Each year, Father’s and Mother’s Day seem to quietly sneak up and catch many of us off guard. And while there’s no bad day to call your parents (or parental figures) and tell them you love them, these holidays give many of us an excuse to really shower the most important people in our lives with love, appreciation, and thanks for all that they’ve done to encourage and support us over the years.
But when it comes to writing cards or expressing appreciation, it can be hard to know exactly what to say. Parent-child relationships can vary when it comes to openness, connection, and transparency, but there are a few universal ways to say thanks or recognize a parent, or even a grandparent, for all that they’ve done to support you.
Start by recognizing that guardianship can be tough.
Maybe you’re a parent now too, or perhaps kids aren’t in your future, either way, these holidays are a great opportunity to show the parents in your life that you acknowledge the struggle and challenges that come with raising little ones. As most of us know, it feels good to be recognized, and by recognizing your parental figures for the effort, time, and energy they put into you, they’ll feel seen and appreciated.
Next, thank them for something they taught you.
One of the greatest gifts you can give to a parent is letting them know that they’ve helped you embrace a skill, habit, or mindset that you carry with you throughout life. Take the time to think about something your parents or guardians instilled in you and let them know that they’ve helped you navigate life by proxy. Perhaps they taught you the value of hard work, the importance of laughing at yourself, or the need for structure in your day-to-day life. No matter what it is, call it out in your card and let them know they’ve made a difference in your life.
Finally, share a memory or sentiment that you cherish.
Whether it’s that you feel endlessly lucky to have them in your life, thankful for childhood memories you share together, or appreciative of something they’ve done to support you recently, expressing these sentiments can help them feel truly valuable and remind them of the difference they’ve made in your life. Plus include a photo of the special memory if you have one.
When in doubt, speak from the heart.
This formula for writing a thoughtful Mother’s or Father’s Day card probably won’t work for everyone. Like we mentioned earlier, parent-child relationships can vary, and some may struggle to come up with the right words for the occasion. When in doubt, tap into your heart to express what feels right. Maybe that’s a lot of love and appreciation, a favorite photo or perhaps just an acknowledgement of all they’ve done to support you. No matter how you say it, know that they’ll value the thought and care that went into it.