Appreciating the Adults in Your Life

Family Sitting Around Table At Home Eating Meal

Since I’ve gone away to college, I notice that I interact with my parents differently when I come home than I used to in high school when I saw them more frequently. I make more of a conscious effort now to thank them for providing me with meals or giving me a ride somewhere. I’ve learned to value the time I get to spend with my parents because I see them less and less as I’ve gotten tied up in more commitments away from home. When I talk with my parents about how we interact differently now that I’m a college student, they say that they appreciate that I verbalize my gratitude for them on a more regular basis.

But you don’t have to move away from home to show the adults in your life how much they mean to you! Here are a few ideas to show your parents and other significant adults that you appreciate them:

  • Write a thank you note—Even if you see this adult every day, it can be nice to receive a handwritten note from a young person expressing their gratitude for an adult. My high school academic advisor had our advisory group write thank you notes to our parents on a whim, and my parents loved receiving a sincere note out of the blue.
  • Join them for a daily routine—When I’m home on break, I try to fit myself into my parents’ schedule. This usually means running errands or going grocery shopping with my mom and chatting in the car and the aisles of the stores. She enjoys having an extra hand while shopping, and I like the special one-on-one l time that we spend together.
  • Cook a meal together—There’s something about preparing food with loved ones which makes you feel close. Offer to help an adult prep a meal: you can make a suggestion to wash some vegetables, chop onions or garlic, or even stir a pot on a stove. They’ll appreciate the extra help and it will give you time to talk. If your family doesn’t cook together, you can be involved with selecting or planning meals.
  • Talk about school—Even though we spend a lot of time with adults, they don’t always know what our preferences are! Tell your parents (or guardian) about your favorite subject in school. Why is it your favorite? What have you liked about it? Or, if you prefer, tell them about extracurricular activities such as your favorite sport team or a club membership.

You’ll see that the adults in your life will be grateful to spend time with you and learn more about your interests and goals. Your time as a young person feels even shorter from the perspective of adults, and they will love to make memories with you that they can hold on to for when you grow up and leave home.

– Martie