5 heartwarming moments when teenagers appreciated their parents for a change.
True
Whirlpool Congrats Parents

When you think of teenagers, "grateful" is probably not the first word that comes to mind.

In fact, teenagers often have the opposite reputation — spoiled, entitled, and selfish. Fittingly, advice for parents of teenagers frequently focuses on how to deal with bad attitudes.

However, labeling all teens inherently ungrateful isn't totally accurate. Many teenagers actually do appreciate their parents’ hard work, whether it’s cooking, doing their laundry, or helping them study for next morning’s algebra test. Of course, it might be hard to see that gratitude, especially when teens are busy hanging out with friends, texting at the dinner table, or slamming the occasional bedroom door during a disagreement.


Photo via iStock.

So, for parents who are feeling doubtful about whether or not their kids appreciate their hard work, here are five stories of teens who were just waiting for the right moment to show their gratitude.

1. Without money for a gift, this single mom's daughter made a touching gesture.

When Kira Allen's daughter Vivian was 17 years old, Kira didn't think she'd be getting a gift for Mother's Day.

"As a single mom, I've always done my best to meet our necessities," the California mom explains. She liked to cook for her kids, especially her delicious homemade blueberry-apple crisp.

But that year, Kira says, "We were too broke for gifts."

Kira was just returning to work after medical leave for issues including severe anemia, sleep apnea, and a high risk for stroke. She'd originally only planned to take two weeks off, but once she got to the bottom of her medical needs, she realized she was in "a battle for survival," so her medical leave went on for another three and a half months.

However, even though they were short on money, Vivian didn't want to disappoint her mom by leaving her empty-handed on Mother's Day, especially after the year she'd had. So, she wrote Kira a heartfelt note.

Vivian's note to her mother. Image via Kira Allen.

"Dear Queen," she began. "Without you there is nothing. No sun, no moon, no stars — in my world."

Today, Vivian is 23 years old and away at college, and she's missing her mom's blueberry-apple crisp. But her note is still where she left it, on her mom's nightstand. "It still means more to me than anything she could have ever purchased," Kira says.

2. A tattoo went from giving a dad a scare to being his greatest gift.

Photo via iStock.

In April 2018, Richard, a dad from New Jersey, thought he was getting the shock of his life when his 18-year-old son Jonathan sent him this text: "Guess what dad I'm getting a tattoo."

Richard worried that Jonathan was making a rash decision. However, when he saw what his son chose for his new ink, he was surprised in the best way. Jonathan's tattoo was a set of Roman numerals marking the day that his dads adopted him.

"I was so taken aback," Richard told the parenting website Gays With Kids. Jonathan was 5 years old when he was adopted, and as the years passed, his father wondered if he'd forgotten the date. But now, Jonathan's first tattoo will always remind him that his son is forever thankful for the day they became a family.

3. This daughter's personalized messages to her mom fit every occasion.

Sarah Davis (left) with her mother, LaTonya. Photo by Holly Pohl Photography, used with permission.

Sarah Davis was 17 years old on Mother's Day in 2017, and she wanted to give her mom, LaTonya, something unique — a gift LaTonya could enjoy for years to come.

Sarah had recognized the sacrifices that her mom made for her while growing up. In fact, as a teenager, she had even begun taking on some of LaTonya's household tasks herself in order to give her mom a little extra help. For example, when LaTonya was having a bad day, Sarah would clean the fridge, the pantry, or other common areas.

But to do something really special for Mother's Day, Sarah wrote a collection of personalized notes along with instructions on which note to read when, such as "when you need a smile," "when you can't sleep," and "when you're missing me."

As soon as she saw the instructions, LaTonya had a touching realization: Her daughter must have put a lot of thought into this gift.

Sarah's instructions for her gift to her mom. Image via LaTonya Davis.

"I haven't opened all of the notes yet because I feel like it's the gift I don't ever want to end," LaTonya says.

She continues, "[Sarah] regularly shows appreciation for all of the opportunities afforded to her, but this reminded me that she sees me not only as a mom but as a whole person."

4. A birthday gift got one mom's unique wishes exactly right.

"Birthdays have always been a source of conflict for me," Asha Rajan says.

Growing up, she was raised to believe that being a girl or a woman meant making yourself "small" by avoiding drawing attention to yourself. She carried that belief into parenting, often sacrificing her own moments of celebration to make sure her kids received attention instead of herself.

And that's exactly what made Asha's 2018 birthday so memorable — her teenage sons, Nik and Milan, got the celebration just right. The day included breakfast by Nik, an ice cream cake with candles, and a homemade card that Milan decorated with a painting he'd made in fifth grade.

Asha with her sons, Milan (left) and Nik (right), in 2014. Image via Asha Rajan.

"Having my teens recognise [my] quandary and celebrate me with love and humor while still not making it too much about me made me feel understood," she says.

“I adore being the mother of teens — all the smelly sports clothes and wet stinky towels notwithstanding!”

5. This college freshman's sweet tribute to his dad went viral in his first week of school.

Every year since kindergarten, Charles Brockman III's first day of school started out the same. His parents, Sherry and Charles Jr., would walk him into school and take a photo.

At times, he found the tradition embarrassing (especially while in high school), but once he left home for the first time to go to college, he actually missed his parents' annual display of support and encouragement.

So after the 17-year-old settled into his new dorm room as a freshman at Mississippi State University, Charles wanted to say a simple thanks. He tweeted side-by-side photos of his dad walking him to school, along with the words, "From the first day of kindergarten to college move in. Thank you dad."

By the time classes started, his tribute had been retweeted more than 64,000 times and liked more than 263,000 times.

"[My parents] have pretty much supported me in everything I do," Charles told NBC News a couple of weeks later. "Knowing that makes me want to be successful and make them proud. I don't mind sharing that."

No matter how big or small, a teen's gesture of appreciation is a reminder to parents everywhere that their love, care, and sacrifice has huge meaning.

Image via iStock.

And kids aren’t the only ones who’d like to celebrate all of the hard-working parents out there. Whirlpool has created  "Congrats, parents" as part of its Every day, care® campaign in order to share uplifting messages for the parents of the class of ‘18.

After all, the class of ‘18 wouldn’t have made it to graduation day without the sacrifices that so many parents make for their kids. Throughout the journey towards graduation, those parents have put their time toward preparing their kids’ meals, making sure they always had clean clothes, and keeping the house in order along the way.

That’s why, even when teenagers are caught up in their own lives or when they don't have money for lavish gifts, they can still find unique ways to reveal just how much they care about their parents. These gestures can appear when you least expect it — which, in turn, makes them all the more meaningful.

Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
True

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

Keep Reading Show less

Eight months into the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are feeling the weight of it growing heavier and heavier. We miss normal life. We miss our friends. We miss travel. We miss not having to mentally measure six feet everywhere we go.

Maybe that's what was on Edmund O'Leary's mind when he tweeted on Friday. Or maybe he had some personal issues or challenges he was dealing with. After all, it's not like people didn't struggle pre-COVID. Now, we just have the added stress of a pandemic on top of our normal mental and emotional upheavals.

Whatever it was, Edmund decided to reach out to Twitter and share what he was feeling.

"I am not ok," he wrote. "Feeling rock bottom. Please take a few seconds to say hello if you see this tweet. Thank you."

O'Leary didn't have a huge Twitter following, but somehow his tweet started getting around quickly. Response after response started flowing in from all over the world, even from some famous folks. Thousands of people seemed to resonate with Edmund's sweet and honest call for help and rallied to send him support and good cheer.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
True

Glenda moved to Houston from Ohio just before the pandemic hit. She didn't know that COVID-19-related delays would make it difficult to get her Texas driver's license and apply for unemployment benefits. She quickly found herself in an impossible situation — stranded in a strange place without money for food, gas, or a job to provide what she needed.

Alone, hungry, and scared, Glenda dialed 2-1-1 for help. The person on the other end of the line directed her to the Houston-based nonprofit Bread of Life, founded by St. John's United Methodist pastors Rudy and Juanita Rasmus.

For nearly 30 years, Bread of Life has been at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention, eliminating food insecurity, providing permanent housing to formerly homeless individuals and disaster relief.

Glenda sat in her car for 20 minutes outside of the building, trying to muster up the courage to get out and ask for help. She'd never been in this situation before, and she was terrified.

When she finally got out, she encountered Eva Thibaudeau, who happened to be walking down the street at the exact same time. Thibaudeau is the CEO of Temenos CDC, a nonprofit multi-unit housing development also founded by the Rasmuses, with a mission to serve Midtown Houston's homeless population.

Keep Reading Show less

The subject of late-term abortions has been brought up repeatedly during this election season, with President Trump making the outrageous claim that Democrats are in favor of executing babies.

This message grossly misrepresents what late-term abortion actually is, as well as what pro-choice advocates are actually "in favor of." No one is in favor of someone having a specific medical procedure—that would require being involved in someone's individual medical care—but rather they are in favor of keeping the government out of decisions about specific medical procedures.

Pete Buttigieg, who has become a media surrogate for the Biden campaign—and quite an effective one at that—addressed this issue in a Fox News town hall when he was on the campaign trail himself. When Chris Wallace asked him directly about late-term abortions, Buttigieg answered Wallace's questions is the best way possible.

"Do you believe, at any point in pregnancy, whether it's at six weeks or eight weeks or 24 weeks or whenever, that there should be any limit on a woman's right to have an abortion?" Wallace asked.

Keep Reading Show less

When it comes to the topic of race, we all have questions. And sometimes, it honestly can be embarrassing to ask perfectly well-intentioned questions lest someone accuse you of being ignorant, or worse, racist, for simply admitting you don't know the answer.

America has a complicated history with race. For as long as we've been a country, our culture, politics and commerce have been structured in a way to deny our nation's past crimes, minimize the structural and systemic racism that still exists and make the entire discussion one that most people would rather simply not have.

For example, have you ever wondered what's really behind the term Black Pride? Is it an uplifting phrase for the Black community or a divisive term? Most people instinctively put the term "White Pride" in a negative context. Is there such a thing as non-racist, racial pride for white people? And while we're at it, what about Asian people, Native Americans, and so on?

Yes, a lot of people raise these questions with bad intent. But if you've ever genuinely wanted an answer, either for yourself or so that you best know how to handle the question when talking to someone with racist views, writer/director Michael McWhorter put together a short, simple and irrefutable video clip explaining why "White Pride" isn't a real thing, why "Black Pride" is and all the little details in between.


Keep Reading Show less