In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed a Congressional Resolution into law declaring the last Sunday of every July as National Parent’s Day. The resolution, sponsored by Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, established the day as a way of “…recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in the rearing of children.”
National Parent’s Day is a day for all our citizens to celebrate everything parents do, have done, and will continue to do to make the world a safe and healthy place for their children. Each year, in order to honor the day and pay homage to parents who go above and beyond for their children, the organization Parent’s Day chooses National Parents of the Year, based on nominations they collect through their website.
Click this link if you’d like to nominate friends or relatives as Parents of the Year for 2019.
[Please note: The National Parent’s Day website promotes traditional ideas about what constitutes parents and families. While we support their efforts to recognize parents as they define them, Evolve Treatment recognizes, supports, and celebrates all parents, including single moms, single dads, same-sex parents, foster parents, adopted parents. We believe anyone doing the job of parenting deserves recognition, regardless of their specific family situation.]
Special Recognition for Parents of Teenagers
Parents around the world recognize that parenting is simultaneously the most difficult and most rewarding job in life. Non-parents might disagree, and that’s fine: they’re allowed their opinion, just like everyone is entitled to their opinion about everything, but this is a classic case of walk a mile in my shoes. Most parents believe that if non-parents experience even one day of parenting, they’d change their tune and agree that parenting may indeed be the toughest job going.
With that said, if parenting is the toughest job going, then parenting teenagers is in a category all by itself. What could be tougher than toughest?
Parenting teens, of course.
We took a tour around the internet to collect funny quotes about the joys <<cough, cough>> of parenting teens. Here are our five favorites.
Top Five Quotes About Parenting Teens
- “Teenagers are like toddlers on hormones.” – Anonymous, from this NYT article.
- “I have found the best way to give advice to your [teenagers] is to find out what they want to do, and then advise them to do it.” – Harry S. Truman
- “When your children are teenagers, it’s important to have a dog so that someone in the house is happy to see you.” – Nora Ephron
- “Adolescence is a time of rapid changes. For example, between the ages of 12 and 17, parents can age up to 20 years.” – Anonymous
- “The best substitute for experience is being 16 years old.” – Raymond Duncan
You get it: parenting teens is hard, and some of the circumstances you find yourself in are maddening, hilarious, ironic, poignant, and everything in between. Now, since every day of the year – for the parent of a teen – is actually National Teenager Day, which you celebrate by keeping a roof over their head, clothes on their back, and food on the table, we think it’s a good idea to take this day and do something special for yourself.
Celebrating National Parent’s Day
If you never watched the A&E reality show “Being Bobby Brown” you may remember the episode where Bobby took Whitney (ICYMI, the show was about pop music super-couple Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston) to a luxurious resort estate north of their Atlanta home to celebrate Mother’s Day. Whitney was thrilled, but little did she know Bobby had arranged for their children to come visit them to celebrate the day.
Whitney was not pleased.
To her Mother’s Day meant anything but mothering. Now, we love Whitney. Clearly, one of the greatest divas of all time. And if your idea of National Parent’s Day is to do anything but parent, we support that one hundred percent. Grab your spouse, your partner, a friend, and go take the day – you deserve it.
On the other hand, if you want to spend National Parent’s day with your kids, here’s another short list of suggestions, based on parenting articles we found around the web.
How to Celebrate National Parent’s Day
- Quality Time. The first, and most obvious, is to spend some time with your kids. Get away from all the screens and do something that makes you interact. Something that encourages talking, teamwork, and wholesome fun. A hike, a picnic, an outdoor movie night, a family-friendly concert – whatever makes you happy.
- Get Together With Other Families. You can expand your circle for Parent’s Day quality time to include families important to you and your children. Invite them to your picnic or on your hike. Ask if they have anything fun and interesting planned – they may have great ideas that never occurred to you. Although this national commemorative day is focused on the family, we think the adage the more the merrier.
- Call Your Mother. Or father. Or the person who was your primary caregiver. There’s a 99.99% chance they want to hear from you. It will make their day. And if your parents have already passed, please accept our sincere condolences. For you, perhaps National Parent’s Day is an appropriate time to reflect on your relationship with them, what it means to you, and how it affects the way you parent your own children.
- Make a Family Bucket List. Get everyone together and brainstorm ideas for new and fun things you want to do as a family before your kids leave for college. Ideas can be simple, like running a 5k or doing a charity walk together, or they can be huge, like planning a vacation to a place everyone wants to go.
- Help Working Parents. If you have friends who are busy, working parents, working a full-time job or more, you can offer to help share the load. Volunteer babysitting time, help with yardwork/housework, or anything you can think that might help. A good way to come up with ideas is to think, “When I was busy and overwhelmed as a parent, what would have helped me most?”
One Last Thing
It may be the case that you don’t believe in celebrating these national commemorative days. There does, after all, seem to be a day for everything, which many people feel dilutes the importance of what they consider real holidays. If that’s you, then we support that choice, of course. At the same time, we think that, in this case, you should take some time to recognize all the hard work you do day after day, week after week, month after month, and year after year to create a good life for your child or children.
Especially if you’re the parent of teens.
Trust us: time will pass. The teenage years will pass. There’s no avoiding it. Your teenager will grow up and leave the nest. Believe it or not, there will come a day when you actually miss the sulking, the attitude, and even the stomping feet and slamming doors. Right now all that probably drives you to distraction. Because, in the words of Anna Freud, daughter of the father of modern psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud:
“There are few situations in life more difficult to cope with than an adolescent son or daughter during the attempt to liberate themselves.”
Angus is a writer from Atlanta, GA who writes about behavioral health, adolescent development, education, and mindfulness practices like yoga, tai chi, and meditation.