An advantage of age is perspective. As you grow and mature, you can look back and see with increased clarity the effort and love that your parents exhibited. What once may have been a contentious relationship between parent and child can grow into an irreplaceable friendship. You may even have said the same words to your children that your parents said to you “Honor your father and your mother…” There are many ways to honor your parents. Here are four that you can implement right now:
1. Be Genuinely Thankful
One of the things your parents would appreciate more than almost anything else is for you to thank them for all the good things they did for you when you were growing up. Things that you didn’t see as a child, but are now aware of as an adult. Thank your mom for being there when you had your heart broken. Thank your dad for letting you talk to him about anything. Thank them both for loving you enough to not let you do whatever you wanted at the time.
2. It’s Never too Late to Apologize
Just like being genuinely thankful, it’s never too late to mend old fences with your parents. Did you do something monumentally foolish as a teenager that hurt them deeply? Ask them to forgive you now. Did you hold a grudge for something they said or did that you thought wasn’t fair at the time, but now you see that they were right? Tell them so and apologize.
3. Enjoy their Company
One of the best things you can do to honor your parents is to spend time with them. Take your Dad out for lunch and talk about what’s going on in his life. Drop by and have a chat with your Mom, just for the fun of it. Ask your parents to come over for dinner and make a point to serve them their favorite meal. Don’t let them lift a finger, even though they’ll try.
4. Create a Legacy Video
Everyone enjoys watching themselves, their children and grandchildren growing up and growing together in family videos. Your parents are no exception. For them, one of the greatest honors that you can give them is the memories they have and the memories you share. Here’s a video I did for my dad for his 80th birthday. And if you want to know how to do one for yourself, All Pro Dad has a questionnaire you can use to interview your loved ones.