If you have parents who are active and caring members of your life, you likely feel indebted to them for all they’ve done for you. There is great power in showing your appreciation for people in your life, and parents often deserve it the most. If you’re looking for ways to show appreciation to your parents, here are some thoughtful approaches to try.
When interacting with family, you may feel like you’re in a rut. You may only call occasionally or have a rhythm to when you visit during the year. It’s also possible you don’t rely on your parents for their input as much as you once did. Break these routines by surprising them. Show up on their doorstep without telling them you’re coming or call them up to talk over what you’re dealing with at work. They’ll be thankful that you’re going above what’s typical for their sake.
Be Present With Them
Also, seek to be present with them however you can. If you’re hundreds of miles away, video chat with them so you can talk. Let them see your face as if you were physically with them. If you’re closer, be sure to visit often so you can check in with one another. This is even more impactful if you’re giving your parents a chance to see their grandchildren. Connecting with them on a near daily basis shows your parents you want them to be a part of your life going forward.
Bring Memories to Mind
You share a life story with your parents. In fact, you share a collective memory of your life and theirs (and how these stories interact). One valuable way to show your parents your appreciation is to recall your memories of life together. Tell about how they would read to you when you were young. Remind them that they fixed your childhood bike to give to your child and tell them how much you appreciated that. Give them a hard time about how they dressed you while growing up. These stories give an occasion for you to relive sweet memories, and for parents with difficulties with their memory, this can help them hold on to stories they’re forgetting.
Take Their Lessons to Heart
There is little more heartwarming for a parent than being a model for their children’s lives. For this reason, be mindful of what your parents did well and be intentional about carrying on their legacy. This could mean anything from conducting yourself with integrity in your workplace to having popcorn every Sunday night as a family.