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How to thank my parents?

luckycharmedluckycharmed Registered User Posts: 247 Junior Member
edited October 2008 in Parent Cafe
I was struck today for some reason by just how lucky I really am. I am going to a WONDERFUL school at a really rather ridiculous cost, accruing no debt (with this economy, I may have to take out some loans my senior year, but they'll be minimal), and I know that's difficult for my parents. While they planned well and have sacrificed things for themselves accordingly, nearly $200K over 4 years is... a lot of money. We've always lived within our means and have made good real estate investments, but I know my parents do a LOT for me to be here, when I could have been at a UC (or more likely a CSU - with my grades + personal problems in HS, I really benefited from Bates' "holistic admissions") saving them tons.

So what can I do? How can you adequately say thank you for a gift of that magnitude - not just tuition but soccer games and club meetings, 20 years of educational opportunities, never being denied the chance to take a class, go to a summer program, or buy a book? I've been very, very lucky and my parents have spoiled me. I'm conscious of money - I'm working 32hrs/wk while in school and I've worked every summer since the summer before college - but how can I adequately express my gratitude to my parents? How would you want your child to say thank you?
Post edited by luckycharmed on

Replies to: How to thank my parents?

  • cartera45cartera45 Registered User Posts: 12,442 Senior Member
    The nicest thing I have received from my daughter was a "thank you" poem that she did after her auditions for college ended last year. She had it framed. It still makes me tear up when I read it. It wasn't a sappy, rhyming thing but was more free flowing and really lovely. If you're not comfortable with poetry, I think a letter expressing the way you fell would be nice - saying the kind of things you said in your post.
  • soozievtsoozievt Registered User, ! Posts: 31,304 Senior Member
    It is very refreshing to read your post. Already you have expressed a lot of gratitude and so this is what must be expressed to your parents.

    I'm a parent and I have one child who graduated college this past May and is now in her first year of grad school and one who is a senior in college. I know my kids are very grateful for the opportunities afforded them.

    I'll give you two ways I know.

    One is that they have truly made the most of their college years in every which way. They've done well academically and have pursued their passions. They have taken advantage of many extracurricular and related endeavors and gotten everything they could have out of college so that I feel it has been worth every one of the MANY pennies and loans it has taken to make this happen for them. They have made the most of every summer too. And they are HAPPY at college. So, if you do that, it will make your parents happy to see you happy but moreover, to know that you have taken the opportunities and made the most of them and have gone after them.

    The second way I know is that not only do my kids tell me, but on certain occasions like my birthday or Mother's Day, they write VERY thoughtful home made cards that express appreciation for all we have done for them and currently, for college and related things. They really reveal this in a very moving way and do so with every card. These are heartfelt expressions of gratitude and not from Hallmark. They have also written such expressive appreciative cards for their grandparents who have also helped them to get where they are in life. So, I see you have some great thoughts even in your post above. Why don't you flesh it out and personalize it in specific ways for each parent and print it out in a nice graphical way in color and even consider framing it? Believe me, that will be priceless.

    EDIT...I cross posted with cartera but as you can see, you already have two parents who are thinking along the same lines here!
  • TimeCruncherTimeCruncher Registered User Posts: 243 Junior Member
    I think the best way for you to express your gratitude toward your parents is to continue living by their good example.

    It sounds me like your parents have been doing an excellent job for the past twenty years, and based upon the nature of your post, I wouldn't define your parents' willingness to provide you with the tools you've needed to succeed in life as "spoiling."

    If you were my daughter, it would be thanks enough for me to see you take your hard-earned college degree out into the world and use it to do good for yourself and for your future children (if any). It would be thanks enough for me to see you become a solidly self-reliant, self-sufficient adult who is capable of surviving whichever personal or professional knocks come your way. It would be thanks enough for me to know that you don't "need" me anymore.

    Your parents guided you onto a good road, but now that you're an adult, you’re the one behind the wheel. If you stay on that good road and take it as far as you can go, I guarantee that your parents will hear your "Thank you" loud and clear, even on the days you don’t say the words.

    You sound like the sort of person my own daughter would be privileged to know.

    Best wishes.
  • toblintoblin Registered User Posts: 1,862 Senior Member
    Just do well
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,463 Senior Member
    Put it in writing- send them a letter saying all the good things you wrote here plus. A piece of paper can be saved and reread.
  • fauvefauve Registered User Posts: 3,492 Senior Member
    Ditto- Luckycharmed, you've expressed your gratitude in such a meaningful. gracious way, any parent would be moved to the core by such a heartfelt note.

    Kudos to you!!
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    What makes my heart melt is when my kids tell me that they love me. Just simple "Love you" will do. I really do not need anything else, as I feel very lucky to have them.
  • ChedvaChedva Super Moderator Posts: 28,605 Super Moderator
    Pay it forward. Make sure that you live in such a way that you can help others (including your parents' future grandchildren).

    Also, while it is not expected, plan for the day in which you might have to help take care of them.

    Remember to call, to write, and to keep them involved and connected to your life once you graduate and get busy. Remember that you will always be their child, no matter how old you get, and no one will ever love you in the same way as they do.

    And write to them what you've written here.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,028 Senior Member
    Personally, a separate wing for me at my kid's house would be a start, and a cut of their future earrnings.

    I think if you would just write a nice letter to thank them would mean a world to them. Except for what I have mentioned above, it would be a nice bonus.
  • JustAMomOf4JustAMomOf4 Registered User Posts: 4,563 Senior Member
    I am sure it has been their pleasure. Even though parenting is full of sacrifice - both time and money, the joys and fullfillment is immeasurable.

    Continue to do well. Pay it forward. Parent your own as you were parented. Don't forget your parents as you grow older. Love them back. It's all good.

    Some weekend when you are living in a far off city, your parents will call and announce they will be in town and would like to take you to dinner. This is also an evening you had planned to go to a friend's big party. Make the right decision - without telling them or complaining - ;)
  • kaleigh3kaleigh3 Registered User Posts: 176 Junior Member
    The best way to show your appreciation is to continue to maximize every opportunity to do well. It is the most rewarding feeling for parents to see their children embracing the opportunities given to them. And like "JustaMom" suggested pay it forward... parent your children as you were parented. But I have to say a letter of love and appreciation at the end of your senior year would be bring such happiness to your parents. I am sure they see your appreciation in how you live your life but to have the words on paper as a reminder is priceless.
  • marigoldmarigold Registered User Posts: 105 New Member
    I concur with all the above.
    Also: share some of the ordinary good things that happen on a day to day basis. As parents, it seems we sometimes hear from our kids more when they want to talk about the daily frustrations, disappointments, annoyances, etc. That's fine, but be sure to tell them when you are having a great day also. It will brighten their day just to know you are happy.
  • keymomkeymom Registered User Posts: 507 Junior Member
    Agree with the above. When you have money and are giving them presents, give them the present of time with you. Take them out, fly them in to see you if you live far away, fly in to see them unexpectedly. Time with our kids is the most treasured gift.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    If you are succeeding in college, growing as an adult and not doing anything to cause problems at home, then that's enough. I assume that they are both successful to be able to provide you with the learning environment and they understand how hard it is to be successful in college and successful in life. Your success, to some degree, is a reflection on how well they did in raising you so doing well is an implicit thank-you.

    Communications are generally appreciated by parents from their kids too. One sentence in an IM or text message a day or a week or a month is appreciated.

    The saying goes: success is the best revenge. But I think that it's also the best way to say thank-you.
  • whatever4whatever4 Registered User Posts: 866 Member
    Any parent would love to get a heartfelt letter of appreciation and love from a child.
This discussion has been closed.