What are the best things about your parents as parents?
They let my sister and me try out different activities and it was ok if we didn't want to continue (as long as we gave it a fair chance).
My dad pushed us to excel at school but never got angry if we didn't get the best grades as long as we felt we have tried our best.
My mom taught us to love to play dress up and to get "excited" about things, even if it was something small. She's always been a little "crazy" when it comes to dressing in costumes.
My parents were both almost 40 when they had me...I was their surprise...so I think they went a lot easier on me than they were on my brothers (10 and 15 yrs older than I). They were willing to let me be more independent as long as I didn't break their trust. They were always very supportive of us and even though we were dirt poor and didn't get to do things like vacations, eating out much, or getting much we just 'wanted', they very much had a middle-upper class attitudes/views about money and work ethics, etc. I honestly view my childhood as just about perfect. I never saw my parents fight (although when I got older I learned to interpret the 'looks'), was never insecure about our family or their marriage, and was encouraged to try harder things and challenge myself even if it meant I didn't do it perfectly. They also really sheltered me from what many consider to be the "real world", which I am very thankful for today. They weren't 'helicopter parents', but they taught me about the world around us and how to respond to it with old-school values, but I didn't actually see it until I went away to college and was on my own. But I knew how to respond because of my up-bringing. I guess really they just lived the example of what responsible adults should be and then also taught me to be responsible myself. They praised us a lot and tried to make lessons out of our mistakes. If I can be even half the parent that my mom or dad was and is then I think my kids will come out just fine as we 3 did. (But I'm shooting for 100%, not just half...haha)
And finally, they weren't afraid to play with me. I think that is important too.
Sorry for the SUPER long response
My parents were awesome - they let us have our freedom, but also made sure we were reponsible. Since i'm the youngest of 3, i think i got away with more, or they knew i had a good head on my shoulders and they were so focused handling my sister that they knew i'd be fine...lol. My parents taught us to be hard working indv. and also to do what we love and be passionate about something. Although me and my siblings all did different things - my brother didn't go to college, nor got his associates, my sister ended up doing art and i followed my dreams of becoming a wildlife ecologist, only to come home and ended up doing social work...lol. Anyways, they always let us fly, but knew we could always come home and that NO MATTER WHAT - they were always there and supporting us. My parents didn't have much when we were little, but we saw them work hard and now they are able to enjoy the life they made for themselves. They have always put us kids first and made sure we had what we could - I hope i can give my kids the things they need and that we raise them to be good kids - my parents would get compliments all the time on how well behaved we were...