I could spend time thanking my parents for buying my first car, assisting in my college education, or taking me to Six Flags hundreds of times. That would be perfectly acceptable. Those things were awesome.
On the other hand, I could also spend time thanking my parents for things that totally sucked. I imagine it isn’t easy for parents to make these tough decisions and put their kids through what they’ll act like is a living hell. I imagine those years of complaining, retaliation and complete stress make parents wonder is it worth it? Is it worth the constant battle? The tears? The sleepless nights?
To that I ask, is it worth creating a successful, functioning adult? Is it worth hearing, “you must have done something right!” from your peers? Is it worth an honest “thank you?” from your child? I’m no parent, or even close to it, but I’d say its worth it. They’ll fight you, kicking and screaming, but in the end, its worth it.
Here’s a round of applause for my amazing parents who made everyday decisions that made me who I am today.
1. Forcing Me to do the “Boy” Chores, too
My brother and I had the same chores. No girl is too good to take out the trash or cut the grass. Get a little dirty! It’s fun. Fun tip: Google “kids doing chores” and see what you find! Hint: boys are washing cars and girls are doing dishes. Surprise, surprise!
2. Making Me Clean My Own Room
The mess didn’t make itself! If you’re capable of wrecking it, you’re capable of cleaning it. This taught me responsibility, pride in my own things, and most of all, accountability. After all, what kind of pride could I take in my things if I couldn’t even find them half the time?
3. Not Letting Me Wear Makeup Until I was 15
What did I need make-up for? It seems some young teenage girls feel insecure without make-up and that’s just sad. We need to teach out preteens and teens that inner beauty comes first.
4. Teaching Me How to Cook
You’d be surprised how many adults struggle to boil hot dogs. You’d think cooking is rocket science to some people. Instead, they’d rather spend money on eating out than open a cookbook or have to deal with the dishes afterward. Eating out regularly is a total bank buster and skipping out on cooking because of dishes is just lazy. Cooking can be adventurous and therapeutic at the same time!
5. Saying “Because I said so”
I’m all for reasoning with kids. After all, they need to learn the reasons why things are done certain ways. Sometimes however, there is no specific answer and that is just fine. Answering “because I said so” may be a little authoritarian but it worked and I respected it. I still do. “Because I said so” meant end of discussion. Period.
6. Making Me Listen to Your Music
It may have been torture but now when I talk to fellow coworkers or people of different backgrounds, I can relate and I feel more aware. Equally, it helped me realize that the world didn’t revolve around me. Sometimes I got what I wanted. Sometimes you got what you wanted. And that was okay. I understood you had interests, too!
7. Giving Me a Curfew
Life is all about time management. Get to work on time. Get back from your lunch break on time. Make sure you eat dinner before How I Met Your Mother comes on. A curfew reinforced the importance of time. Not to mention, kept me in check!