My grandfather doesn’t appreciate anything I do

My maternal grandparents live in the same city as our family. My grandfather teaches me certain subjects that he is good in, but I am very afraid of him. I feel uncomfortable around him as I think he doesn’t like me. He gives me tough tasks to do and when I finish them, he never appreciates it. He doesn’t appreciate anything I do and says negative things about me to my mother. I know that if I tell my mother about him, she won’t listen to me. He interferes in whatever I do, because of which I can’t enjoy any moment of my life.
Amit (13)

Dear Amit,

Sounds like you feel quite uncomfortable with your grandfather and feel irritable about his interference in your life.

Reflect on what is it that makes you afraid of your grandfather. Perhaps, you want more fun and chill, and your grandfather is strict and has high expectations from you? Also reflect on what you want. Use the words ‘I wish…’., e.g., “I wish my grandfather would praise me for my efforts.”

Then, even though you feel your mother may not listen to you, do talk to her. However, instead of complaining about your grandfather, focus on how you feel and what you want. Share examples of what happens to make you feel uncomfortable. Tell her about what you want — more praise, more affection and whatever else. Ask her to see how she can intervene without making your grandfather angry.

Build your courage and be honest with your grandfather about the difficult tasks. Ask for help in simplifying them. At the same time, think about this: tough tasks and discipline can help you become better at what you do. Challenges bring out the best in us and help us to become successful. So, take it on!

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.

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.