How to Show Love to Your Parents

There are lots of ways you can show love to your parents as an adult. Here are a few great ideas.

Rebekah Yahoves June 25, 2018

Those of us past the stage of manufacturing macaroni necklaces often struggle with expressing affection for our parents. Do we take them out for dinner, invite them to our kids’ birthday parties, or offer to drive them someplace? How do you articulate love and gratitude toward those who cleaned up our spills, taught us responsibility, and poured out their hearts to make a sanctuary for us? Here are some ideas:


Communicate Your Successes
1. Communicate Your Successes

Nothing makes parents happier than watching their children blossom and make positive contributions to the world. It reassures them that success and benevolence are a part of the character they helped shape. It also gives them the peace of knowing that their children are independent and contented adults. So go ahead and send them a link to your published blog post or a picture of the A on your son’s spelling test. It will go a long way toward sweetening their souls.

Pass Down Traditions
2. Pass Down Traditions

I have dear memories of going out for ice cream after Vacation Bible School closing programs as a child. It is a mini treat that I looked forward to each summer, and—once I became a mom—I invited my parents to Carvel after my kids sang peppy songs about surfing the wave of God’s love. It means a lot to parents when they know you were so delighted with childhood customs that you want your kids to have the same experience. They will realize that their loving gestures have a long-term payoff.

Open Your Home
3. Open Your Home

If you are like me, a clean house day means a lack of laundry in the living room and a majority of the dirty dishes in the dishwasher. Your parents are not as interested in your crackerjack cleaning skills as they are in your warm welcome into your adult world. It reminds them that they are appreciated, needed, and still very much a part of your family.

Forgive Them
4. Forgive Them

There is nothing that makes you marvel at your parents’ sacrifices more than raising your own children. The effort it takes to hold your ground when disciplining, or to labor to make ends meet, is impressive. Your parents may have said or done things that perplexed you, but know that, most of the time, they were motivated by concern for your well-being.

Learn from Their Mistakes
5. Learn from Their Mistakes

The right way to process your parents’ mistakes is not to point them out. Know that your parents are humans who were children once too. Rather, acknowledge your hurts, take responsibility for your own missteps, and find a way to do things better. Your parents will be elated to see their children and grandchildren growing and thriving.

Listen to Their Stories
6. Listen to Their Stories

There is a divine arc in everyone’s history. Lessons have been learned, belly-laughs have been had, and love has cascaded over into the next generation. Listening to your parents’ experiences will validate them and give them a purpose. It will also give your life tremendous roots, a colorful complexion, and a distinctive brand of hope.

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Rebekah Yahoves

Rebekah Yahoves is a writer, mother, and music teacher from Long Island. In 2016, she adopted three school-aged siblings from Poland at the same time. When she isn't constructing casseroles or tuning violins, Rebekah likes to go on tea binges and read.

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