Family, Self

7 Important Life Lessons Parents Taught Their Kids (That They Thanked Them For Later In Life)

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Important Life Lessons Parents Taught Their Kids (That They Thanked Them For Later In Life)

Growing up, kids tend to feel like their parents’ ways of teaching and raising them are silly, useless, too strict or inconsequential. It isn’t usually until later in life after the kids have left the house and moved out to live their own lives, that they realize just how much their parents and guardians taught them growing up and just how much they helped.

When kids are sent off to fend for themselves and figure out how to take care of themselves without any reliance on their parents, they almost always experience a bit of culture shock and aren’t quite sure how to handle this long-awaited independence that comes with a lot more self-reliance than what they had originally planned on.

Children who have grown up and entered adulthood do the one thing they can think of to survive — they use what they know ... and what they know are the important life lessons their parents have taught them.

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There are a few things that students of Brigham Young University — Idaho have to say about this subject. They have come to admit that their parents really did know a thing or two growing up, and that they ended up being very helpful or simply just a good example to these students.

Take a look at the life lessons these kids ended up thanking their parents for as adults:

1. Rebekah Milligan - Anaheim, California

“After church activities, my dad would always help clean up and stack chairs. Anytime he saw that someone’s dog got out or whatever, he would just take care of it without a second thought. He never had to tell us to help out and serve. He taught by example and I think that’s why that one clicked.”

Rebekah’s dad led by example. He didn’t necessarily tell his kids what to do and how to be a good selfless person, he did it and that made it more enticing for his own kids to want to do it too.

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2. Remi Williams - Gilbert, Arizona

“My parents and grandparents were the best examples of what to do during trials. My great-grandma used to say, ‘Isn’t it wonderful?!’ It was looking at the situation with a different perspective. It taught me that everything is meant to happen for a reason, and we should be grateful for what we go through because it shapes who we are. Even to this day, my mom still says, ‘Isn’t it wonderful!?’”

Remi proves that what you learn from your examples doesn’t have to be a life skill necessarily, but even just a positive attitude to help you get through the day and eventually life.

3. McKinley Bradshaw - Idaho Falls, Idaho

“When I was a kid, our elderly neighbor came over to our house to see if he could hire my brother and me to shovel his driveway for the winter. Us, being young teens in need of money, said yes. It started snowing and we started making money. I think we got $5 every time. My mom thought that we were doing it for free and when she found out that we were getting paid, she made us return the money. It was painful to say good bye to my money, but I learned a valuable lesson of doing something out of the goodness of my heart. After that, I loved when it snowed because it gave me a chance to help my neighbor.”

Again, McKinley was able to learn about serving others because of her mom’s loving words and encouragement. Lessons like these shape kids who they are as a person and are more permanent and impactful than just a temporary skill that could be forgotten or lost over time.

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4. I had my own experience when I was younger, too.

In all honesty, I was kind of a brat to my parents. I didn’t listen and sassed them and overall, I was not the best behaved. My bad behavior drove my parents crazy and they were running out of ways to discipline me.

One day when I was being especially ungrateful for everything they had given me and done for me and just kept asking for more, they came up with the great idea of having a ‘gratitude week’. This is the worst possible punishment to undergo as a teenager — material things seemed to mean everything to me at the time. They took away every item that I owned (literally, everything), they made me pack up all my toys, books, decorations, pillows, stuffed animals, pens, pencils — even my fun colored clothes! All I had by the end of the purge was my bed and my toothbrush and enough dull clothes to last me a week. It was like living in a prison cell (at least what I thought prison would be like).

It was miserable. I was always bored and lonely and sad. By the end of the week, I had been on my best behavior all week and when I unpacked everything, I had honestly forgotten some of the things I had packed away because I clearly didn’t use them as often as I thought I had. It was a big lesson in being grateful for what I have and making sure to express that to my parents more often because they are the reason I have everything that I do.

'Gratitude Week' is a parenting tactic that they still use to this day on my little siblings and it seems to work swimmingly still. It is definitely something that I will use on my kids someday if ever necessary.

5. Adelaide Nielson - Las Vegas, Nevada

"My parents have been great examples of love. Growing up, and now as well, I have had friends who love coming over to my house because of the special spirit that is there. I know this comes from my parents' love and ability to let everyone be themselves. Because of that, I always try to let people come to me with open arms, and an ability to let them be comfortable in their own skin.”

Adelaide was able to learn by example as well. Her parents helped her know how important it is to accept and love people for who they are rather than trying to change them. That is a major life skill to have that I’m sure has benefitted her greatly.

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6. Joey Bendixen - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

"One thing that really stands out to me now is to find ways to serve others. Growing up, I always went with my dad to serve people, whether that be to chop wood, fix up a car, fix a washer and dryer, fix someone’s lights, any way of serving, I would go with my father and do it. My parents always told me that it’s a good thing to do but I just didn’t want to do it, maybe because I was self-centered, but I still enjoyed doing it, just not for the right reasons. But once I started looking for opportunities to serve, I found so much joy and happiness and satisfaction from doing it, even in doing the small things for others.”

This is another great experience of leading by example. The nice thing about Joey’s experience is that while he was simply being taught to serve others and be selfless by his dad, he also was able to develop so many other skills simultaneously. Those skills have also come in handy to him in his life and he hadn’t really thought of it like that before.

7. Lucas Barclay - Linden, Utah

"Saving at least 20% of my money."

A man of few words, yet still very good advice. Not all children grow up being told to save their money. This tends to affect them negatively down the road if they didn't save their money and end up not being able to support themselves. It is such an essential life skill to have and remember to apply throughout your whole life.

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Hayley Small is a writer who focuses on pop culture, religion and relationship topics.