6 Things I'm Glad My Parents Taught Me

Friday, September 22, 2017

Whether we want to admit it or not, the truth is that a lot of the time, our parents are right. They're older and wiser and we learn a lot from them, even if we don't realize it at the time.

My parents, obviously, have played a role in shaping who I am, and I don't view that as a bad thing. There have been plenty of instances where something I've learned from my parents has come in to play and I think how grateful I am to have been taught that.

From goofy to practical, here are some (certainly, only some) of those things.

That it's okay to need to talk to somebody.

Opening up to others and asking for help can be difficult. I'm not one to do it often. I remember a time when I was in high school, I was upset about something, holed up in my room. When my mom came in to see if I was okay, she said she'd worry about me sometimes because while my sisters would talk about their problems if they were upset, I'd keep it to myself. At the time, it was comforting to know that my mom cared enough to ask, that I had an outlet if I needed it. I carry that with me today, reminding myself that talking to somebody or asking for help is perfectly okay.

To make ordinary moments fun.

My family tells stories during dinner, plays games during car rides, and sings songs while cooking. We're always trying to make each other laugh. We enjoy being around each other, which I know is a family dynamic I'm lucky to have. My parents make the best of ordinary situations, and that attitude has rubbed off on me, too.

How to navigate.

When we start learning how to drive, we also have to learn how to navigate. Was anyone else pretty unfamiliar with street names and directions before they had their license? To help teach me, when I had my permit, my dad would drive somewhere in town with me blindfolded in the backseat, and then I had to drive us home, using landmarks and street signs to figure out where we were. (Now that I type it out, I realize it sounds a bit weird, but it helped me a lot.) While Google Maps is still my go-to, I don't follow it blindly, and I think too many people do. I always know which direction I'm going and the general gist of the route.

How to drive on snowy roads.

Living in the midwest, this is key. I hate driving in the winter, but I feel more comfortable with it because of the practice my dad gave me. The first winter that I had my license, my dad went out with me to practice driving in poor conditions. We'd go to a quiet, straight road, drive a few blocks, and then as we approached a stop sign, he'd have me slam on the brakes. I learned what a car sliding on the ice felt like, how to turn the wheel to gain control again, and how far in advance I'd have to start braking to be able to stop in time. And I've only slid into a snowbank once.

To handle my own arguments.

Siblings fight. It happens. I'm one of three girls, too, so growing up, the fights would occasionally get catty. Sometimes one of my parents would intervene, sometimes they wouldn't. An argument would start to escalate and I'd expect my mom to break it up, but instead, she'd let us keep fighting until we worked it out ourselves. Letting siblings come to their own resolutions teaches them just that – how to express yourself and resolve issues.

What a good marriage looks like.

The relationship/marriage that my parents have is one I strive for. It isn't perfect, but no relationship is. They're just people, who truly love and care for each other. This year they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and they made it look easy.

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