My name is Wesley Anthony, better known by most of my peers as Wes. I’s a comic book nerd, a swimmer, and the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie class of 2013. Whoop! I currently work for Southwest Airlines.
The holidays mean you’ll be spending more time at home and, while this may mean relinquishing some of your normal college freedoms, it’s a good time to gain a more adult connection with your parents.
The holidays are pretty easy for college students. You get the month off from school, you get to reconnect with your high school friends, and the only present that you really have to give your parents for Christmas is your presence. Yep, it’s really that simple, simply being home for the holidays is enough to make your parents happy, but if you’re really wanting to wow them this year, give them your time.
For your entire life, your parents have spent countless hours trying to figure out what you’re thinking. You might even remember some occasions where they asked you with puzzled or angry faces that very question. At the time they asked, it might have been annoying, or painfully obvious, but the question still remains. As you grow and move forward in life, your parents still want to feel like they know who you are and who you’re becoming. So this year, sit down with them and get to know them. You being in college will automatically make them nostalgic and you might be surprised with the stories they’ll tell you if you open up. Here are some ideas:
1) Tell them about a time you lied to them.
Ok, nothing too crazy that will get you kicked out of the house, but something you think they might have done too. The conversation shows that you trust them and that you want to get to know who they were before they heard the word “Mom” or “Dad’ more often than their actual names. Hearing about their past and opening up about yours has a humanizing effect on both of you. It’ll remind them that you’re growing and actually learning for the things you’ve done, and it’ll remind you that your parents aren’t as invincible as they may seem.
2) Help them around the house without being asked.
Let’s put some perspective on things right now, EVERYTHING that your roommate has done to make you secretly (or not so secretly) hate them, is something that you’ve done to you parents. Let’s be real, we all remember that phase where we were just the worst to be around and unfortunately for our parents, it didn’t last just a semester. Now you don’t have to renovate the house while they’re not home, but insist on doing dishes without their help. Doing something as simple as helping out is a way of acknowledging that you appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made for you.
3) Tell them you’re proud of them.
Your parents have said it to you a million times, it’s time to return the favor. They pour their heart into your wellbeing and hearing you tell them you’re proud of them is like your professor telling you that you’re really too smart to be in their class. As much as your parents tell you what to do, in some ways, they look up to you as much as you look up to them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the effect words of encouragement and acknowledgment of their hard work to nurture you can have on them.
Hopefully, being in college has given you a lot of time to reflect on the person you’ve been in the past and the person you’re becoming; and, whether you’re willing to admit it or not, your parents are a strong factor in the person you’re shaping to be. Use these tips, or this idea, to really connect with your parents this year.