11 Things You Should Do For Your Parents When You Visit Them

Most kids leave their parents feeling very mixed when they fly the coop. On one hand, their parents are stoked to have some peace and quiet, some time to focus on themselves, and some time to enjoy a clean house. But on the other hand, they might feel lonely and old, à la, “you were just a baby and now you’re off to college” — nostalgia. I think duality exists for parents when their kids come home to visit. They’re both excited to be reunited and terrified for the mess and invasion their finally serene space.

Whenever I visit my parents, I try my best to make them happy to see me and and sad to see me leave. But as you may already know, it only takes one wet towel on the floor or one dirty dish to send them off into a speech about responsibility and maturity and be quickly belittled to the person you were the first time you left the house, no matter how much you’ve changed for the better.

So as to avoid being shrunk back into my high school self, these are 11 things I do for my parents when I come home to visit, aside from hanging up my wet towels. Because even if you're not a super adult just yet, why not trick your parents into believing you are for the few days you spend with them?

Clean Up After Yourself


Impress your parents with how adult and responsible you are. Ever since you left, the house has probably been clean. They'll be expecting you to mess it up — don't! Don't leave drawers or doors open. Hang up towels. Turn off lights. You know, all the annoying stuff you used to get in trouble for.

Make Them Dinner

Give your parents a break one night and make them dinner. Surprise them with a fully cooked meal and make them feel special. It's the least you can do after over two decades of meals they made for you.

Ask Them What They Haven’t Gotten Around To


There's probably some chore around the house that you could really help out with. Maybe your parents need a lightbulb changed, maybe they want to donate some coats. There's always something random that they've be meaning to get around to — you can be the person to help with that.

Do Some Yard Work

Yard work is the worst, but pitching-in and taking the work load off your parents is a sweet gesture. Grab a rake and help out — you're only there for a little bit, put some work in. At the very least, offer a hand.

Clean Out Your Room


Accept the fact that you've moved out and finally clean out your room. You don't have to throw everything away, but make sure that it's clean enough that your parents can use it for whatever they like. It's the adult thing to do, and it will be a relief for your parents.

Respect Their Old Rules

Just because you're not 16 anymore doesn't mean you should come stumbling in at 2 a.m.. While you're home, respect your parents' house rules. Even if it drives you crazy that your parents treat you like a child when you're in their home, let them — it is their home, after all.

Bring Them Something Useful


Whether it's flowers, a wrench, a new shower curtain, or a pair of socks, bring your parents something that they might not realize they need. It's thoughtful and unexpected. Who doesn't like to feel thought of?

Thank Them For The Tools They’ve Given You

Make sure to be gracious. Never assume it goes without saying how much you love them an appreciate all they've done for you. Take the time to tell them what they mean to you and how grateful you are for everything they've given you in life.

Bring In The Mail


It's the little things. Bring in the mail for them. It's just an easy way to make their lives easier, and it's no skin off your back. It shows you care and it shows you're trying.

Do The Dishes

Insist on doing the dishes, all of them. Now that you don't live in their house anymore, treat it like how you would if it were a friend's house — clean up after yourself and make yourself useful. This is a charade you can keep up for a few days.

Put Your Phone Away


Do your parents a favor and be present. Don't make them listen to your phone calls or stare at the top of your head while you scan Instagram for hours in front of them. Turn the sound off and leave your phone in your pocket when you're hanging out with your parents. You're not there for long, so catch up and connect.

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