Image from Calvin & Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Unlimited hours. No breaks. The most important job is also the world's toughest job: parenting. It's easy to point out potential pitfalls and mistakes, but in a day and age where the world's toughest job only seems to be getting tougher, every victory as a parent should be celebrated. Yes, avoiding parenting mistakes is important--but focusing on parenting successes can also teach valuable lessons.
We asked our readers to share what they felt their parents did right when they were growing up in their home. From enforcing consistent standards to teaching important values, here's what you had to say were the best things your parents did to help you turn out right:
They had clear rules and when they gave a consequence, they followed through. Every. Single. Time.
There was always a big focus on learning in my home. It was, of course, expected that we would get a formal education, but my parents really taught us, besides that, just to learn for the enjoyment of learning. There were always a ton of books around, we always had music lessons, and my mom instilled a fearlessness in all of us to try new things. (A favorite memory of mine is an incidence where she demolished a backsplash wall in my kitchen and then declared, "I don't know how to patch drywall, but I'm sure I can figure it out!") I'm trying to pass those same ideas to my kids.
-Kimberly Kendell Petersen
We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so my parents didn't just buy us anything and everything we wanted. They didn't buy us cell phones or computers or anything like that; we had to buy it ourselves with money we'd earned. They taught us the value of hard work. And giving to others even when we had little. They taught us the power of prayer and scripture study as a family. My parents did a great job! Love them so much!
They chose to become converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They taught us to work hard for everything we have. My mom showed us unconditional love and taught us not just to have sympathy for others but to have sincere empathy. They taught us the importance of serving others. They made us appreciate family more than anything.
I was raised by a single mom who was very strict and observed what kind of friends I went out with. She wanted to know them too. I learned to cook for our large family at eleven and hand wash my clothes at eight! She taught us never to swear and fight with others and to respect the elderly! Every Sunday she would wake up to see us ready for church--she gave me freedom to go to any church I wanted which eventualy led me to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
My parents always went to the temple. I remember watching my mom iron their temple clothes and knew that was a special place if she was taking that much time to make things just right. Also my mom would ALWAYS wait up for us when we were out. She always wanted to know where we were and when we were all home.
They made it clear that there would always be room for me in their home; I would always have a place to come home to.
I was raised by a single father from the age of 9. He taught me to respect my elders, and I had a set curfew and consenquences for breaking it. The thing that stuck out most to me is when I hit the teenage years: he let me make mistakes and then asked me what I learned from them. I did hang out with a questionable crowd, but through all the hardships he stuck by me. All those mistakes made me a better person and who I am today. I am stronger in my faith then I was when I was younger and those mistakes helped me grow. Now I'm raising 2 special needs kids the the church.
-Molly Miller Wells
Even though I stubbornly didn't get into the habit of cheerfully attending church and consistently praying and reading scriptures, my parents were always diligent in their own personal efforts. Every time I accidentally walked in on my mom kneeling by her bed in prayer or saw my dad going out of his way to visit someone in the ward, it made me wish I was more like them. I loved and respected them for it. Sometimes kids just don't obey, and it doesn't mean that the parents failed to teach them right. Just being your best self sets such a good example to kids, even if they don't immediately follow it.
-Carly M. Springer
What did your parents do right raising you? Leave a comment and let us know!