May 13th: The Greatest Gift!

Mothers’ Day, teens, parents, improving relationships, hobbies, interests, perfect gifts, communication, growing up

Born and bred a British, Shamima, 18, is all about creativity and self-expression. She wishes to pursue a career in Medicine and pursue her interests in poetry, fashion, writing and maybe in the distant future, property development.


Mother’s Day is fast approaching. No doubt mothers and their teenage sons and daughters are somewhat anxious, either planning or otherwise anticipating a multitude of gifts, sprees and spas.

Having turned 18 this month (wahhey!) and officially granted the honour to flatter myself an adult, I wish to share with you one small step that has made a huge positive impact on my own relationship with my parents, and continues to do so. Mother’s Day should not be the lone-standing positive day that it is; rather it ought to mark the beginning of a longstanding improvement in our relationship with both of our parents. A far more meaningful gift!

One of the (many) benefits of parents and teenagers speaking more often and openly with one another is discovering interests that you share and were never aware of. No, I am not speaking of your love for your laptop and theirs for their sleep. It is those little things that you never really seriously considered doing; it was just a passing thought, “I always wondered but never spoke aloud of-” sort of thing.

I shall use myself as case study to demonstrate this.

1. I hate cooking. A little strong, I know, but there it is. However, every now and then, mainly that time in the afternoon when every other member of the family disappears, and when a mood takes me, I take out the flour, butter, sugar, eggs and try an experimental hand at baking. Needless to say, the results were rather disappointing.

– It was sometime, and several leaps of maturity later, that I learnt of my mum’s interest in baking. Together, my mum, my sister and I collected recipes, gathered the right equipment and rallied one another on.

I am happy to say that on days of toast shortage, my muffins are rightfully appreciated.

2. I consider myself an active person though I had never had to worry about it as I spent almost every lunch time playing football. However, upon finishing high school, following almost two months of sit-down revision, I felt bloated and lazy and desperately needed to get back to ‘active’ life.

– My mum insisted I try out her ladies aerobics class. I’d never done aerobics before, but I’m always up for new thing, so I thought I would go and check it out. It is now one of my favourite activities, and the most rewarding of all.

I won’t bore you with further anecdotes. I hope you can see not only the improvement of the relationship between us but also the benefit to us as individuals. Well, mainly me. My mum and I are the healthy eating warriors in the family and have successfully banned fizzy drinks- we are still working on the sugar. I have learnt to love dress making through her love of dressmaking and I even volunteer in the same sector and she does. In return, I help to enforce law and order especially with the youngest of the siblings. And the list goes on.

Of course it is not just mothers relationships need to be built with. Through my dad, I would say I have developed his love for art and all things creative, I take an eager interest in his business affairs and they are happily heard out and we are ALL currently working together on an impulsive redecoration scheme, the reason I am typing with paint on my hands.

Of course it is not always perfect but unlike at the age of 15, I can have long, meaningful conversations with my parents, I can relate to them and they, to me, there is a sense of understanding that did not really exist before. I would definitely call that progress. And at the age of 18, I FEEL like an adult because I speak with my parents on such a level.

So for Mother’s Day, perhaps the best present of all would be to find some YOU, parents and teenagers, both enjoy doing and dedicate the day to it. It could potentially form the basis of a stronger, more satisfying relationship between you and refine your own skills and achievements. A little encouragement and interest from one another really makes the world of a difference.


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  1. 3/30/12: Articles for Parents This Week | Radical Parenting - April 18, 2012

    […] May 13th: The Greatest Gift! Use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to recognize all of the things you love doing with your mother. […]

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