As a little kid, you would’ve stood by your parents’ every word, but growing up, you may have questioned their decisions and even rebelled against their ideas and opinions. At a point, you also thought you knew better than them. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t.
Through all the arguments you’ve had, the times you wanted to move away from them, and moments you wished that they just understand you, there was one constant: your parents’ love for you. It is pure and only grows as you age. No matter what you do, how many wrongs you make, they will love you. In return, all they ask or hope for is a little love and respect.
And it’s not difficult to give them the respect they deserve. If you respect your parents, want to show them you love, but don’t know how, this MomJunction post is for you.
Read on, and we’ll tell you about the things you can do to show them you care.
45 Simple Ways To Respect Your Parents
A parent-child relationship is perhaps the purest of all. It is also one that goes through several transformations, good and bad. These tips help you create more good than bad memories with your parents.
- Give them your time: “The greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” No matter how hectic or caught up you are with your life, always make some time for your parents. Parents might feel lonely and left out once the kids grow up and go away to college. If you’re living away from them, call them at least once a day and visit them during the weekends. For all you know, your one call could be the highlight of their day.
- Express your gratitude: Remember that one time when you were bedridden with high fever? Your parents did not leave your bedside, spending sleepless days and nights to nourish you back to health. Yes, it is their responsibility as parents, and they took that responsibility seriously. Be grateful for that, for their selflessness. Every chance you get, thank them and let them know you love them.
- Appreciate them: Your parents went to work on all days, probably even on days they didn’t want to sometimes. They relentlessly worked to make your life comfortable and secure, financially and otherwise. A little thank you for all the things they did, the small pleasures they gave up so that you can have yours, will go a long way.
- Be in their shoes: Whenever your parents say something that is contradicting your opinion, do not argue with or demean them. Accept the generation gap between you and them, and try to understand where they come from. You may be correct but try to be in their shoes to know why they don’t agree with you. If possible, take time to explain your point patiently.
- Never raise your voice at them: There will be times when your parents would ask you not to do something. It is okay to try and reason with your parents so that they can understand. But it is not okay to yell or raise your voice at them. No matter how friendly your parents are with you, never raise your voice at them.
- Always apologize: Misunderstandings and arguments between a parent and child are common. There are chances that we say the wrong things in the heat of the moment. If you think you have spoken harshly or raised your voice, don’t hesitate to apologize. You may not be wrong, but if you think your behavior hurt your parents, say you’re sorry that your actions hurt them. It could make a world of difference to them.
- Be open with them: Honest communication is the base of any relationship. As children, we tend to share every detail of our lives with our parents, but as we grow up, we filter out certain things from them. Try and be as honest as possible and let them on into the most important aspects of your life. Let them know you want them to be a part of your life.
- Always say please: Your parents will show unconditional love towards you, they would not think twice to move mountains for your happiness. But this doesn’t mean you take them for granted. When you are asking them favors or need their assistance, be polite. Use the words “please” and “thank you” generously when talking to your parents.
- Never blame them: Blaming your parents just because your life is not as you imagined is not fair. Know that your parents did and are doing the best they can for you. They love you and are willing to make sacrifices for you. Likewise, there may be a few times when you will have to compromise and be okay with not getting that new toy or bike or car. Also, it is unfair to blame them for all your actions.
- Do not break their trust: One way of showing your parents you respect them is to avoid doing things that can break their trust in you. If they trust you enough to give you the needed freedom and privacy, never misuse it.
- Talk to them before taking a decision: You could be all grown up and capable of making your own choices, but always talk to your parents or let them know before taking big decisions. They have lived more and certainly have more experience that could help you make the right choices in life. And when you do ask for their opinion, they feel valued and respected.
- Lend a hand in the household chores: If you are living with your parents, help them with the household chores. Do your part or even more. Even if you are not living together, always check on them and help them out as much as possible by offering to buy groceries, pay bills, etc.
- Celebrate with them: Make it a point to celebrate festivals and important days with them. Including them in your happiness will only make them feel valued and loved.
- Never make fun of them: This is a big No-No. Not only are they elder to you, but they also have had more experiences in life. But all of us are human and tend to make mistakes, as would your parents. Never embarrass them by mocking their mistakes. You can point out any errors politely and correct them without being judgmental.
- Be patient while talking to them: Your parents may not know much about the latest technology or pop culture because of the generation gap. So when your parents ask you to teach them how to operate a new phone or smart TV or use social media to get in touch with their old friends, be patient. They might ask you the same question a hundred times, and you may be busy at work. But give them time to catch up – you owe it to them.
- Never ignore their calls: No matter how busy you might be with your family and friends, never ignore a call from your parent. If you are really busy, then answer the phone and let them know you are busy and will call back. Keep your promise by calling them as soon as you can. For all you know, it could be an emergency, and they may need your help.
- Follow their house rules: Your parents will have their own rules for the household, and you should respect that. Remember that your parents are in charge of you until you are an adult, and you are obliged to go by their rules. Adhering to their rules or instructions is also about respecting their authority.
- Prioritize them over your friends: Remember how they have put your well being above their own happiness? They probably canceled their date night or an outing with their friends many a time, because you wanted them home with you. So, the least you can do is put them above your friends sometimes. We agree that having friends is essential, but giving your parents some time is equally important.
- Refrain from lying to them: We all are guilty of telling white lies to our parents because we do not want them to get disappointed. But when they find out about it, they will be devastated to know that you do not trust them enough to tell the truth. Sometimes, it is okay to omit a few details so that they do not worry. But lying to them is not a good idea.
- Make your special person meet them: Who you choose to spend the rest of your life with could be your choice. But by introducing them to your parents sooner than later makes them feel involved and valued. They may or may not think you’ve made the right choice, but knowing that you’re happy with your special someone could give them immense peace.
- Never cut them off: No matter how bitter things can get between you, or how hard you guys might have argued, never cut your parents out of your life. If saying ‘sorry’ once can save the relationship, then do it, regardless of whose fault it is.
- Bring home presents: Your dad might be super rich, but he will treasure the second-hand watch you bought him with your first paycheck. Parents never expect anything from you in return, but when you give them gifts, they feel happy and important.
- Never feel embarrassed by them: Your parents may not be the richest, smartest, or the most successful people in the world. But they are your parents nevertheless, and you are who you are because of them. You don’t have to reward them for it, but appreciate all that they did for you with whatever they had. But never be embarrassed by them, no matter what your friends or the society think of them.
- Take care of them when they are old: Toddlers and senior citizens are alike in many ways. You may not need your parents when you grow old. But they need you as they age, it is probably when they need you the most. They took care of you when you were a baby and a child. When they get old and need help, it is your turn to look after them.
- Be proud of them: Do you know what makes your parents happy? Knowing that you are proud of them and love them just as they are. They may not be wealthy or powerful, but if they have fulfilled all your needs and raised you to be a good citizen, value and respect that effort by telling them you’re proud to be their kid.
- Carry their virtues: The ultimate form of respect towards your parents is practicing the values and morals they taught you. This not only makes them proud but also happy that they have done their job right.
- Never leave an opportunity to serve them: You can never repay your parents for all that they have done for you. So whatever chance you get to serve them, take it up and be there for them. Even if it is something as simple as driving them to the store, offer to help if they need it.
- Take them out: Be it mother’s day or your parent’s birthday, plan an outing, and take them to their favorite place. You can also surprise them by booking tickets for a family vacation.
- Have your kids spend time with them: Your kids can learn a lot from your parents: traditions, morals, values, and plenty of good habits. So let your children spend as much time as possible with their grandparents. This will make them feel special and remembered.
- Do not make them your full-time babysitters: This might contradict our previous point, but it is true. You can get your kids to spend some time with your parents, but you cannot expect them to raise them. Your parents may oblige, out of love, but it is not appropriate, as raising your kids is your responsibility, not theirs. Also, they may not have the energy to take care of your kids at their age.
- Do not complain: Never complain about what your parents have to offer. For all you know, they might be giving you more than they can afford. So, always feel grateful for whatever you have and avoid grumbling when they don’t give you something.
- Give them your undivided attention: It is essential to spend time with your parents, but what is more important is giving them all your attention. When you are with them, avoid checking your phone, texting your friends. Instead, use that time to talk with them and listen to them.
- Do not get them worried: Parents tend to worry about their kids a lot as it is. So try not to give them any more reasons to worry more. Keep them informed about your whereabouts, take care of your health, and eat on time. If they are worried for some reason, even when everything is alright, assure them that you are absolutely fine and happy.
- Do not compare: Never compare your parents to your friend’s parents or anyone else. That can make them sad, considering that they are doing everything they can to keep you happy. Think about it. Would you like it if they compared you to other kids?
- Talk to them about your problems: As a kid, you trusted your parent enough to take care of the monsters in the closet. But when you are old enough, you might want to deal with all the monsters on your own. While it is okay to be independent and deal with your problems on your own, there is no harm in talking about them with your parents.
But make sure you tell them about the problem as well as the solutions you have in mind so that they don’t worry about it too much. Sometimes, they could have a better solution for you.
- Do not take them for granted: Your parents are always there for you, to share your happiness and sorrows. They feel sad when you cry and happy when you smile. Their whole world revolves around you. But taking them for granted is disrespecting them and disregarding all they do for you. Remember that they are going to be with you only for a while. Cherish and value their presence while they are still around.
- Strive to be a better human: The ultimate way to show respect to your parents is by becoming a person they can be proud of. You may or may not be as successful or rich as the others. But always strive to become a better person, living by the values they’ve taught you, to make them happy and proud of who you are.
- Value their opinions: Your parents might have certain beliefs that are different from yours. You can voice your opinion, but do not judge them based on the ideals they grew up with or force them to think your way.
- Follow their advice wherever possible: Your parents would give you advice keeping your well being in mind. If it is something of value, follow it and thank them for it.
- Never hurt them: Do not do anything that can hurt your parents. Never talk back to them or say something hurtful. You cannot take back the words once they are spoken, and words can leave wounds, which can take a lot of time to heal.
- Share your achievements with them: Be it your promotion at work, or you becoming a parent, keep your parents involved and informed. They will probably be the happiest people to know that you’re successful and happy.
- Do not dig into the past: When you and your parents are arguing, refrain from bringing the past issues, as it will only increase the gap between you both. Talk about things you can rectify now and find ways to be in each others’ lives amicably.
- Show physical signs of affection: Hugging and kissing show how much you love your parents. Even when you are grown up, never stop hugging or telling them how much you love them. Even if you are not the touchy-feely types or are not used to the physical display of affection with your parents, try and show your love and respect towards them through other actions.
- Mind your body language: Many times, you might get into trouble not because of what you said or did, but because of how you said or did it. Watch out for your body language and tone as it might indicate disrespect to the other person. When talking to your parents, always use a low and calm voice, maintain eye contact, and nod to show that you are listening to them.
- Love them unconditionally: Last but not least, on our list is unconditional love. There is no doubt that your parents love you, unconditionally. You can probably never give back all that they have done for you, but you can accept them as they are and love them without judgment. That alone suggests how much you respect them.
They brought you into this world and gave you this precious gift called life, and in return, all they expect is love and respect from you. Parents are the only people who accept us without question: they tolerate our anger, bear our mood swings, and even love us when we deserve it the least. With age, they could become difficult to handle, but that is when they need us the most. Be there for your parents and do what you must do to show that you care about and respect them.
How do your kids show respect towards you? Let us know in the comments section below.