March 28, 2013 WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR PARENTS FEEL UNAPPRECIATED This questions comes from Sara, who writes: Hey Nikki! I’m Sara! I was wondering what to do when your parents think you don’t appreciate them. A few weeks ago, my mom yelled that we don’t appreciate her and she has to do everything, but that really hurt my feelings. I try to look after a lot of people in my family. I look after my little cousins, and make sure they say, sorry, thank you, and please, and don’t get hurt! I even make sure that my older brother is okay. It made me think that I’m doing all of this for nothing. Do you have any advice for me? My Advice: Hi Sara! It sounds like you and your mom have a lot in common. You BOTH try your best to do stuff for others, and you both wonder if people recognize just how much you’re doing. I know sometimes we think we’re SO different from our parents. (At least I do. I would NEVER walk outside with curlers in my hair like a 50s housewife flashed forward in a time machine, and my mom would NEVER make a video of herself and her friends dancing while eating tacos! But back to you…) The truth is we feel similar stuff. We just handle it in different ways! It sounds like your mom feels overwhelmed, and she deals with it by yelling. I don’t know about you, but I DEFINITELY know what it’s like to feel overwhelmed. When I have tests to study for, and Chloe needs my advice about something, and my dad wants me to help him with some super weird bug-related emergency, and Brianna keeps banging on my door screaming, “Siissssyyyy!! I NEED you!!” I want to SCREAM!! Eventually, I get to leave all that stuff to chill and do my own thing…but my mom can pretty much NEVER leave Brianna. And that sounds like a nightmare to me!! Maybe it’s the same for your mom…maybe she just feels like she needs some time to herself, but since she can’t get that, she wants people to thank her for being there so much. I bet if you told her that you recognize and appreciate that, she’d be happy AND impressed!! And she’d be even more psyched if you randomly did something nice for her. If you feel like you want HER to appreciate all the stuff you do, you could sit her down and say something like, “I totally understand how you feel because sometimes I feel the same way!” This way, you’re not yelling back at her…you’re just telling her you can relate, which might make her think about how SHE can show she appreciates you, too! So that’s my advice: find some way to show her your appreciation, and let her know how you feel about wanting the same thing. What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Sara?