Parenthood comes in all shapes and sizes. There isn't just one right way of doing things, but there are some great ways of raising children. Grateful children (on Reddit threads that can be found here and here) submitted some of the best things their parents did while raising them. Here are the highlights:
1. They never gave up on me
"I was a great disappointment to my parents over a long period of time. They never gave up on me, not even once. When I grew up and came to my senses, I was so guilty that I went back home and apologized to both of them. They took it really well."
"My parents came from nothing and had no help when I was born - they could barely afford groceries. Soon after I was born my dad became a commissioned employee at a large company where the average (income) is around $40k/year. He makes $250k/year and has consistently for a while now, but at a cost. He is constantly on call, always working, and my entire childhood is filled with memories of him working."
3. They supported me
"They're ridiculously supportive and proud of me. Like, to a fault. I switched from prelaw to art in college and their response was 'good for you! It takes a lot of courage to follow your dreams!'"
4. They came to all my events
"My dad had a very busy job that often required him to travel. He still came to every one of my sports games that he could and I will never forget that."
5. They put us first
"Mom didn't buy anything for herself for over 10 years just so we can have food on the table."
6. They cared about my mental health
"We were allowed to take mental health days in high school (as long as there was no test [sic] or anything). (W)e were limited to only a handful each year but it was nice knowing if I really needed it, I had it."
"I'm a very average musician. I'm not awful, but I'm definitely not a unique talent ... My parents let a lot of (awful) music happen in their basement, and they came to most of the shows. Like I said, it wasn't completely awful, but looking back on it with adult eyes, I'm amazed they put up with all that noise."
8. They let me make my own decisions
"When 14 year-old me came home from high school and said that I had a chance to be an apprentice chef but I would need to take 2 days off school each week, (my dad) signed me right up for it and made sure I had everything I needed. He continues to support me to this day. I could not have asked for a better father and I'm forever grateful that he adopted me."
9. They set an example
"Mom and Dad made all the difference in our elderly neighbor's life. She was a sweetheart - a widow who couldn't get around much, but loved her home, cat and dog. Each week, my parents would do her grocery shopping for her (along with their own) and occasionally brought her a home-cooked Sunday dinner to brighten her week. Dad took care of her house repairs while Mom cleaned it, with help from me and my brother."
I am from Ireland but moved to London in 2012. I suffer from anorexia. Mental health treatment is rubbish in Ireland so when my anorexia got really bad and I had to get serious help, my parents rented a 2 bed flat here, moved me in and took turns coming over to support me while I was getting better. Hands down I would be dead today if it wasn't for them."
We'll never be able to repay our parents for all that they've done for us. What are some of the best things your parents have done for you?
Emily Brady is a member of the FamilyShare content team. She studied Communication with an emphasis in journalism. She loves photography and finding a good book to read in her hammock on a sunny, breezy day.