What is it like to be a parent? There are many answers to this question. However, it generally comes down to something like this:
“What it’s like to be a parent: It’s one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but in exchange, it teaches you the meaning of unconditional love.” Nicholas Sparks.
The truth is, the second those tiny, little beings pop into your life, you fall in love. Painfully so! And just when you start getting used to the feeling, the enemy called time shows up knocking on your door. Every parent will agree that children, almost out of nowhere, come into one’s life and turn things upside down, and before you know it, they are all grown up and gone. It’s always a race against time where kids are concerned.
Most of us can reflect on those early days that feel like yesterday, and it would take just a moment to teleport back to our local middle-school playground. You can probably hear your mum screaming at you to get off the phone and come down to dinner.
But have you ever wondered about those moments in their adulthood, when your children look back at their childhood? When they would think about who you were and what you meant to them? Will they have fond memories of you? Will your kids be proud of you? These are just some of the questions many parents ask themselves now and then.
There are no easy answers, but as much as kids remember lots of things about their parents, there are certain things that will stay with them forever. Here are five things your kids will never forget about you:
1. The Sense of Security
Children rely on their parents to feel safe. Some of us growing up tended to think our parents are superhuman, that they could do just about anything. The world can be a harsh and cruel place. Your children will always remember that you tried to keep them from finding that out as long as you could.
For a child, it’s annoying having your parents always watching you like hawks. However, when they grow up, children begin to understand things they couldn’t understand before. Your children will know that you would have given up your life to protect them, and that is something they will hold on to and emulate when they have their own kids.
2. A Loving Household
Your kids are the best part of you, and that is why they have to learn the best lessons from you. Those early lessons are almost always woven into their system. Children who come from loving households that stress the importance of family, and have positive relationships with the people around them, often try to shape their lives with those values.
The feeling of love is a forever thing. It can never be forgotten or get lost in the haze of time. It endures so long as there is someone around to remember. Your kids will always remember how your love for them felt like.
3. Your Approach to Life
Your children will experience difficulties in life. That is the one thing you can’t protect them from for long, but you can equip them to brave the tides of life with a positive mindset. The strong foundation within which you raise your children will be the armor they need.
Whether they are seven, seventeen or forty, your kids will remember how you dealt with the hardships life tossed at you. They will remember the day you opened the fridge door, and there was nothing inside but a box of crackers, and how you smiled at them and announced, “Who cares for cooking when we have crackers!”
4. The Things You Said
We all have that phrase, “My mum used to say” or “like my dad would say”. The things parents say to their children tend to stick. Whatever you say, good or not so good, carries weight when it comes to your kids. You could easily make them or break them.
5. The Time You Spent with Them
Children will always know when they are loved. It has less to do with you saying it and a lot do with you showing it. Maybe you were hard-pressed but still managed to sneak in a birthday gift. How often did you spend time with your kids? They will remember how you played with them as if you were a child yourself, how you held them when it rained or sang to them at night.
According to an article from Psychology Today, the things children remember most about their parents are not necessarily the distinctive or even unique happenings. Instead, most of the time children hold on to the mundane activities like watching TV, playing catch or baking with their parents.
Children consider these activities special because their parents participated. It’s never about the activity itself, but the time a parent and child spend together. All parents are unique in their own ways, and that is what your children will never forget about you. Your children will never forget the impossible things you did, the laughter, the humor and sometimes even the look you favored them with.