44 Simple Ways to Show Love and Respect to Your Parents
Like every other human being on Earth, parents crave love and deserve respect. But, being the big-hearted people, they are, they'll never tell you that. Parents don't want to upset their children by making demands, and they fear rejection (like everyone else).
How often do we tell our parents we love them? How often do we show them our love? If we have enough time to look after our own children, then we have enough time to get along with our parents. After all, sometimes all that your parents want is a simple cup of coffee with you.
How Do You Show Your Parents How Much You Love Them?
There are many ways to express your love to your friends and spouse. But how do you express your love to your parents? The answer is simple: by respecting and honouring them. The happiest parents are often those who are honoured and valued.
When we talk about parents, "love" and "respect" are the same words—the same verbs! I don't understand how you can show respect to someone but not love them or how you can express love without respect.
Here are some simple ways to show your parents that you love them:
1. Stay away from phones or business stuff in their presence.
You hate it when your friends are constantly on the phone while you're spending time together, don't you? If you wouldn't take a call in front of your professor or boss, then you shouldn't do so in front of your parents, either.
2. Give them your full attention.
While they speak, listen attentively and participate in the conversation.
3. Ask them for advice.
Asking for advice is the best way of showing people that you trust them and rely on them. Your parents will love to be involved in your decisions. Ask their opinion, even if you know you probably won't follow their advice because it's not quite right for your family or business; the simple act of asking won't do any harm.
4. Consider their point of view.
Try to see things from their perspective and understand where they are coming from.
5. Give—and do—your parents credit.
Any time you win a competition or succeed with a project, remember that you had lots of help along the way, starting with your parents. Our parents teach us essential skills for life, and one way to show your gratitude is by giving them credit and doing them credit with your accomplishments. Let them feel proud of raising you to be a successful individual.
6. Do you have good news? Did you achieve something? Share it with them.
Your parents will be just as happy about your achievements as you are. Sometimes, they'll even be happier than you!
7. However, do not share unrelated bad news.
Avoid sharing bad news, especially if it has nothing to do with them.
8. Respect your parents' friends. Meet them and invite them over for dinner.
Show interest in your parents' friends and say nice things about them. When you were a kid, you probably didn't like it (or still don't like it!) when your parents made disparaging remarks about your friends. It's just the same with your parents and their friends.
9. Be grateful.
Remember all the good things that your parents have done for you—and all that they still do. Be grateful and warm-hearted toward them.
10. If they repeat themselves, listen as if you are hearing it for the first time.
As people get older, they often forget things and repeat stories they like. If your parents keep enthusiastically telling you the same old stories, listen to them with the same enthusiasm.
A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.
— Billy Graham
11. Don't be arrogant.
Whether you follow a religion or are just a believer in humanity, you probably work to improve yourself every single day. If you want to be a better person, you first need to be a better child to your parents. If you can be kind and understanding to your friends and teachers, you can do the same for your parents.
You might think that you've achieved more than your parents did and feel arrogant about it, blaming them for the things you never had as a child. But please recognize that your parents probably gave you everything they could.
12. If you disagree with them, don't be rude about it.
Maybe you're a millennial or a post-millennial, and you don't agree with many of your parents' opinions. You might be right, but you don't have to make a point of loudly disagreeing with them. You can still hear them out and then make your own decisions.
13. Avoid changing the subject during a conversation.
Focus and enjoy each conversation you have with your parents; their words are important. There will come a time when you'll long to hear their voice, their words—anything, even if it is meaningless—but all you'll have left is memories.
14. Never complain about what you didn't have. Relish what you do have.
Maybe you didn't get a full education like your friend did. Maybe you didn't have all the toys you wanted as a kid. Remember that what your parents offered you is all that they had.
I am 24 years old now, and I'd say that about 40% of my friends have lost one or both of their parents. I realized the importance of my mother after my best friend lost her mom. My friend, who was once a very motivated girl, now looks like she doesn't know what to do next. Her mom never made a lot of money, but she gave my friend the kind of security that nobody else can ever give her.
15. Do not loudly scold your kids in their presence.
This is disrespectful. You wouldn't yell at your kids in the presence of your boss, so don't do it in front of your parents.
16. Work hard to fulfill their requests.
Try to do what your parents ask of you as best you can. For example, if they give you ten tasks to do and five of them seem impossible, make a huge effort on the other five to impress your parents. They deserve your efforts.
17. Get their advice first.
Your parents have been where you are now, and you can trust them fully. Go to them first when you need advice and opinions.
18. Do not raise your tone with them.
When talking with your parents, match their tone and don't raise your voice over them. Speak in a low, respectful tone like you would with your teacher or boss.
19. Do not walk in front of them.
While you're walking together, do not rush or move ahead of them. Okay, this might seem like an odd suggestion, but it's a common form of respect in many cultures. In Turkish culture and in some parts of the Middle East, for example, you see this as an everyday rule.
20. Do not start eating before they're served.
Again, this is a common rule in many cultures, and if you like something, you emulate it! I think these little gestures of respect should be a part of every culture, because parents around the world raise their children with the same love and good intentions.
Parents need their children as much as children need their parents.
— Paul Carvel
21. Remind them of all the good they did for you.
When your mother or father thinks that s/he is incapable of doing something, remind them how you always saw them as a superhero—and still do.
22. Do not say offensive things.
Do not swear or say offensive things in front of your parents. If there is anyone who is deserving of your sweetness, it is your parents. I can say this a million times. No science, no culture, and no person can deny this fact.
23. If you are religious, pray for them.
If you're a religious person, always remember your parents in your prayers. Pray for their well-being. Pray that God gives them every good thing they deserve. Pray that God gives them all the happiness they intended to give you.
24. Do not act tired or bored in their presence.
The moments with your parents are precious. Most children do not get to spend half of their lives with their parents, and it is heart breaking to see how deprived they are of this blessing.
25. Do not laugh at their mistakes.
As your parents grow older, they might not even be aware of their mistakes. This is a general thing that happens to everyone as they age, and it is possible that you will make similar mistakes when you are older. You wouldn't want anyone to make fun of you!
Love your parents the way they are. Love their mistakes. Be cool with it. Do not feel embarrassed about your parents, and try not to mind what others think. Instead, if you see your parents forgetting things and making mistakes, give them more attention and care about them a little more.
26. Address them with love.
Call them anything that will make them feel loved. Call them "mom," "momma," "dad," "papa," "love," "precious," or whatever they want to be called.
27. Let them be your first priority.
You were your parents' first priority once (and probably still are). For example, maybe your momma left her job to look after you or worked extra hours to invest in your education. Since the day you were born, her decisions were based around you. It's time to return the favour and make your parents your priority.
28. Get them useful and memorable gifts.
For example, you might give your parents a memory book, a pill organiser or something for their hobbies, like a gardening tool if your parents enjoy their garden. Show them what they mean to you. Keep the love alive.
29. Go on a drive.
Yes, go for a long drive with your father who always took you on long drives when you were a kid!
30. Offer to cook.
Offer to cook their favourite food or make them a cup of coffee. If your mom taught you a recipe, prepare it for her. Your parents will not forget your delicious meals or your care and attention.
When my father didn't have my hand, he had my back.
— Arab saying
31. Strike up a conversation every few days.
If your parents look lonely, strike up a conversation that would interest them, maybe about memories they want to share. Spending twenty minutes talking to them will help you feel less guilty about the time that you cannot spend with them. This will relax you and make you feel better.
32. Help them organize things or take them on small errands.
Help them organize events like birthdays, and help them clean out the house and box up items for donation. Take them out for coffee or for shopping.
33. Reunite them with their loved ones.
If they ever tell you how much they miss their friends or other loved ones, see if you can arrange a reunion with them.
34. Write "missing you" notes and long letters. Call often.
These letters and calls are like gold and diamonds to parents. I want to tell you a real story that I heard a few months ago: There was an old man who came to a mobile repair shop one day. The person who fixes the phones checked the phone for a while and said, "Dear uncle, your mobile is alright. It does not need a repair." The old man then said, "Please check it again. I am not getting calls from my son. The phone must not be working."
35. Let your kids play with them.
If you have kids, let them play with their grandparents. Ask your children to spend time with your parents.
36. Give them hugs and kisses.
These little gestures show your parents love and respect.
37. Tell them often that you love them.
Whether it's a simple "I love you" or a detailed description of your love, share it with your parents.
38. Spend time together.
Spend some family time with your parents. It can be as simple as watching a TV show together or having dinner. For a more elaborate idea, you could go out for a family picnic.
39. Don't bring up bad memories.
Bringing up bad memories will only make everyone sad. Your parents were not responsible for all of the bad things that have happened in your life. It's important to remember that they likely made the best decisions they could.
40. Tell your kids how you were nurtured and loved as a kid.
Telling your kids stories about your childhood will help you remember all the good times you've had with your parents.
41. Make them feel at home.
When your parents come to visit, welcome them in warmly. If your parents live with you, show respect for their space; when you're in their rooms, try to make them feel like you are visiting their house.
42. Stand when they enter the room.
When your parents come into the room, get up, give them respect, and look attentive.
43. Pull up a chair for them.
Going along with the previous suggestion, help your parents over to a chair and wait until they sit down.
44. Bring them good books.
Take note of their interests and buy them books they would enjoy—or check out books for them from the library.
Try a Few Suggestions First!
I know that it is extremely difficult to follow all 44 of these ideas, but you can start by trying to follow three of them, then ten of them, and so forth. Your parents are likely patient, and they will appreciate your efforts to better express your love and respect.
It is so saddening to see the burden placed on parents to teach their children respect and values. Parents alone cannot teach these things. Yes, it is the parents' responsibility first, but the rest of the child's environment matters, too. Social media can make terrible memes go viral, and many prominent people are celebrated for their arrogance; these things have a huge impact on children's behaviour. No parent wants to see their cute, kind child become arrogant and disrespectful.
Though it is impossible, let us love our parents more than they love us.