Q: It seems as if no matter what I do, my parents never appreciate me. They yell if something I did really wasn’t so great, and when I do a good job they just grunt. What can I do?
A: We know how you must feel. All of us—young and old— o need to feel appreciated by those closest to us.
We have a hunch that your parents don’t even realize how they are responding. If your family is like most families—ours included—you probably live a locomotive lifestyle: fast and busy! With all the stress of making a living and day-to-day responsibilities, parents sometimes unintentionally fail to pay enough attention to what’s really most important—their kids.
Here’s a suggestion: Find a time your parents can give you their undivided attention. Tell them how you feel, and let them know you really want their approval when you do something great. Explain that it really hurts when they yell at you, and then discuss some ways in which the whole family can learn to communicate in a more positive way. Beforehand you might find a book at the library or a Christian bookstore that deals with family communication. As you talk together as a family, encourage everyone to make a commitment to begin using positive communication techniques. Do this, and we suspect it won’t be long before you see a big difference in your relationship with your parents!