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15 Things Every Parent Wants Their Children To Know After They Grow Up

15 Things Every Parent Wants Their Children To Know After They Grow Up
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One of the most important things you can tell your kids is not to lose touch once they grow up! After all, lonely parents are abound: their kids have grown up, moved away, and may not make an effort to keep in touch. The family is a precious unit but most of all, parents should never be forgotten. Here are some common parental fears shared by all.

1. Don’t abandon us.

Yes, we know you had to leave the country for your job. Call us more often on the phone or via Skype. You will remember how we were always there for you when you needed us. Don’t let us become another statistic in that which says that half of the over 75s in the UK live alone with just the TV for company.

2. Look after us.

We had to look after you when you were ill, when you were upset, or when you grazed your knees while playing. Now that we are much more vulnerable, and liable to have not just aches and pains but major illnesses, pay us back in kind. Remember how you were taught to be responsible and do the chores? That helped you to become more resilient. You can do the same for us now by making sure that your responsibilities have not yet ended, regardless of physical distance. We don’t want a law passed, like in China, where children are legally obliged to look after their parents’ physical and mental needs. You don’t need a law because you still love us, just like we loved you all your life.

3. Work hard.

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Theodore Roosevelt.

The work ethic was strong in our family. We worked hard and honestly and taught you the work ethics which you probably did not realize at the time. Now that you are working, teach your kids the same and never take short cuts by manipulating others, being lazy, or shunning hard work.

4. Watch your manners.

How many times did we complain about your table manners? That was just the beginning in teaching you to be a well-mannered kid. Nowadays, bad manners such as loud talking on the phone, not covering mouth or nose when coughing and sneezing, and not offering their seat on public transport are everywhere. The next time you see that elderly person standing, remember that s/he was once a parent!

5. Be grateful.

“The best way that I can express my gratitude to my parents is by showing how much I care for them, express how much I love them, and showing them how they influenced me as a son to be successful in all that I’m going to do in the future.” – Inno Martin, actor

How many times did we teach you to say thank you and to be grateful for all the blessings life gave you? We always knew that you were precious and remarkable, and we were so thankful for that too.

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6. Help others.

Never forget how we taught you to give and pay it forward every single day. Each one of us has the capacity to brighten someone’s life. It is uplifting for the giver and the receiver. But the giver gets a greater sense of satisfaction and contentment.

7. Make allowances for our age.

When you come to visit, make a few adjustments in what you expect from us. We cannot move as quickly as forty years ago or remember everything! Think about when we had to teach you to eat, walk, read, and learn. Now, it’s your turn to be a little bit more patient.

“Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.” – Proverbs 23:22

8. Stop fussing.

Don’t try and ruin our independence. It is the most precious gift we have. We too will learn from our mistakes in middle and old age. We allowed you to take the same risks and grow up when you were at school or going out on your first date. Just be there when we really do need you.

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9. Remember our milestones.

We always remember your birthdays and anniversaries. A simple gesture and one that shows we still love and care for you, as always. Don’t forget to do the same for us. We are quite flexible — a note, message, text, or a call on Skype. But it does not always have to be a special event; messages out of the blue are even better!

10. Look after yourself.

As parents we taught you to stay well and be happy. We encouraged you to do sports and to avoid eating junk food. Never forget those principles and avoid the trap of poor diet or exercise habits and being stressed out at work. Martin Seligman, a great advocate of positive psychology, was right when he said that psychologists need to study what makes happy people happy.

11. Learn to forgive.

In one alarming survey, only 58% children who were estranged from their parents wanted to restore the relationship. There is a deeper rift and estrangement is just a way of never resolving the problem. If you have grown distant in every sense of the word, let us repair the bridges and allow us to end our lives in love. The only way forward is to resolve the issues, find common ground and to forgive. We never let you nurse a grievance when you were young because we wanted to be there for you.

12. We respect your privacy and maturity.

Lots of parents plague their grown up children with questions about their lifestyle, marital status, and even their weight! We respect your privacy and we are making the effort to follow Ruth Nemzoff’s advice in Don’t Bite Your Tongue: How To Foster Rewarding Relationships With Your Adult Children. We just have one request: please help us to maintain our autonomy as long as our health and finances permit.

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13. We are here for you.

My father would say, “They’re worse than when they were babies” when we ran into trouble at work or in relationships. But that exasperation was a mere cover for genuine love and concern. We need to show you that we are always on hand for advice and hope you will do the same for us.

14. Patience is needed.

When you live at home, you do not want to hear the same old mantras about tidiness and communication all over again. Living together again requires that privacy is respected on both sides and that economic factors are going to play a large role before you become autonomous. A much better plan is to work out how and when we expect you to achieve full adulthood responsibility.

15. Cherish the memories.

Our only goal now is that we can end our days being cherished by you, wherever you may be. We know that challenges of elder care, financial burdens, and failing health may be daunting, but the best memories are the time and laughter we enjoyed together. That is the greatest gift of all!

Featured photo credit: Teaching a parent how to use Skype /Knight Foundation via flickr.com

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More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)
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You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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