1. Providing obscure things that you don’t use often, but are super necessary at particular times. Scissors, batteries, a plunger, light bulbs – so many things that you don’t know you need until you really, really need ‘em. Moving out for the first time, nothing is more shocking than spending the first few months discovering a new gadget you need to buy every other day.
2. Replenishing items that you use frequently. Specifically toilet paper. The most shocking thing about not living with your parents is the realization that toilet paper rolls don’t just materialize out of thin air and conveniently stack themselves in a bathroom cabinet. Shocking twist – it’s all on you. YOU have to keep your home stocked up on toilet paper… and other things, like detergent, trash bags, ranch dressing, etc.
3. Being strategically frugal. When you know which products it’s okay to buy the off-brand version of, and which are worthy of splurging on, that’s a result of watching money conscious parents shop over the years. Apologies on behalf of that whiny preteen we used to be, who insisted that Fruit Rings weren’t an acceptable alternative to Fruit Loops. That financially inept kid knew nothing.
4. The punishment you received. Upon reflection, many of the lectures and restrictions and whoopings handed out seem justified, because they taught 15-year-old you a particular lesson. Matter of fact, many times you can think back to particular moments in which you truly tested your parent’s patience and probably deserved harsher penalties than you got. At least now we can all reflect together, and cringe at the memory of that irrationally moody version of yourself.
5. Not vocally questioning your intelligence when you needed help with things like basic mathematics in grade school. I say this because now we, the children, have to refrain from any rude comments as we assist our parents with simple tasks like resetting a wireless router. “SERIOUSLY?! IT’S NOT THAT DIFFICULT,” is what you thought about our long division homework, and now we think that when you don’t know how to setup an email address or close a web browser or what a web browser is.
6. Correcting you when you acted like a little monster who had horrible manners. It’s incredible how often you see FULLY GROWN ADULTS with zero etiquette, doing things like straight up interrupting a conversation or coughing & sneezing without covering or not saying “please” & “thank you.” The lack of respect these days is remarkable, so if you know that the middle of someone’s sentence can’t interrupt the beginning of yours, and other basic courtesies, props to your parents (and also, your common sense).
7. Providing you with information, but not forcing you to feel a certain way about anything. It wouldn’t really be your opinion if it were theirs.
8. Knowing the distinction between making you respect them and making you fear them. There’s a massive difference and a kid shouldn’t like, actually live daily life terrified of his/her parents, but they should also know that they don’t want to give their parents a reason to become terrifying.
9. Preparing you for the future without crushing your goals or dreams. Nobody wants to be told to “be realistic,” or have their aspirations killed on the spot, especially by the people raising ‘em. When you wanted to be a professional athlete or movie star, they didn’t laugh in your face, but made sure you maintained your schooling and had a backup plan (which, in retrospect was likely the significantly more conceivable plan).
10. Making childhood awesome, whether broke or well-off. Listen to folks who didn’t have ANY of the aforementioned luxuries and you’ll immediately appreciate how fortunate you were to enjoy those early years of life when you were entirely dependent on adults. The fact that not everyone’s childhood consisted of cartoons and toys and food on the table and valuable lessons and a roof over their head and just, generally being cared for is unfortunate. Really, as often as rough upbringings happen, anyone who can relate to these points should feel lucky and appreciative of their parents.