It's only as I've got older that I've realised just how much my parents have done for me over the years. When I was a teenager, I was so wrapped up in my own drama that I didn't stop to appreciate the sacrifices they made and the worry I put them through.

Carry their bags

Carry their bags

Now I'm an adult and going through many of the same things they did- it's given me a new perspective- so here's my advice on how to be a good son or daughter for they are the best friends a child could ask for.

Look after them- There will come a point when they will need to lean on you a bit more than they do now. When that time comes- let them- you leant on them for a large portion of your life- if it's their turn- be their crutch.

Respect them- There may be times when you think your parents didn't do a good job- but they did the best they could and knew how to, so spare a thought for that before you judge their parenting skills.

Listen to them- They are wise and they have done so much with their years, so it's important to listen to their feelings, their opinions and their stories- they won't always be around to talk to so make the most of them while you can.

Be there for them- It's their instinct to look after you when you're sad- but there will be times when they're vulnerable too so be their sounding board and their shoulder to cry on when they need it.

Don't pick sides- When your parents are arguing- don't take sides- its ok to be there to listen to their thoughts but that is all. It's their relationship- your input will only prolong the resolution.

Make the most of the opportunities they have given you- If they paid for your education- put it to good use- if they have given you some advice- try taking it and see how it goes. If they sat with you every night and read to you- read as many books as you can get your hands on. If they are good people- be a reflection of them.

Keep in touch- It's not down to them to visit and call you all the time- there should be some give and take. Make sure you check in at regular intervals to see how they are and swap news.

Treat them sometimes- Chances are they spent a lot of their hard-earned cash on you as a child, so give them the odd surprise now and again to show them you're thinking of them.

Invite them to your home- When you get your own place make sure you repay them for all the dinners they cooked you and the times they ran around after you when you were little. It's their time to put their feet up on the couch.

Establish a tradition of habit- Whether that's meeting up on special occasions, seeing each other every week, calling them on the phone at a pre-arranged time- or texting them every day.


by for relationships.femalefirst.co.uk
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