Sherry believes in family bonds. She loves her family and friends and values relationships.
Ways to Respect Parents
Like every other human being on Earth, parents crave love and deserve respect.
To bring a child to life, the mother goes through sleepless nights, uncomfortable mornings and excruciating birth pains. After all this, she calls her child her "crowning glory". As the child grows up, she feeds, bathes and dresses them and carries them in her arms. The father has many sleepless nights, too. He supports the mother and takes care of the child like a superhero. He does everything in his power to ensure that his child has better chances in life than he had.
The sad part is that they do all of this in the hopes of a long, good life for their child. And even if the child tries to reciprocate half of it, they would be doing it to "repay" the parents. There are many ways to convey your love to your friends and spouse. But how do you express your love and gratitude to your parents? The answer is simple: by respecting and honouring them.
1. Develop a positive attitude toward your parents.
When children read about the reasons why parents deserve respect, they may feel that this does not apply to them because their parents are different. Maybe this is true, or maybe this is what everybody feels.
Parents never plan to have a bad relationship with their children. Things can go wrong, however, especially since parenting is one of the toughest things to do. When you create positive thoughts about your parents, you will be more likely to respect and love them.
2. Don't bring up bad memories.
Parents may make decisions for their children, scream at them or even abuse them. You might be someone who has been there. But today, you are probably reading this because you have at least partly forgiven them. Bringing up bad memories will only make your relationship with your parents bitter.
3. Make them your priority.
You were your parents' priority once (and still are). Maybe your mother left her job to look after you or worked extra hours to invest in your education. Since the day you were born, her decisions were based around you. It's time for you to return the favour.
4. Consider their point of view.
Try to see things from their perspective and understand where they are coming from. Their life experience is different from yours, and so are their decisions. Humble yourself to them by trying to comprehend their reasons.
5. Calm them down when they are angry.
Be tolerant of your parents when they are in a bad mood and try not to upset them. Even if you feel tense, try to restrain yourself and avoid saying bad things. With age, your parents may become capricious. Do not pay attention to what they are saying if they are only speaking out of anger.
6. If you disagree with them, don't be rude about it.
You might not agree with many of your parents' opinions, and you might be right. However, you don't have to make a point by loudly disagreeing with them. You can still hear them out and then make your own decisions. Good communication can bridge the generation gap between you and your parents.
7. Give—and do—your parents credit.
Any time you win a competition or succeed with a project, remember that you had lots of help along the way, starting with your parents. Our parents teach us essential skills for life. One way to show your gratitude is by giving them credit and doing them credit with your accomplishments. Let them feel proud of raising you to be a successful individual.
8. Avoid changing the subject during a conversation.
Focus and enjoy each conversation you have with your parents; their words are important. There will come a time when you'll long to hear their voice, their words—anything, even if it is meaningless—but all you'll have left is memories.
9. Stay away from phones in their presence.
You hate it when your friends are constantly on the phone while you're spending time together, don't you? If you wouldn't take a call in front of your professor or boss, then you shouldn't do so in front of your parents, either.
10. Give them your full attention.
While they speak, listen attentively and participate in the conversation. They will feel more connected with you when you do this.
11. If they repeat themselves, listen as if you are hearing it for the first time.
As people get older, they often forget things and repeat stories they like. If your parents keep enthusiastically telling you the same old stories, listen to them with the same enthusiasm.
12. Ask them for advice.
Asking for advice is the best way of showing people that you trust them and rely on them. Your parents will love to be involved in your decisions. Ask their opinion, even if you know you can't follow their advice because it's not quite right for your family or business. The simple act of asking won't do any harm.
13. Share good news and your achievements with them.
Your parents will be just as happy about your achievements as you are. Sometimes, they'll even be happier than you!
14. However, do not share unrelated bad news.
Avoid sharing bad news, especially if it has nothing to do with them.
15. Treat your uncles and aunts with affection.
Your parents have shared an intimate bond with their siblings ever since they were young. Even though they've grown older and busier now, they still have that attachment. Contact your uncles and aunts and invite them over to visit you and your parents.
16. Respect your parents' friends. Meet them and invite them over for dinner.
Show interest in your parents' friends and say nice things about them. When you were a kid, you probably didn't like it (or still don't like it!) when your parents made disparaging remarks about your friends. It's just the same case with your parents and their friends.
17. Be grateful.
Remember all the good things that your parents have done for you—and all that they still do. Be grateful and warmhearted toward them.
18. Do not complain about what you didn't have. Relish what you do have.
Maybe you didn't get a full education like your friend did. Perhaps you didn't have all the games you wanted as a kid. But remember that what your parents offered you is all that they had. Even if parents can't give much to their child, they create a sense of security that nothing else can.
19. Don't be arrogant.
Whether you follow a religion or are just a believer in humanity, you likely want to become a better person. Your parents are the most deserving of your kindness. Do not brag or flaunt yourself in their presence.
20. Do not loudly scold your kids in their presence.
This is seen as a disrespectful act.
21. Work hard to fulfil their requests.
Try to do what your parents ask of you as best you can. For example, if they give you ten tasks to do and five of them seem impossible, make a huge effort on the other five to impress your parents. They deserve your efforts.
22. Do not raise your tone with them.
When talking with your parents, match their tone and don't raise your voice over them. Speak in a low, respectful tone like you would with your teacher or boss.
23. Do not walk in front of them.
While you're walking together, do not rush or move ahead of them. Okay, this might seem like an odd suggestion, but it's a common form of respect in many cultures. In Turkish culture and some parts of the Middle East, for example, you see this as an everyday rule.
24. Do not start eating before they're served.
Again, this is a common rule in many cultures, and if you like something, you emulate it! I think these little gestures of respect should be a part of every culture because parents around the world raise their children with the same love and good intentions.
25. Remind them of all the good they did for you.
When your mother or father thinks that s/he is incapable of doing something, remind them how you always saw them as a superhero—and still do.
26. Do not say offensive things.
Do not swear or say offensive things in front of your parents. If anyone is deserving of your sweetness, it is your parents.
27. If you are religious, pray for them.
If you're a religious person, always remember your parents in your prayers. Pray for their well-being. Pray that God gives them every good thing they deserve. Pray that God gives them all the happiness they intended to give you.
28. Do not act tired or bored in their presence.
The moments with your parents are precious. Most children do not get to spend half of their lives with their parents, and it is heartbreaking to see how deprived they are of this blessing.
29. Do not laugh at their mistakes.
As your parents grow older, they might not even be aware of their mistakes. This is something that happens to everyone as they age. You may make similar mistakes when you are older. You wouldn't want anyone to make fun of you!
Love your parents the way they are. Do not feel embarrassed about your parents, and try not to mind what others think. Instead, if you see your parents forgetting things and making mistakes, give them more attention and care about them a little more.
30. Address them with love.
Call them anything that will make them feel loved. Call them "mom," "momma," "dad," "papa," "love," "precious," or whatever they want to hear.
31. Spend more time with them on holidays.
If you spend 30 minutes with your parents on Thanksgiving, then make it 2 hours the next year, and continue increasing your time together every year after that.
32. Get them useful and memorable gifts.
Giving a gift to someone demonstrates how grateful you are to have them in your life. Show that you are thinking about your parents by giving them gifts that will express your love. For example, you might give your parents a memory book or a pill organiser. Parents who have a hobby would appreciate something to help them with that hobby; for example, a gardener parent would appreciate a gardening tool.
33. Go on a drive.
Yes, go for a long drive with your father who always took you on long drives when you were a kid!
34. Do not involve them in fights with your siblings.
Sometimes sibling rivalries affect the parents more than the children. Do not make them take sides with any of you. This is hurtful to them. Moreover, it makes the fight bigger, since one of you would be fighting against both your sibling and your parent.
35. Offer to cook.
Offer to cook their favourite food or make them a cup of coffee. If your mom taught you a recipe, prepare it for her. Your parents will cherish your care and attention.
36. Strike up a conversation every few days.
If your parents look lonely, strike up a conversation that would interest them. Ask them if they have memories they would like to share. Spending twenty minutes talking to them will help you feel less guilty about the time you cannot spend with them. This will relax you and make you feel better.
37. Help them organize things or take them on small errands.
Help them organize events like birthdays, and help them clean out the house and box up items for donation. Take them out for coffee or shopping.
38. Reunite them with their loved ones.
If they ever tell you how much they miss their friends or other loved ones, see if you can arrange a reunion with them.
39. Write "missing you" notes and long letters. Call often.
These letters and calls are like gold and diamonds to parents. They yearn to hear your voice. Call them and let them know how your day has been.
40. Let your kids play with them.
If you have kids, let them play with their grandparents. Ask your children to spend time with your parents.
41. Give them hugs and kisses.
These little gestures show your parents love and respect.
42. Tell them often that you love them.
Whether it's a simple "I love you" or a detailed description of your love, share it with your parents.
43. Spend time together.
Spend some family time with your parents. It can be as simple as watching a TV show together or having dinner. For a more elaborate idea, you could go out for a family picnic.
44. Tell your kids how you were nurtured and loved as a kid.
Telling your kids stories about your childhood will help you remember all the good times you've had with your parents.
45. Make them feel at home.
When your parents come to visit, welcome them in warmly. If your parents live with you, show respect for their space; when you're in their rooms, try to make them feel like you are visiting their house.
46. Stand when they enter the room.
When your parents come into the room, get up, give them respect, and look attentive.
47. Pull up a chair for them.
Going along with the previous suggestion, help your parents over to a chair and wait until they sit down.
48. Bring them good books.
Take note of their interests and buy them books they would enjoy—or check out books for them from the library.
49. Don't hide your social media activities from them.
Research says that 70 percent of teenagers hide their online activities from their parents. If you're a teen, share your online activities with them as much as you can. Your parents can guide you about the proper use of these platforms. Be honest so you can have them on your side when you need them.
50. Value their wisdom.
Your parents have already gone through many of the same experiences that you're having. This alone is enough reason to value their knowledge and judgement.
Try a Few Suggestions First!
I know that it is extremely difficult to follow all 50 of these ideas, but you can start by trying to follow three of them, then ten of them, and so forth. Your parents are likely patient, and they will appreciate your efforts to better express your love and respect.
Though it is impossible, let us love our parents more than they love us.
Questions & Answers
Question: How can I have a better relationship with my parents?
Answer: Show love and respect and obey them as much as possible. Some 20 years ago or so, parents used to be so stubborn about their principles that it was very difficult to obey them. These days most parents are sensible in what they expect from us. Even if you differ in opinions, you can still talk to them.
In a few words I would say:
1. Believe that everything they do is for you. No one else in the world loves you as much as them and no one else would want the best for you more than them.
2. The only barrier you have in helping your relationship get better with your parents is YOU. Now that you have decided to get along with them better, nothing else is in your way. Know that at any time in your life, regardless of what has happened in the past, your parents have their arms open for you. Trust me! Even more than you, your parents long to have a good relationship with you.
3. Express love and respect. I have mentioned some simple ways to express love to parents on a regular basis in my article. Do not feel shy to do all these little things out of the blue. In the beginning, it may look weird or fake or whatever but you know what, no one cares. As long as your goal is sincere, you are doing the best thing anybody can do on the earth. God loves you for this and may He help you always.
Please be true to yourself and do not EVER give up on this precious thought.
Question: How can you say the truth when you're guilty?
Answer: I do not know what you are guilty of and how intense your guilt is. I assume it is something you are afraid to tell your parents. But, if the truth will come out sometime anyway it is better to tell it by yourself. Be honest about everything and show how bad you feel for being guilty. Show how much you regret and ask them for their opinion about what can be done to make things right. Promise yourself and promise your parents that you will not repeat the mistake in future, neither will you hide things from them. You want them to trust on you again and you can do this only and only by telling the truth. Don't worry even if it is the dirtiest/worst possible mistake because when they do not know the whole truth, it is possible that they could be assuming something worst already. So be honest to yourself and to them, tell them the truth, express your guilt, promise that you wont repeat the mistake, and never hide things again.
© 2018 Sherry Haynes
Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on July 31, 2020:
51. Report abusive behavior of fathers or stepfathers. (respect your mother). You may report to a teacher, doctor, nurse, police. To stop abuse you must report it.
52. Report bizzare behavior of a parent (or sibling). They might have a mental illness.
Anuradha Mishra on July 30, 2020:
hi actually the name is written anuradha mishra and it is my moms name but my name is anahita mishra and I am 12 years old
and this is very helpful but I am not able to change myself I talk very rudely to my parents and I am the worst child in the world . i will try all these rules . these rules are really helpful
Naomi Hazelwood on July 06, 2020:
I just would like to be able to not take my parents demands or critiques seriously. My parents can be annoying and can repeat themselves, but I know that they mean the best. They never want to listen to how I feel and if they do they are not genuine with their advice, but I know they mean the best. The thing is that I'm not sure if they mean the best because they don't personally share their emotions and instead quote scriptures. Scriptures are very powerful but I don't think it should not stop you from expressing your personal feelings. I find myself speaking with a harsh tone and being anxious/angry just seeing them. There is just a few situations from the past I think about and make me sad and upset. I want to develop a sense of peace and self control when I'm with them. For example my father can be very criticizing when we go practice driving, and I get scared when I drive with my mom and dad. I really need help and I don't know what to do with them. I feel like the majority of my family don't understand me and sometimes I feel all alone.
Afolayan Rihannat on June 24, 2020:
It's helpful my mom was happy
Ali on May 19, 2020:
Asma on May 07, 2019:
Which activities can be done on mothers day to develop respect and maternal bond?
Prathoma Ghosh on January 16, 2019:
Thanks for the help it will help me to do my project and also to care for my parents. Thank you so much Kenneth.
Sherry Haynes (author) on August 24, 2018:
Thank you so much Kenneth! You are always a great help. I will make sure to follow your advice next and every time I write.
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on August 23, 2018:
Dear Sherry -- dear friend, I loved this hub. It was very true as well as very helpful. And this is not anything critical, but keep your text the way that it is now: Easy to understand. One thing that you may want to avoid: use a lot of $50-dollar words when 2-words that are worth 20 cents would do just fine.
I have tried it both ways and I like simplicity the best.
But make no mistake. And you were NOT talking over your followers or those on the Internet. Just be you when you write.
Sherry Haynes (author) on June 13, 2018:
Thank you so much, Kenneth. It means a lot. I hope to keep writing and learning about this beautiful art more.
Kenneth Avery from Hamilton, Alabama on June 12, 2018:
Dear Sherry H. -- I am so glad that I started following you. And this hub is more than tremendous. Especially the call-out by Billy Graham. Great work.
And please keep up the fine work.
Sherry Haynes (author) on May 14, 2018:
I understand what you are suffering from. I know this is hard but you have to constantly tell your mind that parents if not the only ones, are the ones who wish the best for you. Even when the world and whatever is in it hates you they are going to stand by your side. They can be normal human beings and tell you off sometimes for not delivering what they expect from you. But, this never means they are not there for you.
Fake it till you believe it. Fake the idea that you recognize their worth and try to be a loving, kind son/daughter till you actually start behaving like one. I believe in unconditional love, hope you do to. Start loving them unconditionally like how you love a baby just born. You dont call the baby cute because you are mean, you actually know he is. Likewise count on your parents.
I am 21 but a super over-thinker I can totally understand sometimes we want to be mean to our parents because we feel they are mean to us. It is because the society you know. We dont care where they are coming from. All we want is someone to fulfill our wishes and love us no matter what. But, this is not how things go. Our parents are surrounded by mountains of troubles that they are hiding from us. If we cannot look through them and their troubles we can at least on our part trust them because even if we think they are mean to us we do not want to be mean ypto them in return.
You bothered because you think you are mean to your parents when talking to them is a sign that you love them and ready to go out of your way to make things right. So just do it. Fake the fact that you were ever mean. Tell yourself that you were always a good son and will continue to love them forever.
Thaison Nguyen on May 06, 2018:
i have this mental health issue with talking to my parents in a mean way how i do stop this from happening to me ?
Sherry Haynes (author) on January 06, 2018:
Thank you for adding to the list, Jay. That's a good viewpoint.
It's hard for children to move on from any bad they received from their own parents. But then, children for their own sake should forgive and forget the past and try to rebuild a stronger connection.
Jay C OBrien from Houston, TX USA on January 06, 2018:
This is a good list for most people to follow. I have an addition: Forgive your parents for what they did.
It is not right to abuse children or abandon them or hurt them. Find a way to Forgive by understanding they must hurt more than they hurt you. Mental Illness is easily forgiven because they were born with a disease. Their problems were only Projected onto you and are Not your problems. Do not follow an example of abuse with your own children.