Have you ever felt like what ever you do for your parents is not good enough and don't get a thank you or get rewarded for it? have you ever felt like what ever you do for your parents is not good...

Have you ever felt like what ever you do for your parents is not good enough and don't get a thank you or get rewarded for it?

have you ever felt like what ever you do for your parents is not good enough and dont get a thank you or get rewarded for it?

Expert Answers
dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

My post is offered from my experience only, it is not meant to sway, point a finger, or judge the experiences of others.

There was a time in my life I felt that no matter what I was asked to do I never totally measured up to the task as judged by the taskmaker. I now know this was not because I was not appreciated for what I accomplished but primarily due to the confusion, anger, hurt, disappointment, and the shortcomings of the adult situations that existed beyond my control. However, it must be noted that it took many years before I fully understood the intensity and heartfelt sorrow of what one of my parents endured that I understood that certain silence.  Although personal I will offer this, as young girl I was expected to take on very adult roles without any 'verbal' thanks, however 30 years later I understand it now. Make no mistake during  those years I felt as awful as anyone could feel.  There was a long time I blamed the adults responsible for my seemingly thankless reality, as a result I became bitter and angry.  At the time it was hard, I was confused, the situation was never explained to me by  my parents, and all I knew was that I was responsible for keeping my brothers and sisters a family. During that time I could not see it... I was just a teenager. I thought...oh poor me... you understand...selfish... Today I feel that the impact of those experiences make me 'me'. I decided to use it for my advantage, (after all I deserved it)...  While it is true a 'thank you' is a wonderful thing, some young people never hear it, others wait, and wait, the latter boils down to a hostile waste of time. As an adult, married, and a mother I realize now that before I was any of those, I thought I knew it all... and franlky it is impossible to understand the dynamics between a husband and a wife, let alone a troubled couple who happen to be your parents.  If it were a perfect world they would all say 'thank you'... but in real life sometimes those luxuries take a back seat to realities.  Although there is no excuse for it nor guarantee in real life, those nearest to your heart can have either a positive or negative impact on your life, either way those experiences will impact your life.  With all due respect, either way,  if you matter to them and they matter to you both parties hold the potential to teach one another how to understand the human condition. You (plural) can either keep score on the 'measuring up', the 'thank you' and the 'rewards' that may or may not be  owed to you (plural) Which in my opinion is a waste of time and energy, or you (plural) can try your hardest to find a way to keep a smile on your face....and a song in your heart.... The choice is yours.

goreadabook eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Over the past several months I’ve completely changed the way I live my life. I’ve played by a lot of faulty rules that have not served my happiness or well being in a positive manner, and so it was time to make some changes and reevaluate what’s truly important to me. My whole life I’ve waited on others, primarily my mother, to give me permission to live. In an attempt to maintain harmony in my outer world and prove my worth, I have allowed other people’s needs, happiness, and comfort to trump my own. I’ve put myself in painful and dangerous situations to accommodate others because I believed it was the only way to gain their approval. Somehow I was convinced that I could not function, that I was not acceptable without other people’s approval. I’ve made choices and lived by everyone else’s agenda. What’s going to make them happy? What will make me look good, and, therefore, worthy in their eyes? What do they want or need that I can deliver? It’s a complete waste of energy, because the only person who is able to offer you the type of unconditional love and acceptance you yearn for is yourself.  The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can attain it and find a sense of inner peace that nobody can take from you.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question shows that you are feeling unappreciated . . . and perhaps even unloved? These are feelings that certainly need to be addressed, at any age and in any relationship. If they are not addressed, they will lead to anger and resentment, both of which are toxic in how we feel about others and ourselves. One question occurs to me. Have you discussed your feelings with your parents? Can you tell them how you feel, calmly and without criticism? Has this subject been discussed before in your family, or is it possible they have no idea how you are feeling? My experience tells me that ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away, and talking about it can be the first step to resolving it. However, if you decide to talk to your parents about how you feel, be prepared to listen, also, with an open mind. If they are not open to a discussion about your feelings, find someone close to you that you trust--someone objective--and share your feelings with him or her. 

marilynn07 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, I have felt this way about my mother, but not about my father. I discovered at age 35 that I would never please my mother, and I might as well get over it.  My life was all about somehow earning my mother's approval.  I was a disappointment to her because I "experimented" with different ways of living when I was in my early 20s.  I was a vegetarian and raised my children to be vegetarians.  Ultimately, I kept what I learned that was good from both of my parents, and I discarded the things that were painful such as never being "good enough".  I like to think I am a better parent because I knew what I did not want to be like, and I knew what I wanted to be as a parent.

It may be that your parents have expectations that you will participate in routine household tasks as part of belonging to your family.  Maybe you should talk with your parents about how you feel now, both of my parents are no longer alive, and I can't talk to them anymore.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am an only child, and had no Super-star brother to look after, nor a little sister for whom to be a role model.  The thing is, my parents did not either. So, both my parents and I were simply learning at the same time to be family to each other. The Kudos and the "thank you's" simply happened whenever they happened. None of us knew what was enough nor when was the right time- Maybe that is the situation in your case as well.

You know, sometimes it takes a really huge act to move the attention of someone, and sometimes it is the little things that matter to them- But, that is still "them". What matters to you is a completely different thing. Surely you would like some positive feedback for what you do= Just try to not "expect it". Let it happen when it happens and pat yourself in the back FIRST.

Just for the fact that you wrote this note tells me you must be a darn good kid. Keep up the good work.


timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Part of a parent's "role" is to make their children be a little better than they want to be.  This is an extremely difficult position to be in ... too much praise for too little success, and you get the feel.good.about.yourself nonesense that we've had for the past 30 years.  On the other hand, little or no praise results in the kind of disappointment and perhaps anger that I read in this question.

So there are two possibilities:  your parents are impossible to please and their failure to reward/praise you for your achievements is their fault; the other possibility is that you haven't really done anything to earn praise/reward at the level you think you deserve it.  Only you really know.

cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Just a thought, that may or may not be useful.  Perhaps your parents feel that the things you do are just fulfilling your responsibilities as a member of the family group.  No doubt they do many things for the family -- earning money to support the group, keeping up a house, feeding everyone, etc etc etc.  Do they get thanked for those things, or are they taken for granted?

If you want to shift the "normal" pattern in your family so that people get thanked for all that they do, perhaps you could start it by thanking them for what they do.  They may need that to help them shift their thinking.

alohaspirit eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I definitely went through that as a teenager, but you need to focus on making yourself proud. If you know you did a good job, that is what matters.  I would have a conversation with them about this because it is important for parents to understand that their appreciation and praise is very important to their children.

epollock | Student

All the time, but you have to reprogram your thinking to find thankfullness from within and be happy to help people. If you always expect people to say "Thank you," it might be unreasonable to always expect that.

Find strength from within to give yourself self-satisfaction. If you are truly altruistic, a reply isn't necessary.  Like my doctor helping me, I respond "Thank you" and he says, "you don't need to thank me, it's my job and this is what I do."

kc4u | Student

As children grow old and the parents older, wave-lengths differ increasingly. Children having understanding parents and parents having caring children are really fortunate. It is generally true that children can never repay the debts of their parents, and the parents generally do not expect to be repaid either. With the fast-changing patterns in society, parents-children relationship is also undergoing significant changes which are not always for the better. Children should take care of their parents without expecting anything for return, for it is no relationship of material exchanges.

krishna-agrawala | Student

I am now 63 years old, and have no opportunity to do anything for my parents as they are no more. But sometime when I think back about what I did for my parents, the thought upper most in my mind is regret that I did not do enough for them.

It is not as if it was wery difficult give them what they needed. All that they needed was a little understanding and expression of love. Today, I am myself a father, and am in a position to guess how my parents would have felt.

Parents, do a lot of things for their children out of love and concern for them. They don't do it in expectation of any return. But, when their children do something for them, it gives them great happiness. And it does not take lot of time or money to give this happiness to them. Just a little care.

The needs and feelings parents and their children differ. Just as parents have difficulty understanding their children, the children also have difficulty understanding the needs of their parents. It is worthwhile for grown up children to make special efforts to understand the needs of their parents and fulfill them. If you do this not to get rewarded or being thanked by your parents, but just to make them happy, you will the expression of happiness and satisfaction on their face the greatest reward for your efforts.