Dear mom and dad,

1. Thank you for making me spend time with the family

I used to complain that we spent every weekend of the summer at the family cabin. Instead, I wanted to hang out with friends.

I hated sharing a room with my sister, and I would put headphones in on long road trips. But thank you for planning those trips, making us eat dinner together, and taking us to the family cabin every weekend. I cherish those memories.

Today my sisters are the greatest friends I have, and I look for any excuse to go home and spend time with the family. Those are the relationships that mean the most to me.

2. Thank you for making me work

Monday cleaning, Tuesday yardwork, and Saturday projects were the WORST. I wanted to sleep in, catch up on homework, and watch TV.

You made me get up early, go out in the cold, and finish the job until you were satisfied. Thank you.

Those experiences taught me the value of time and gave me a feeling of accomplishment when I completed a task. They instilled in me a strong work ethic that I need now more than ever. I learned that the world doesn't owe me anything; I have to work for my own success.

3. Thank you for setting a curfew

I hated when dad told me to be home by 10:00pm because he was tired and wanted to go to bed early. I argued when you wouldn't let me just stay the night with a friend after the party. I complained because none of my other friends had to leave the movie early to get home on time. But because you set a curfew, I at least know one thing: you cared.

4. Thank you for not letting me wear that outfit

It was hard for me to go to the school dance in a modest dress, and it was embarrassing to go to the pool party where all my friends wore trendy, skimpy bikinis and I wore a tasteful tankini. I just wanted to blend in. But you took the time to go shopping with me, you encouraged me to respect my body, and you complimented me when I looked nice.

Through your words and example, you taught me that my value isn't measured by what I wear or how good I look in a swimsuit. Today I walk with confidence and self-respect because you cared enough to teach me how to dress.

5. Thank you for not letting me quit soccer

I begged and begged to quit. I hated soccer! I hated having to practice throughout the week and I hated running so much. You wouldn't let me. You said I made a commitment to my team.

You drove me to practice and games and tournaments year after year. You shouted from the sidelines and dad even got red-carded one game. That was embarrassing. But thank you. I miss those days of running to exhaustion and icing my legs after workouts.

Now I play soccer all the time. I recognize the importance of commitment, teamwork, and physical health, and those lessons bless every aspect of my life.

So thank you, mom and dad. Thank you for caring.


Your family-oriented, hard-working, confident, committed daughter

To all you moms and dads out there: keep caring. Don't be afraid to set rules and maintain family standards. Your kids will thank you one day.

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