For years, we’ve been trawling the high street for perfumes, aftershave sets and jewellery for our parents. The calendar is filled with occasions when we get our wallets out and splash the cash. Birthdays, Christmas, Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day – they’re all commercialised events that scream “money is love!” But do our parents really want more possessions?
A recent survey by Tassimo showed children thought their dads’ perfect present would be alcohol, followed by gadgets and football match tickets. Yet the results showed 35% of dads would prefer a visit from their children instead.
Research by Forbes has also shown mums feel exactly the same way. Many of the women they spoke to said they just want time to enjoy with their children. One of the mothers, Lesli Rotenburg, explained, “The best gift of all would be more time with my family. It may sound simple, but I’d love to spend Mothers’ Day planting flowers with my two daughters, followed by dinner made by my husband.” Planting flowers with your mum can be a much more valuable experience than giving her a shop-bought bouquet and a brief visit—if your mum isn’t much of a gardener, pick an activity that she enjoys and make the effort to do it with her. You’ll both appreciate the time together and you may even learn you like it too.
Suzanne Pish, a researcher from Michigan State University found spending quality time together with your family is very important for healthy, happy relationships.
If you’re not used to sharing your life with your parents, she suggests that you should start with a family meal, writing: “Having a meal with your children away from distractions such as the TV, video games and cell phones can help start those conversations that you would like to, or need to have with your children.” This can really help strengthen bonds in the family. And, as the saying goes, a family that dines together stays together.
This research all goes to show that time really is the most precious gift of all. Next time you’re hunting online for a gift or dodging your parents calls because you’re too busy, remember that they gave up a lot of their lives to feed, bathe and care for you. It’s time we gave up a bit of our time for them too.
This is a collaborative post. Image credit.