Ask Elizabeth

Dear Elizabeth,

I am having a family issue. My mom is very critical of everything I do and basically who I am as a person. I am in my 30s and, when I’m around her, I feel like I’m 12 again. No matter what I do, how I succeed, she always has something negative to say about it. It drives me crazy. I don’t know what I have to do to finally gain her approval.

The Prodigal Son

Dear Prodigal Son,

No parent is perfect. Children do not come with an instruction manual, so parents are basically doing what they can with the tools that they have available to them. Saying this, I do not believe that being overly critical or negative is a way to deal with a child.

Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to gain that approval you so desperately seek, and that is something that you have to accept. You may never be able to please her in a way that you think you should. All you can do is work on gaining approval of yourself and not worry about anyone else.

If you believe that you are a good and successful person, then that is all that should matter to you.

Dear Elizabeth,

I have been married for five years, and the past couple of years have not been happy. I want out of my marriage, but I can’t seem to go through with it. We have two kids and I have never wanted to be a single mom. I’ve never been on my own and it terrifies me, but I don’t know how much longer I can keep living like this. We fight all the time, and I honestly think the only reason we are together is because of our kids. Please help.

Desperate housewife.

Dear Desperate Housewife,

I am sorry that you are going through this. It is always hard to end a marriage, especially when children are involved, but being in a chaotic home is not good for anyone.

I have learned that children who come from an unhappy home can grow up to be unhappy people. It is also OK to be scared, it really is, but don’t stay there. Being afraid of change is a natural part of life, but letting that fear consume you is not good for anyone, either.

You need to do what is best for you and your children. Their happiness and well being must always come first.

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