Things my parents did well that could help you
Photo by the author. Pictured: The author, her mom, dad, and brother from left to right.
My friend who’s a mom asked me how I became so emotionally stable, and I have to credit my parents.
I had the privilege of growing up in a two-parent household, and it wasn’t any two randoms either.
It was with these two.
As you can see, they’re pretty cool. Warm, accepting, generous.
They know how to throw a party. Plus, they’re both French, so their tastes are way fancier than mine. (I was raised American).
It wasn’t until well into my 20s that I realized just how much I had taken for granted regarding our close and healthy relationship growing up.
Here is what they did as parents that set me up for emotional health, stability, and success.
My dad has (and continues to) hold down a corporate job. He took his duty seriously and found meaning in playing the role of the main breadwinner. His career has been a wild ride, and his resilience and tenacity throughout the years mean we are now better off for it.
My mom managed the household and returned to the workforce whenever she could. She also took care of the finances, and thanks to her positive, informed approach to money, she knew how to invest, save, and spend so we could enjoy life.
When your basic needs are met, it’s easier to feel sturdy and well-equipped to navigate the world. Predictable routines are effective in preserving a sense of safety.
Financial security is not the only ingredient to becoming emotionally stable.
My mom fostered and provided a safe space for us whenever we wanted to talk.
- Accepting us wholeheartedly as we were (are)
- Creating time and space to connect
- Validating emotions
- Listening non-judgmentally
She was and continues to be an ally and a champion to ward off our worries, fears, and concerns.
We not only benefited from her chef-level skills, (her cuisine competes with any 5-star restaurant), but we also benefited from her tireless emotional support.
Words of affirmation
Take two plants.
Place them in the same physical environment. Then, speak loving words of praise to one plant and mean and cruel words to the other.
Guess which one grows stronger, taller, and healthier?
Research shows you’re correct.
The same must be true for humans.
My parents never spoke ill of my brother and me. They upheld us with positive words of affirmation, encouragement, support, love, and positivity.
I don’t share this to brag. I share this to remind.
Adaptable parenting style
My mom adjusted her parenting style based on her kids’ unique needs, quirks, and personalities.
Each kid has their own tendencies and preferences, and you can’t truly know what type of parent you’ll be until you’ve met your child.
For example, I grew up a curious kid. I wanted to know everything, so since I asked and listened, my mom would talk, share examples, or tell stories. My brother, on the other hand, needed something different based on his own personality, so she adapted.
Get to know your kid to identify how best to guide, protect, care for, love, and educate them based on who they are. Adjust your style as they grow, evolve, and change.
Parents who fear their kids moving on from stage to stage can lead to them holding on too tightly. As a result, they end up suffering more than parents who adapt as they embrace their kids’ growth.
That’s what kids do after all. They grow and become independent.
My parents celebrated our growth and milestones. They didn’t smother me with their fears. I’m thankful for that.
Growing up, I didn’t take care of my parents.
They took care of me. They centered me and my needs.
I was the child, they were the adults.
They took care of themselves.
Other parents look up to my mom.
“I want to raise my kids the way you’ve raised yours,” they’ve said.
Others keep it to themselves, but:
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”
— Oscar Wilde
I hit the jackpot when it comes to my parents. What have I done in my past life to have deserved them? I don’t know.
But don’t get me wrong.
They’re human too. We have our fair share of misunderstandings and miscommunications. We have our moments.
Still, we always come back to mutual respect and healthy boundaries — boundaries that help us fully sink into and expand the relationship now that we’re all adults.
Thank you, Mom and Dad.