Many of us already fulfill parental roles, whether to children, younger siblings, nieces, nephews, or furry pets. Therefore, we understand the crucial role of being life teachers. From parents’ selfless love, infinite protection, and lifelong sacrifice, we sometimes take their presence for granted.
On the first of June every year, proclaimed by the UN as Global Day of Parents, parents worldwide are honored for their selfless commitment to their children. Psychologist and author Dr. Gary Chapman, explains five practical ways to express and communicate love to improve relationships: quality time, gift giving, acts of service, words of affirmation, and physical touch. Consider the following ways to tailor your love to your parents and strengthen your bond:
1. Quality Time
As we grow older, our lives become busier and parents tend to feel much less appreciated. If you live in different cities or can’t physically be with them and spend time together, calling them often speaks volumes because it shows you think of them. Make time for them by calling on your way home from work, as you cook dinner, or walk your dog.
2. Gift Giving
It’s always nice to see someone’s reaction when you give them a surprise gift. Without a doubt, your parents will appreciate the physical representation of love. But what do you give the people who have brought you in this life and have given you everything? For mom, you can never go wrong with roses or her favorite flower. If you want something that she can cherish longer, jewelry is always a good option. For dad, consider getting him something for his favorite hobby. Perhaps golf gear or utensils for the grill if he loves to barbeque.
3. Acts of Service
If you’re spending some time at home and want to express your love, contribute by doing something for them so they don’t have to do it themselves. For example, you can surprise your mom by vacuuming the house or doing the dishes. You can also spare your dad some hard work out in the sun by mowing the lawn. Meanwhile, your parents will have time to rest while being proud of the child they raised.
4. Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words: parents want to hear how you feel. This is a perfect chance to write them a handwritten letter expressing what you love about them. You can mention all the traits you admire, and what they have done to inspire you. If you don’t live near your parents, the postal mail service is your best friend.
5. Physical Touch
When reuniting with parents, if they are the affectionate type, greet them with a long, warm hug, and then give them random hugs throughout the day that will put a smile on their faces. Sometimes they may like an additional embrace by you and a hug is a simple way of displaying affection. It represents gratitude and love, sometimes far more than spoken words.
Appreciating your parents everyday is important because you can never thank them enough for raising you and sharing their wisdom. Show love in unique ways to remind them of what they mean to you. After all, they are the reason for our existence!
Sharon Schweitzer and Paola Guevara co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is a cross-cultural trainer, modern manners expert, and the founder of Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is the resident etiquette expert on two popular lifestyle shows: ABC Tampa Bay’s Morning Blend and CBS Austin’s We Are Austin. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, and the National Business Journals. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business, Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, now in its third printing, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.
Paola Guevara is a 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Protocol & Etiquette Worldwide. She’s lived in Mexico, France, and different states throughout the United States, including California, Florida, and Texas. She recently graduated with honors from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas with a major in International Business and a focus in French. Connect with her via Linkedin.