For the final post in this series, I want to again address the children in a family.
Kids, do you realize that you have as much time to raise your parents as they do to raise you? You can have a big influence on how your parents relate to you. What can you do to help them become perfect (or at least “better”) parents?
Here are 10 tips:
- Encourage them. We all need encouragement, and parents are no different. Tell them you appreciate them and the efforts they put into their responsibilities. You also can encourage them by showing them that you are growing up. That means cooperating more and fighting less (Eph. 6:1-3).
- Don’t be too strict with them. Learn to be less demanding about always getting things your way. Let Mom and Dad watch their favorite T.V. show once in a while. Let them have their freedom and a little room. Let them know you understand their needs, and you’re likely to find yourself with more freedom and opportunities.
- Say thank you. Think for a moment about how much there is to be thankful for: food, clothes, your possessions, a roof over your head. Don’t take these things for granted-or your parents who provide them. Look for little things to thank them for. Being thankful is an attribute God desires that we all possess (Col. 3:15; 1 Thess. 5:18).
- Try to do something nice for them. The key here is to do it before they ask. There are lots of things you can do before they ask you. Clean your room. Put your things away. Wash the dishes. Clean the garage. Prepare dinner. Mow the lawn. Show by your actions that you love them. Don’t just tell them (thought telling them is important too).
- Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry.” If you are sincere, they will forgive you. Show them by “changing,” that you are sorry. Making a mistake is not as bad as not being willing to change.
- Never do anything to betray your parent’s trust or make them question your honesty. Trust is one of your most precious possessions and tools. Once you lose trust, it’s hard to rebuild. Be honest. Take your punishment when necessary. Don’t try to lie your way out of something. Building trust is absolutely necessary if you want to improve your parents. If you want privileges and freedom, you first have to let your parents know they can trust you and that you are dependable.
- Don’t get so upset at what you believe are their imperfections that you forget your shortcomings. Learn to be forgiving. Remember, it’s not east to be a parent.
- Ask your parents for input. This can work wonders. They were once teenagers and, although times have changed, their advice can still save you a lot of heartache.
- Take them into your confidence. If you are open and willing to share things with them, they will start sharing more things with you, and your relationship will blossom like never before. Talk to them like you talk to your friends. Remember, the friends who are the most valuable are the ones who will occasionally disagree with you and your ideas.
- Time your talk right. Learn the value of timing. Don’t talk to them when they’re upset. You have moments when you don’t feel like talking. So do they. Wait for a time when they’re relaxed and can give you their full attention.