Asian parents are notoriously difficult to buy gifts for. Whether they disapprove of how expensive an item is or dismiss its use value (I recently caught my dad trying to donate a hat I gave him), it can sometimes feel like there’s no way to please them.
However, the best gift any parent can ask for is time spent with their children, even if they spend that time lecturing you or stressing out over plans. So ditch the overpriced flowers on National Parents’ Day, and turn to these seven family-oriented activities that are sure to make any parent happy.
1. Cook For Them (While Ignoring Unwanted Critiques)
If you’re willing to brave your fear of flying oil, then crack open a cookbook. You could make a traditional dish, but your parents might attempt to take control of the operation when they see it going awry. You could cook something they don’t usually eat, and they’ll just shrug their shoulders—“not bad”—after tasting it. But don’t worry. No matter their response, you’re showing you can be independent, and your parents will (probably) appreciate the effort.
2. Attend An Actually Fun, Not School-Related Class Together
Calm down, I’m not saying to study physics with your parents. You can learn how to make croissants at a local bakery or join a paint-along class where you can take your art home. If you want to sweat out your anxieties about National Parents’ Day, you can even take your parents to a Pilates or yoga class. Finally, a socially acceptable place for your parents to lay on the floor “for their back.”
3. Do That “Thing” They’re Always Nagging You To Do
Whether your parents are bugging you to visit the temple or declutter your room, just do it. Ideally, before they start nagging you about it. It will make them happy beyond words. In my mom’s case, finally going on a run together and letting her watch me suffer, worked.
4. Relax At A Spa Or Massage Parlor
Admit it: raising you was no easy work, and on your end, just being with your parents can sometimes be stressful. Everyone deserves to sit back and relax, so what better way to do it than together? Maybe if your parents enjoy the visit enough, they can even take themselves to the spa every once in a while. #Selfcare, baby!
5. Get Them Up To Date On Technology (And Tell Them To Stop Using The Same Password For Everything)
Expand your parents’ worlds by connecting them to the world wide web. If you want to go above and beyond, you can even get them on Instagram and let them follow you (remember, you can still block them from watching your story).
6. Bring Everyone Together With A Family Game Night
Nothing says bonding more than family game night. Break out the playing cards, a heritage-based game like mahjong or carrom or plain ol’ Monopoly for a night full of laughter and conversation. Be careful not to get too competitive, though. While you shouldn’t go easy on your parents, maybe don’t buy all the railroads and utilities.
7. Promise To Text And Call More
Asian parents aren’t all the same. But no matter their parenting style or personality, most of the time, all they want from their children is to hear from them more often. There’s no need to tell them what you did on that crazy Friday night or to talk for hours on end, but just call to let them know you love them. Even if neither you or your parents can force yourselves to say the three cursed words, “I love you.”