In this fast-moving world, there are many basic things that we start taking for granted. Similarly, there are people who are part of our everyday lives, like our parents and family members, whom we many times unintentionally take for granted or don’t give enough time. Well, we forget that time is ever passing, like we are growing old so are our parents, our caregivers who have played major roles in making us who we are. They do everything, from packing healthy breakfasts for us in school-days to being a personal chauffeur whenever needed; they play many roles in our lives from being a friend, teacher, confidants and to many times being our guide, supporting us throughout the ups and downs of our lives.
But many a times, due to our busy and stressful lives, we forget to give them enough time or show care towards them, which even though they would deny but still affects them a lot. It is true that many times generation gap creates issues between the parent and child relationship, but it isn’t something that can’t be bridged with a few simple gestures and basic things.
Few easy yet meaningful things to do to show your gratitude towards your parents:
• Not just hear, but LISTEN – When our parents or any loved ones have anything to share, listen intently. Mindfully listen and understand what they are trying to say and through our body language by leaning in a little or maintain eye contact, to let them know we are listening. After they are done speaking, try to ask questions or comment about what was said in order to generate a conversation. Many times elders get lonely and need a good conversation or someone who can just listen to them.
• Offer to help – Try helping out in the kitchen or with household chores. Basic things like cleaning the house or doing laundry whenever we can only show that we do care about our home.
• Use kind words – From a very young age we are taught that we should be kind and respectful towards others, especially our elders. Whenever talking with our parents we should remember not to use tone or words that might come out as disrespectful.
• Importance of conversations – Having a conversation with our parents will show them that we still wish for their company. Spend time with them, talk and have discussions. It doesn’t really have to be a heart-to-heart conversation, talk about normal things. Talk about family heritage, history or traditions, which are always fun to know, and in that way, there can be a new understanding built.
• Eat together – Due to the busy schedules we mostly come back late or skip meals most of the time. Having a single meal together every day brings the family closer. It is especially a big deal for the elders of the family to see the whole family sitting together and means a lot to them.
• Provide financial assistance – Many of us think that our parents are self-sufficient and don’t need us to support them. But we should always ask them if they would like your help or not in the household budget or something else. This way our elders won’t feel a need to ask which they mostly hesitate from. Giving some type of contribution to the household budget or any function’s budget lightens the burden on their shoulders and also gives them a sense of financial safety.
• Share your feelings – Something that we tend to do as we grow is thinking our parents don’t or won’t understand us, and so we stop sharing our problems with them. This, in the long run, creates misunderstandings and gaps between the parent-child relationships, hurting both sides. We should talk to our parents freely as they are someone who will always stay with us no matter what. Sharing our feelings will ensure the deepening of our relationship with them and also help them to understand us better.
You don’t need to do all these things altogether at once, but what we need to understand is our relationship with our parents and elders; and then accordingly find a way to make them feel loved and cared for. We should also look after their mental, emotional and physical health, and ask if or offer help if they are going through a rough patch in life.
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