As children grow through their teen years, parents are challenged with difficult situations. Teenagers can be emotionally demanding at times, and parental rewards are few and far between.  One payback which warms the heart for parents is to hear their children tell them after they are grown what they had learned and appreciated from them.  I was reading in the Ensign, a magazine for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, in the March issue, which talks about the lessons learned from parents. This is a great payback for any parent, and all the hard work in successful parenting definitely pays off.
Mormon young women
There are many areas where parents have helped their youth learn to deal with life’s hardships. If diligent and loving, parents can make a difference in the life of their children. Here are some insights and lessons taken from grown children about their parents:
“I learned that I should never leave my church but always hang on to the gospel of Jesus Christ. My parents were always faithful in church attendance and service which made for a loving home. This example helped me to know that it is important to always attend church.”
“Keep your life balanced.  Not too much TV, not playing too many video games, no long stays at friends’ houses. No drinking or smoking. Keep healthy and your life should be in balance. At first I didn’t like all the rules but looking back, I realized how much better my life was with rules. I am thankful for them.”
“My mom always told me to look on the bright side of life. Tomorrow is always a better day and it can’t be all that bad.  I try to do the same.”
“My mom told me that I should always eat healthy and keep my weight under control.  I didn’t have to be a super sports player but if I exercised regularly, it helped me feel better about myself and she was right.”
“Even though I hated to hear it, I needed to remember that life isn’t fair. I remember my mother telling me this a lot. I would say, ‘that’s not fair’ and then she would say, ‘no one said life is fair, because it isn’t’. I had to learn to do the best I could with what happened to me.”
“My parents used to repeat, ‘Never give up, never surrender’ from the movie Galaxy Quest and it gave me strength to keep going. It became a joke after a while but those words stuck during challenges in my life.”
Mormon family with teens
“As a single Mom, my mother would pray all the time. That’s what gave her strength and that taught me to do the same. I should always pray when I need comfort and determination.”
“I was taught to always help others. My parents did that for others and the example they set for me shows in all of their children.  Always help others who are in trouble or cannot help themselves.”
“My parents always taught me to be a good worker.  If you were paid a wage then you should give that time to your employer. I always had good work references because of that work ethic I learned from my parents.”
Listening to adult children talk about what they learned from their parents strengthens parents who are teaching their children now. They can see the light at the end of the tunnel and know there is hope that someday their children will talk about how they were helped by the example of righteousness and keeping their eye on what is important.

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About Valerie Steimle
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.

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