Honoring my parents with the Bransford Family Values

About two years ago my husband and I were struggling with some parenting issues and faced with our desire to raise kids with values we cherish, we created the “Bransford Family Values”.

Over the course of several months, we created a foundation that allows us to communicate clearly about our core values while giving our kids a framework to challenge and ask questions. If someone violates a core value, they are called on it and the issue is discussed.

It has worked remarkably well for us and we have found that instead of our teenager retreating, we have been introduced to a smart, communicative young man. My daughter is usually the first one to challenge me when she thinks my actions don’t match our values. I have enjoyed the moral accountability this system has brought to my family.

Each week, we agree that Bransfords “value and aspire to be individuals with integrity.  We are honest, fair, respectful, responsive, compassionate and diligent.”

Over the course of the past few months, I’ve struggled with being respectful of my parents. They would insist they didn’t need my help and were sometimes downright mean. I felt the only way I could be respectful was to be seen and not heard … they constantly told me it wasn’t my business.

After witnessing too many risky behaviors and having my mom call me to share their poor choices, I’ve been able to move through my hesitancy to act in the best interest of my parents.

Unfortunately, I recognize I’ve only just started up the foothill and still have a very large mountain to climb. I am thankful of the lessons and values my parents gave me, so I can in turn repay them in a manner they would be pleased, even if it doesn’t feel that way some days. Prepared.

Prove it to me.

My brother shares his stories from his visit with my parents.

I visit my parents often to check in and help with what I can. This covers car maintenance, home repairs and health appointments. Recently, my mother is becoming more challenging and belligerent, while my father is less and less “there.” Any time I remind my mother of an event we have reviewed and agreed to, like a home repair, she immediately grows suspicious, and now constantly says, “Prove it to me!”

When I show her the proof, she then either says “I don’t believe you,” or she finds a way to defuse the situation by saying she will check HER records (which means her calendar or checkbook) to see if this is accurate. Usually it ends poorly after 15 to 20 minutes of going round and round.

There are times when my father will yell, “Listen to him!” only to be berated himself and he pipes down as he too is very tired of this ridiculous and vicious circle of illogical sparing and mistrust sprinkled with a mean spirit. Aggravated.