Honoring your parents is a commandment, one of the two most important ones. God has given us parents, who will love and guide us through our lives. They live an example, which we should all try to follow. I remember when I was little, one of my favorite things to do, was listening to stories from my mom’s childhood. Many things now stand out of me, in those little story times that I enjoyed. I loved how they brought us all together, we would all gather on one of the three beds in the room that Emma, Josie, (two of my siblings now aged 10 and 8) and I shared. We would eagerly sit together, waiting for our mom to begin. Sometimes she would tell us stories of Lucky Pot, a little girl who had first came alive in my great grandmother’s stories which she had told my grandmother, she, in turn, had told my mother. Other times, she would tell us stories of her childhood, growing up on a small farm in a really small town near Nashville TN. Another thing I have always enjoyed about these small stories, is that each one had a hidden moral. I would love to listen and try to find it. Each story, had something to teach us, one that she had learned through her example in the story. We can learn from our parents, and we often don’t see as we become teenagers, how much we change and don’t really spend as much time with them. Here are the twenty ways to honor them from the New Era in March 2017.
1. Ignore your phone during dinner or family meetings.
This is very important to me, because often when we gather as a family, my older brother will be on his phone. This is disrespectful to your parents, and also not a very good way to spend time with your family.
2. Help plan a family home evening.
This one is good too. Can you imagine how proud your parents would be when you teach a Family Home Evening?
3. Give your parents a sincere compliment. Tell them that they are doing a good job.
Parents often work and do other things around the house, that you might take for granted. I remember one time when my mom got sick, I was in charge of cooking and cleaning for eight people. We often take our parents for granted, that I did before I had to all that work, and asked myself, why doesn’t my mom complain more? That was a good lesson in respect for me
4. Cheer up your siblings
Ok, this one, if you are like me, is THE WORST! I am kidding…maybe. Anway, for those who don’t know me, I have five siblings. Aging 16, to almost thirteen months. It is pretty hard keeping up with all of them, as well as getting along with them. I often joke around, in times of trouble, or when something happened, and that helps cheers them up. You can also make up ideas of your own, as well as peppy cards and other fun ideas.
5. Ask your parents about their childhood and teenage years.
I LOVE THIS ONE. Does it ring a bell from earlier in this post? I always loved hearing about how my parents met, it was like a fairytale to me. How my dad was wearing a girly colored shirt, and friendship bracelets. I always laugh, not like I can help it.
6. Talk with your parents about your plans for the future. Ask their opinions.
Some of you may be shy talking about what you want to do when you grow up with your parents, but remember, they are a key part of your future, and can help you achieve your dreams.
7. Control the volume of your voice, even when you are upset.
People often say when you have a teenager, be prepared for a bunch of yelling. Most words that are repeated, “It’s not fair!” Or “My friend’s parents are letting him\her go!” Well, those are that person’s parents, and each parent can work and do things the way they want. You should make sure to be thinking logical, and remember that your parents have gone through teenage years, and know a little bit more than you do.
8. Share with your parents’ something you learned in Sunday school, other Church meetings, or even during your personal scripture study.
It is fun to share with someone else, and your parents are a great choice. They can also give their personal opinion and thoughts.
9. Pray for your parents one at a time during your personal prayers.
This is important because we want them to have blessings, right?
10. Make a sincere comment or ask a honest question during family scripture study.
If you have questions, don’t feel scared to ask. We were sent to this earth to learn, and most importantly, to gain more knowledge.
11. Make a goal to tell your friends only positive things about your parents.
Maybe you got into an argument with your parents, over a weekend party. When Monday rolls around, you go to school and complain to your friends about how unfair your parents are. You don’t mention how they take care of you, let you go to plenty of other parties, and are always letting you make your own choices. Make sure that you are not blinded by your anger, when around your friends, and make sure to still talk nicely about your parents.
12. Catch yourself before you say something to a sibling that might hurt their feelings.
Your parents often have to comfort your siblings, and it makes more work for them. Also, it hurts your bond with your sibling, words can be forgiven, not forgotten. Remember, the story of the fence, and every time the boy said a bad thing, he would hammer a nail onto it? When he finally quit saying those things, he took out all the nails, the fence wasn’t the same. It says that he learned a good lesson that day. This is like that story.
13. Go grocery shopping with your parents.
I have always loved going grocery shopping, so usually when we go, it is just me and my mom, and we quickly shop, having fun together. You may think of shopping as boring, but it has to be done. Make sure to try to pitch in and help.
14. Pick a family rule that is hard for you to remember, and practice keeping it for a week.
Your parents would be so proud of you when they find out that you have broken the habit of doing something against the household rules!
15. Ask your parents how their day went. Bonus points if you ask about a specific thing you know was making them stressed.
It can help them to get their mind off it, and you can offer your own opinion and advice that might help them solve that problem.
16. Tell your parents you love them.
Remember to do this often, you can write a note, or tell them in person.
17. Tell your parents about your last date or something fun you did with friends lately.
Parents love being a part of your life, and when you share things with them, it makes them feel happy.
18. Spend time doing some of your parent’s favorite activities with them. ( If you don’t know, just ask!)
I know one of my dad’s favorite thing is playing sports with us, such as tennis. I always try to be ready for a game, and ask him to play a lot.
19. Research your family history with your parents, and take family names to the temple.
This can be fun, and you can have snackes as you do it, and learn more about your ancestors. You can also get blessings for taking them to the temple.
20. Do one of the chores your parents usually reserve for themselves.
Some nights, when my mom seems really tired, I will load the dishwasher, which is one of my least favorite chores, right up there by sweeping. I feel happy for helping her, even if I didn’t usually like the chore.
Those are the twenty things that the New Era listed, with my own personal opinions below them…