The Greatest Gift of All!
We often point to holidays without religious or historical significance as Hallmark days. Hallmark Cards, the greeting card retailer, has effectively marketed these events as occasions for exchanging gifts and greeting cards.
Parent’s Day is one such Hallmark day that takes place on the fourth Sunday of July every year. Signed into law in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, this Congressional resolution was created to recognize, uplift, and support the role of parents in the upbringing of children. Do we have to designate an annual day to recognize parents for raising their children? Apparently, we do.
Research shows 18 million children younger than 18 are living with a solo parent, mostly moms. That number doubled from 1968 when 9 million children lived with a single parent; the first year public data became available. In reality, American society is trending with declines in marriage, increased births outside of marriage, and rising divorce rates.
Science-based evidence says parents should follow five daily habits to raise successful kids:
- Articulate high expectations, and kids will tend to be more successful.
- Praise kids correctly for their efforts, even as a young toddler.
- Take kids outdoors to play as much as possible.
- Engage kids in the process of reading.
- Make kids do chores; this gives them a work ethic.
So assuming you are one of those capable adults with extended families and mega-busy lives (aren’t we all?), permit yourself to breathe. Then, instead of rushing out to buy another card and gift, consider showing parental love and respect by offering your time and presence.
Spend time with parents on their agenda, not yours. Yes, the pace of life and your immediate needs get in the way. Families are often many time zones apart. Find a way to call, FaceTime, and visit in person more regularly.
Handwrite a heartfelt letter of appreciation. Of course, there is texting and email, but the handwritten note is a rare commodity these days. The act of receiving a penned letter uplifts spirits and serves as a permanent reminder of caring to the recipient.
Help with chores and everyday tasks. Yes, your parents have a routine. Surprise them and show up to handle some routine duties like washing the car, seasonal yard cleanup, or getting up on a ladder to change lightbulbs or dust.
Seek their advice. The people who raised you have observed you for many years. Naturally, not all advice should be followed through, but the point is, you must ask and then listen to their response.
Work on a memory book together or capture family stories as oral recordings. Some of the most precious memories are stories grandma or other senior family members might relay in a random moment. For family historians, start a family tree and begin capturing images and stories of earlier generations. Treasured family foods, especially those cooked without a formal recipe, are also lost forever if we don’t record them in some way.
Make a meal together. Meal preparation is a delightful way to bond as a family. Cooking together supports interaction, communication, improves nourishment, and heightens emotional connections.
Take a break from technology. Turn off text messages, video chats, TV screens, and online games for a day. Being fully present with your parental figures helps restore the two-way conversation, and, sometimes we even gain new insights about each other.
When you are compelled to gift, consider expressing support for parents’ health with carefully chosen supplements. The duo of QOL’s Oligonol® and QOL’s Enhanced VitaPQQ® are especially appropriate for healthy aging.
- Oligonol is useful for slowing down the aging process, reducing stress and inflammation. This powerful antioxidant derived from lychee fruit and green tea increases blood flow and increases circulation to benefit the heart, skin health, and metabolism.
- Enhanced VitaPQQ not only protects mitochondria function, but with the added MicroActive® CoQ10 it also provides the mitochondria with fuel needed to function at their best.* Studies with these 2 ingredients together show that the joint formula improves short-term memory and focus better than either ingredient alone.*
The greatest gift of all is taking time for those who have helped us along the path of life.
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