In 2003, U.S. President George Bush proclaimed July 31 to be the national day we honor and celebrate parents of all kinds – National Parents Day. On this day, children of all varieties are reminded to say thank you to their parents, stepparents, grandparents, godparents and adoptive parents for all their love, hard work and commitment made on your behalf.
When one has been a parent for only a short while, they realize just what a responsibility it is to be a good parent and they begin to realize how many sacrifices parents make on a daily basis to ensure they appropriately nurture and care for their child or children. Character and integrity, which are taught through the life lessons parents teach, are what make the generations come together. It is important to understand and honor the values and morals that were set forth by our parents and to realize that these had a tremendous impact on forming us into the individuals we are today.
It is obvious that a parent’s job may feel that it is all consuming and endless. In fact, this may be true to some extent. Even when children grow into adults, parents still worry and fuss over them. Parenting is a 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year responsibility. It is challenging and rewarding at the same time. There are some periods in a parent’s life that the challenges seem to outweigh the rewards. But the small joys and pleasures of parenting make it well worth the effort.
This year, as National Parents Day is approaching, take time to really plan a special way to honor your parents as there are many, many ways to show your appreciation and celebrate. Here are a few ideas to think about and to expand upon.
1. Give your parents a thank you card that includes tickets to a destination you know they have would love to go. It would be even more fun if there were enough tickets for you to share the trip with them.
2. Give them tickets to see a musical or play, to see their favorite baseball team, to go out to dinner at their favorite restaurant. You are only limited by your own imagination when it comes to thinking about what kinds of tickets your parents would enjoy.
3. Throw your parents a surprise party. Many times family members live miles and miles apart and it is hard for the whole family to get together at the same time. Planning a Parents Day surprise party, well in advance, will help give all family members a chance to schedule the party into their calendars and to be available to shout “SURPRISE: when the party begins.
4. If everyone can’t be together at the same time, get all family members to commit to a time they will make a visitor visits home. Put these dates on a calendar and give it to your parents on Parents Day. This gift will help them know they will be having company and they can be excited about the visits all year long.
5. We need to remember the old expression, “big things come in small packages”. The gift you give to your parents on Parents Day does not have to cost you any money. The gift of a child’s time means more to parents than any expensive trip, dinner or show tickets. Make a commitment to call your parents on a weekly basis this year or to go see them on a regular basis. The gift of time is a true gift of love.
Being a parent is like wearing a pair of shoes, everyone wears shoes but it is how you walk in them that makes the difference. If a parent wears their shoes in a way that teaches their children how to walk through life with respect for all, then their shoes have walked in a way that will make a difference in the world.
It seems kind of a shame that we have had to get to scheduling a DAY to honor parents when in fact, this honor should be given 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The truth of the matter is that everyday should be Parents Day.