15 Things To Thank Your Parents For On National Parent’s Day

July 20, 2018  |  
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This Sunday is National Parent’s Day. You don’t only have to celebrate your biological parents on that day, of course. You probably have been fortunate enough to have plenty of parental figures in your life. I’m not going to sit here and pretend that we all have exactly the relationship we want with our parents. That being said, they’ve taught us a lot—whether intentionally, or not. They’ve made us who we are, either by leading by example, or showing us the downside of their mistakes. And as for the things our real parents couldn’t teach us (they’re only human, after all) you probably have a stepparent, godparent, or friend’s parent who stepped in and filled in the gaps to make you the whole, confident, strong, and smart person you are today. Give credit where credit is due. Here are 15 things to thank your parents for on National Parent’s Day.

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For pushing you

When you didn’t believe in yourself, when you worried about the competition, when you figured there was no point in trying—your parents pushed you. And through that, they taught you to push yourself.

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For teaching you to be humble

Without humility, your life would be a wreck and you know it. You were a cocky youngster in your teens and early twenties, and your parents (lucky for you) told you to check yourself before you sent that over-reactive email to that boss or coworker or got angry because you felt entitled to something you lost out on. Phew. They saved you from looking like an idiot and burning an important bridge.

Gettyimages.com/Young woman standing near the pedestrian crossing and eating chocolate.

For instilling patience

Remember how many times you wanted to give up on something because you weren’t seeing the results you wanted right away? And remember how your parents told you to just keep at it and have patience? And then remember how great it felt when you finally did see the results—that you never would have seen if you’d given up?

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For instilling a work ethic

If you did a half-*ss job washing your parent’s car or cleaning your room, they sent you back in there to do it again. They taught you to take pride in your work, and that got you far in the real world.

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For showing you their flaws

You may not want to thank them out loud for this one but, your parents probably showed you their flaws throughout the years—their mistakes and their downfalls—and you’ve learned a lot from those. Maybe you’ve learned how you’d like to love a partner based on watching your parent’s marriage turn into divorce. Maybe you learned the importance of chasing your dreams, based on watching the depression one parent suffered for never doing so.

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For stopping you from making huge mistakes

Remember when you wanted to…get that huge tattoo…move in with that much older boyfriend…elope…drop out of college…invest all your money in that dumb idea? Thank goodness your parents stepped in!

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For always being there

Maybe they haven’t always told you what you wanted to hear. Maybe they haven’t always responded to you the way you’d hoped. But they were there. Even when you fought and were nasty, they were there. When you drifted apart, and couldn’t get along for years, they stayed by you. How many people can you say that about? Probably very few.

Gettyimages.com/An affectionate African American mother holds her baby boy up and kisses him on the cheek. They are outside on a beautiful sunny autumn day.

For keeping you alive

Um, hello! They kept you alive! You don’t even know about the times they pulled you out of the way of a moving car when you ran after a ball or made you put on a life vest before getting on a boat or stopped you from eating something toxic.

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For babying you when you needed it

There have been times—like after failing a class or having your heart broken—when you just needed to be babied. You needed someone to tell you everything would be okay and just nurture you. Your parents did that.

Gettyimages.com/A mature African-American man in his 50s standing outdoors with his adult daughter, a young woman in her 20s. His arm is around her shoulder and they are smiling.

For tough love when you needed it

Then there were times when you needed someone to tell you to toughen up and stop acting like such a baby. Your parents did that, too.

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For giving you adventures, within their means

Even if your parents weren’t wealthy when you were growing up, they provided you adventures and new experiences, within your means. Whether that meant trips to Europe or finding museums that were free for kids, they wanted to expose you to new things.

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For paying for your first 18 years (or more)

They probably paid for most of (if not all of) your life until you were 18. Maybe they paid for you beyond that. If you’re an adult, or even have your own kids now, you’ve probably begun to realize just how much of their money they dedicated to you.

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For instilling loyalty

They taught you to always be loyal to family—to protect their reputation, to make them a priority, and to be there for them in times of need. You’ve brought that loyalty to other important relationships.

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For teaching you to respect yourself

I bet your parents saw some friends or boyfriends who didn’t pay you the respect you deserved, and they told you as much. They taught you to only accept the best for yourself.

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For scaring off the bad boyfriends

At the time, you were so angry with your parents for being cold or dismissive to this or that boyfriend. Looking back, you’re so grateful to them—they were 110% right about those guys.

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