Thursday, May 02, 2013

Top Ten Lessons My Parents Failed To Teach Me

There is a common saying to follow your parent's footsteps. Learn from their successes. Your parents are good examples how to live life. We mirror how they interact with other people, how they take care of themselves, spend time with their hobbies, follow their beliefs and thoughts, and mimic their actions and behaviors as children.

Parents are human beings. They're not perfect. We thought they were perfect seeing mom cook delicious meals and dad fixing broken toys. We thought they were the best at everything they did. Nobody could beat them. They set the standards of life.

Sometimes we learn life lessons ourselves such that our parents didn't teach us. Some of us experience new experiences in our adult lives we should have experienced in our youth. There are a few parents who successfully prepared their children for the adult world. My parents were far from perfect preparing me and my siblings. On a scale between 1 and 100, with 50 as the average, I rate my parents in the 40-60 range in parenthood.

My life changed for the better when I realized I must grow up on Sat Oct 4, 2008. I learned many life lessons since, and I'm learning much more today. My parents should have taught me these life lessons I learned myself. I forgive my parents for their shortcomings. Here are the top ten lessons my parents failed to teach me:

10. Household Chores. I remember taking the initiative to clean the house days before my childhood birthdays. My parents taught me how to clean the toilet; otherwise, I taught myself everything else. I used trial and error to use the vacuum cleaner. I read the instructions for the 409 and Windex cleaners.

Here's the most embarrassing story. I learned how to use the dishwasher when I was in college.

Teach your children household chores.

9. Never Ignore Problems. Problems never solve themselves. Problems were ignored at home. I had lots of problems when I was a child. Nobody helped me. Were my parents afraid of me? Teachers? Perhaps, I was a person ignored. That's another discussion.

I'm responsible to solve my problems as an adult. I'm strong enough to ask for help when I need it.

Solve problems before they become too big.

8. Read. My parents read very little to me when I was a child. I took the initiative to read books on my own in 1999. My interest in books strengthened when I started reading fiction books after Sat Oct 4, 2008. I read 75% fiction and 25% non-fiction today.

I had reading problems. I neither received proper educational help in my reading skills nor did my parents encourage me to read. I'm a slow reader today. This is an example of my number 9 entry "Never Ignore Problems".

Read to your children.

7. Exploring And Adventures. My parents raised me as a homeboy. I missed out sights, sounds, smells, and touch. This is also another example of my number 9 entry when I mentioned, "I'm responsible to solve my problems as an adult". I have been catching up what I missed from my childhood to my 20s after Sat Oct 4, 2008.

Here are some examples: eating new foods, sneaking candy in a movie theater, ice skating, visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, riding the San Francisco cable car, playing new board games, watching popular classic movies, hiking, drinking good root beer, visiting a foreign country, and ballroom dancing.

Encourage wonder and do new activities.

6. Basic Life Lessons. Here are the basics: responsibility, earn, commitment, honestly, politeness, respect, listen, eye contact, confidence, shaking hands, share, apologize, thank you, please, fun, compassion, care, ownership, friend, and being a good person.

5. Cooking. Cooking is a skill that demonstrates independence in an adult. I motivated myself to cook in adulthood. I demanded my mom to teach me some basics. I still have more to learn.

Teach your children to cook.

4. Be Mature, Be Professional. My parents failed to teach me to "act my age". I admit I had maturity problems when I was in my 20s. I had the intelligence of a college graduate. I had the wisdom of a junior high student.

I'm gaining adult wisdom at a fast pace. I'm catching up to what I must know in my late 30s. I want to let the world know I never stop learning because I still have much to learn, including being mature and professional at everything I do.

Tell your children what and how an adult must act, behave, and think.

3. Always Meet New People. My parents had few friends. I remember 95% of the family's social activities involved family. We spent little time with people outside the family. My family rarely invited their friends over at our house. That was a bad life observation and impression as a child. Our family had little outside friends.

Moreover, my parents didn't encourage me to make friends in school. The only friend that visited my house was the neighborhood kid.

I learned people come and go in our lives by myself. Never stop meeting new people. Always make new friends. Expand the circle of friends.

2. Don't Take Life For Granted. I took life for granted throughout most of my life. I lived life as if nothing bad happened to me. I always have good fortunes, a good job, a home, good health . . . a good life. I was wrong. My life today is not what I expected to be. I'm currently unemployed, live with my parents, searching for a job, and taking online classes.

One of my early lessons I learned after Sat Oct 4, 2008 was don't take life for granted. I'm looking forward to earn my successes, take responsibility for my actions, take care of my relationships, and learn from my mistakes. Take nothing for granted.

1. Talk With Your Children. I'm sad my parent's biggest problem is communication. They're terrible at communicating with me and my siblings, and my siblings are closer to my parents than me. They tell us information at the last minute. They never tell us any updates on a family activity. Their explanations are hard to understand. Their conversation skills are poor. My mom talks really loud.

It seems nobody taught them how to communicate properly with others. I must have learned those bad skills when I was a child. I corrected the mistakes. I'm a much better conversationalist. I enjoy talking and communicating with other people.

Communicate, socialize, and talk with your children. These actions prove you're open, approachable, and trustworthy as parents. Your children can talk about anything for guidance, help, and advice with confidence. And these actions are good practice for your children to communicate and interact with people outside their residence. Communication skills are important for good conversations and socialize with friends.


Jules said...

I enjoyed this post. It is a great reminder that I have so much more to teach my girls!

what happened 10-4-08?

Raymond Mar said...

Thank you! It was the day I realized I must grow up.