My parents do not appreciate me

I am a 14-year-old boy and I have a younger brother. My problem is that even though I do so much to keep my parents happy, they do not appreciate me and instead, insult me in front of others, including my younger brother. I feel that they like my younger brother more than me.

Dear Peter,

I see that you feel very hurt when your parents insult you, especially in front of others. You feel unappreciated by them, especially when they compare you with your younger brother.

Looks like you go out of your way to make them like you, but it is not working. At this age, most parents expect certain things from children — discipline, focus on academics, being helpful at home, to name a few. So, a good thing to ask yourself is: “Is what I’m doing to make them happy the same as what they expect me to do?” You could make a list of these, or even ask your parents to tell you what they expect, and compare the list and see what you need to change in your actions. However, it also helps to remember that you can’t make someone simply like you by doing things.

So, at the same time, develop your personality in a positive way by focusing on a hobby, on forming supportive friendships and through prayer. If you are a happy and well-adjusted person, people will like you and you will also develop inner strength to face all situations.

Nasreen Hashambhoy
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Nasreen Hashambhoy

Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.