There are few things more difficult emotionally than feeling a lack of affirmation from parents. Secretly we all crave for their approval and support of everything we do. The good news is that you can do something about it! Parents have their own emotional needs. When those needs are met, they naturally respond with the blessing of affirmation that you need.
A few years ago I had the privilege to speak in my parent’s church (the church I grew up in) for a night service. While preparing, I decided to start by publicly acknowledging my dad as a great father, mentor and role model. I shared how his words of wisdom had paid huge returns in my life and how his example as a servant leader in church had shaped the way my siblings and I are committed to our own church. For me, the result was a really powerful moment in our relationship. When the service was over my dad showered me with words of blessing, affirming me as a speaker, as a young father and as his son. Because of our personalities, it’s not easy for people in my family to affirm one another, but that moment was a special one for me. I really saw how honor can open the door for affirmation in a powerful way. As a result, our relationship grew stronger than ever.
3 Ideas to Help Gain the Support You Need from Your Parents
There is a natural cycle where honoring your parents results in the affirmation you crave. There are many ways to Honor your parents. Here are three ideas to get you started
1.) Arrange Quality Time. One time when I buzzed through town, I took my dad out to a movie. Turns out it was a remake of a movie he saw with his dad! I could tell it meant a lot to him. Many of our visits home are busy trying to do family time together. Find the quality one-on-one moments. Do a project together. Make a special visit.
2.) Speak Respectfully. It’s funny. Sometimes we spend the least amount of time monitoring our language with the people we are closest to. Don’t censor your feelings. Figure out how to communicate them respectfully.
3.) Cherish their Legacy. Parents need to know they have and are making a difference in the world around them. Think about how they’ve made an impact and remind them how special their contribution is.
What has worked for you? How have you communicated honor?
For more ideas, check out some of my recent posts on the topic.