It’s a new year, and you’re probably throwing all your effort into achieving the resolutions — or embodying a power word — that will help you become your best self. And while we totally support your personal development and want you to chase those goals if doing so makes you happy, we also want to remind you of the people who would probably be 100 percent content to see you stay just the way you already are in 2018: your parents! The special individuals who gave you life and have continued to support you in all kinds of ways ever since. Even if your relationship with your parents is complicated, you wouldn’t be here without them, and it’s certainly worth acknowledging that fact as you kick off a new chapter, no?
With that in mind, we encourage you to be a bit more intentional in the way you speak to Mom and Dad in the new year. Whether you and your parents are as close as can be or operate at a frosty distance, you can make small changes that will improve the quality of your conversations and, ultimately, help you relate to each other in a more respectful way. Keep scrolling for 10 statements you should consider saying to your parents more frequently in 2018.
1. “I know that you work really hard.” When you were a kid, you probably never realized how much effort your parents put in at the office or with the family at home, but now that you’ve glimpsed the realities of adulthood for yourself, it’s likely that you’ve gained a greater appreciation for all they’ve invested in your life. Be sure to let them know that their work hasn’t gone unnoticed!
2. “Dinner’s on me!” It might take a while for Mom and Dad to warm up to the idea of you footing the bill, so take baby steps by buying the occasional dinner for them in the new year. We’re not asking you to buy anyone’s love or respect here. We’re simply suggesting that picking up a tab here and there is an excellent way to demonstrate that you’re ready to take on a slightly more grown-up role within the family.
3. “When can I come see you?” We’re pretty confident that you already have trips planned for all the major holidays in 2018, and you’re probably more than happy to go home for a visit if your parents ask you to, but what would happen if you were more proactive about making plans to see them on their turf? Check in with the ‘rents to see if they’d like to see you on a day when the banks aren’t closed — and make that trip happen.
4. “What’s new with you?” It’s easy to assume that, as the “kid” in the relationship, you’re the only one with interesting news to share, but your parents may have updates for you too! Don’t wait for them to bring it up. Ask Mom or Dad what’s happening in her or his world at the beginning of your next phone call.
5. “Can you tell me about the time when… ” Too often, we forget to tap into the amazing wealth of stories our parents have to share. Chances are that if you simply take the time to pull up a chair, pour a glass of wine, and ask, your parents will be more than happy to entertain you with hilarious stories from their college years or pass on an important lesson they learned in the early days of parenting. Seriously, you’ll be amazed by their wisdom and experience.
6. “Is there anything I can help you with this week?” This one’s a little easier if you live nearby (think running errands, mowing the lawn, or taking the dogs for a walk), but all it takes to incorporate it from a distance is a little creativity. Is your Mom running short on time and laundry detergent? Order her favorite brand in bulk online and have it delivered to her door. Does your Dad need help with projects around the house? Send a TaskRabbit Tasker over to lend a hand.
7. “I’m sorry about that time that I…” There’s no need to open up old wounds, but if you’re well aware of something you’ve done over the years that still warrants an apology, there’s no time like the present — or any time in 2018 — to finally come clean and set things right.
8. “I forgive you for…” Just as you worry that your parents might have unresolved issues with you, your parents probably worry that you have unresolved issues with them. Do a little soul-searching or take time to talk with a counselor who can help you settle your years-old beef with Mom and Dad in a genuine way. When you’re ready to do it honestly, tell them that all is forgiven.
9. “I think you’re pretty cool.” No amount of dad jokes or mom jeans can make the people who literally created you anything less than awesome. Give your parents a little more credit this year, and be a bit more generous with your compliments and positive feedback.
10. “Thank you.” This one should need no explanation. We all owe Mom and Dad tons of gratitude. Maybe this is the year we get a bit more vocal about it.
What do you want to say to Mom and Dad more often in the year ahead? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)