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What My Parents Taught Me

June 7, 2013

Parenting has changed greatly over the years. However, some of the things you learned growing up are still as true as when you learned them.

Lessons I learned growing up

When you’re a kid you think of your parents as bullies, making you do stuff you don’t want to, and grounding you for the slightest infraction.  It’s funny how that viewpoint changes when you become a parent and have kids of your own. Little did I know, I would be teaching my kids the very same things. Although I didn’t see it then, my parents gave me valuable parenting lessons.

Clean up behind yourself

I always hated my mom going behind me and making me clean up messes I had made. It cut into my free time and I assumed that if I left, she would clean it up. What she was trying to teach me was that it was much easier if I cleaned up right then, and to leave it for someone else was rude. This lesson would mean a lot when I went to college and had to live with a roommate, and later when I had my own house and family.

Mind your manners

Why do I have to say, “Yes ma’am” and “No ma’am?” Other kids laugh at me. I hated it when adults would come to visit. My parents were big on respect.  They taught me manners. That is, how to talk to and treat others, especially those older than you.  When I got older and worked for high-level executives, I knew how to interact with them and others who visited our offices. I received consistent raises and glowing reviews.

Always do your best

It was drilled into me early on to always do my best. It didn’t matter if it was homework, ballet, piano, or chores, I was always expected to do my best. I didn’t have to always win, or be the best, I just had to give it my all. I never had a problem with self-confidence or self-esteem. This still holds true today. I passed on this to my kids and they are individuals who can acknowledge the accomplishments of others, as well as their own.

What goes around, comes around

Be careful how you treat people. This is so important at any age because you do not know what life holds. Extend compassion to others. You might need help  one day, and the only person available is the one you were mean to.  Remember the Golden Rule, and apply it.

Make sure you have on clean underwear

I always wondered about this. I mean, if I’m in an accident, unconscious and on my way to the hospital, what difference would it make it my undies are clean? Would they check first, and then not admit me if they were found to be dirty?  Then the day came when I was in an accident. When I came to, and realized where I was and what had happened, I immediately asked my best friend to run back to the dorm and get me some clean underwear. Of course, I always put on clean underwear, but you think of the darndest things when half sedated.

These bits of advice have been beneficial over the years. I hope they help you, too. Good luck with the kiddos!

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