What is one thing you wish your parents did differently when raising you?

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Where to begin.

1) Fiscal responsibility.

I was never given any pocket money. We are what we would call: Slightly above middle class. The reason was that I would get, whatever I wanted, if I asked for it. So every time I asked for pocket money, I was told, why do you need it, we will get you anything you want, if reasonable. I therefore had empty papers stuffed in a wallet always in my pocket (to feel included with the friends in school who actually had monies in their pocket wallets).

I moved away for college. I was given a lump sum amount of money in my bank allocated for a year’s of expenses. I did not know how to save money, what to do with it, never saw that much in my hand or in ownership. I ended up blowing that amount in 3 months. I was then given money at monthly basis, and I learnt the hard way the goods of saving, and justified usage of money. It doesnt really grow on trees.

2) Decision making:

Call it cultural, call it naive. But, I was never involved in any kind of decision making process. Whether it was my birthday toy, or friends, or school to go to, or neighborhood to stay in.

When I had to make my own decisions in life, I found it extremely challenging and stressful. Lack of confidence in the decisions surmounted to some very bad decisions. Again, learnt the hard way after going through the drill.

3) Reasoning:

This is somewhat tied to the prior point. I feel it is extremely necessary for kids to learn to reason. To ask questions. To satiate their curiosity. To understand the consequences of a decision, in order to help facilitate future bigger decisions. Even a decision to buy a candy, over another, should be rationalized.

I was never taught to rationalize. This was a severe handicap in a lot of things I did in life, in work, studies, love life, career decisions.

4.) Sharing experiences:

There is only so much a person can learn from their own experiences, but combining the experiences of others, there is immense to learn from. As basic as why did they (parents) select that particular job, would have helped me implement those in my own life. My parents had a plethora of experience having had lived in a variety of locations globally, but I only got to see their experience on face as it was in every other location: Poker faced, same. If they had shared what they were thinking, doing, rationalizing, working towards, their experiences of life; It would have been immensely helpful.

4) Love.

As basic as this, but yes, not many parents show it. Call it taboo again. Its stupid really. I dont remember hugging my folks until today. I am in late 30s. Its not like we are not close. We get along great. Communicate daily via video calls etc. No love is lost. But, showing that they care, speaking up when kids are down, that empathy always lacked. Today they talk behind my back, among their friends, about how proud they are of me. But, if only they did that in front of me, on my face, at least once while growing up, it would have been a great boost to self esteem, and self worth.

Ah well. Its never too late. All that I felt I missed out on, is being implemented on my now 8 month old son. Hopefully he turns out better than me.

tldr; Go read it all. It may be helpful.

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