered how your parents met each other and fell in love? Do you know who is your mother’s favourite celebrity or your father’s favourite food? When was the last time you’ve told your parents “I love you”?
When it comes to knowing personal details, some of us know our friends better than we do our parents.
It’s the same when it comes to expressions of love and gratitude. Many find it easier to do so with their friends, spouses, and their children, but find it awkward (sometimes difficult) to do likewise with parents. Some people have never thought to express their love to their parents in their adult years because it is “understood” that family love each other, and it need not be spoken aloud.
In traditional families, the love language in parenting methods is often characterised with acts that convey love without being emotive or spoken. While this style of parenting has its positive points, it can instil a sense of impersonality between parent and child, where parents often know everything about their child while the child often don’t know their mother or father beyond their parental roles.
However, like every other human being on Earth, parents also desire love, intimacy, and respect. A mother goes through sleepless nights, uncomfortable mornings, and excruciating birth pains to bring a child to life. After all this, she calls her child her pride and glory. As the child grows up, she feeds, bathes, dresses, and carries them in her arms. The father also experiences many sleepless nights. He supports both mother and child by being a provider, seeking resources to provide comfort, protection, and shelter to the family. He does everything in his power to ensure that his child has better opportunities in life than he had.
Many parents do all of this in the hopes of a long, good life for their children. So acknowledgement, whether in the form of spoken words of affection or acts of bonding, allows parents to feel appreciated and closer to their children.
Respecting and honouring parents is the goal of anyone who love and are grateful to their parents. But how do we do that in practical terms?
The answer is simple: understand that life is short and that anything can happen at any time, so it is important to seize every opportunity to tell them how much you love and appreciate them. Do not wait for “the perfect moment”.
When they speak with you, try to consider their perspective to understand where they are coming from. Their life experience is different from yours, and so are their decisions. You may not agree with their reasoning, but the act of trying to understand them will not go unappreciated.
If you don’t know the answer to questions about your parents, but which you can immediately answer if those questions were about your friends, then make it your priority to find out. It can be a bonding activity that gives both you and your parents a sense of reconnection that you never knew was needed.
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