Before our boys went back to college last month they had an assignment from their small group leaders. The assignment was to sit down with their parents and ask them three questions. It was the last question that got Mary and I thinking. Here it is…
What can I do to be a better son?
I took the question to mean, “what can I do to show you how important you are to me, how valuable you are to me. Is there anything I can do or say that will communicate that I love you and I am thankful to you.” Okay, maybe I read to much into it but that was went through my mind first. The second thing that went through my mind was, “They are probably just doing this for small group homework and that’s it.”
Each of our boys asked Mary and I at different times. What was unique was we gave the same answer. “I would like for you to call, text or face time us for no other reason except to talk and connect with us.” As we get older our desire for relationship outpaces our desire for things, especially with our family, doesn’t it?
Off to college they went for their second year. And, as it turns out, they weren’t just asking the question for a small group homework assignment. They have actually called, texted and face timed us for no other reason than to connect with us. That got me thinking. I talk a lot about what kids need, what we should say to our kids, how we should parent our kids but what about us? What about parents? What do we need to hear?
I have said they key to a happy life is low expectations. Of course it’s a little sarcastic, and, a little true. If you are a parent of a three to seventeen year old, well, you may not hear or have heard the things each of us as parents want to hear from our kids. So, if you haven’t had that moment let me be the first to tell you a few things I hope you want to hear.
5 Things Every Parent Wants To Hear From Their Kids
1. I know it makes you sad when you have to give me a consequence but I understand it’s for my own good. I love you!
2. I know you work hard to provide me with things I need and even some things I want. Thank you!
3. Thank you for saying no to your friends so you could spend time with me. I love you!
4. I know life isn’t fair, even though I say, “That’s not fair,” a lot. I love you!
5. I understand that you mistakes sometimes, we all do. I forgive you!
If your son or daughter asked you, "What can I do to be a better son/daughter?" How would you answer?
Photo Credit: Heartprintimages.com Picture of Cameron and Alec Jutila