Forget the "Big Things"
My parents didn't come to all of my basketball games. They weren't even in the stands when I won Homecoming King my Sophomore year of High School. They also never flattered me with many compliments. With that said, today both my parents are wonderful friends, wise mentors, and my safe space. So what did they do right?
I never was grounded, everything was a conversation about how my actions would affect me and those around me. Every Sunday we would go for a hike, just get outside together. I always knew they loved me because their actions matched the three word phrase they spoke everyday before school. Consistent, reliable, teachable are the characteristics of my parents.
They didn't calculate everything nor did they subscribe to the advice of every parenting book. The "big things" like attending every event, posting on Facebook, and receiving compliments were not big things. In our family, the "big things" were consistency, quality time spent, and conversation over the food we shared together.
Be consistent. Be reliable. And have open conversations along the way.