It’s easy to hold my parents up on a very high pedestal since they are no longer living, but they really were good people. Warm and funny and able to talk to anyone. They dedicated their lives to educating children all over the world and always made me feel special. They did a lot of things wrong but they also did a lot of things right.
10 Things My Parents Taught Me:
1. How to be a good friend.
My parents taught me how to be a good friend, trustworthy and honest and always have a strong moral compass. They showed me the importance of sticking up for the underdog while treating everyone with kindness and respect. They also taught me to practice hospitality. The door to our house was always open and my family loved to entertain guests and made anyone who entered our home feel comfortable.
2. A love of reading.
My parents instilled a love of reading in me early in life. The walls of our home were lined with books, my first word was “book” and I remember getting my first library card at the age of five.
3. Respect for myself.
A small example of this would be that a boy should never honk the horn and expect me to come running out to his car, he should get out, walk up to the door and greet my parents. This only happened to me once.
4. How to have fun.
I was taught that there is a time for work, a time for play, and maybe even a time for both.
5. Compassion for my fellowman.
My parents gave when they were able and taught me that I should always show mercy and kindness towards other people and treat them in a way that I want to be treated.
6. A love of school and learning.
My parents taught me to value education and to excel in school. Maybe because they were educators themselves, but I have always loved school and hold a very special place in my heart for teachers.
7. A love of travel.
My parents decided to work and live overseas when I was seven-years-old and we never looked back. Their career spanned almost 30 years in seven different countries, many of them third world. My childhood was spent in four different countries and seeing so many different cultures was an amazing way to grow up. I have had the “travel bug” forever and continue to enjoy long journeys to far away places in large part due to my mom and dad’s adventurous spirit.
8. Argue in private.
I can’t even count on one hand the number of arguments I witnessed my parents having, although I’m sure they did. They weren’t perfect but to my knowledge they kept that side of their marriage separate from me.
9. The art of conversation.
I swear my mom and dad could talk to anyone! They always expressed an interest in my friends and it was important to them to get to know them, even some of the unfavorable boys I dated. My father was particularly comfortable with strangers and curious about where the people he met came from and what made them tick.
10. They let me go when I was ready to leave.
As a mother myself, this must be the hardest parenting task there is. And also the most critical. My mom and dad did it beautifully and continued to love me unconditionally and support the decisions I made as an adult.
I miss my parents everyday and wish so much that they could see me as a mother. I wish I could turn to them for parenting advice. I draw on how I was raised to raise my children and I can only hope that I am doing it right.
What did your parents do right?