Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How can I earn the approval of my parents when I feel like all I do is let them down?

16 Answers
Last Updated: 01/11/2021 at 7:35pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Brenda King, PsyD


I treat life changes, women’s issues, and issues of aging using evidence-based treatments with healthy doses of warmth, empathy and humor to enhance healing and growth.

Top Rated Answers
June 16th, 2015 2:16pm
What's more important is whether you're letting down yourself. If you feel like you've done your wry best then that's all they can ask for. Your happiness is more important and will/should be a priority for your parents. Talk to them; this kind of pressure can only affect you negatively.
May 11th, 2015 2:06pm
You don't have to earn the approval of anybody even your parents. Yes I know we all want I parents approval but we won't always get it what should matter most is your own approval.
April 6th, 2020 7:42pm
You need to know that above all else, your parents love you. Even though you might not think you are the person they want to see, they love everything about you. You could have an honest conversation with them about how you are feeling if you're ready to. More often than not, parents want to have conversations with their children and understand how they are doing. By building a stronger bond with your parents, you will find that your relationship with them is more fulfilling and you won't feel like you're letting them down as much. Open communication is important. Your parents will understand your efforts. Send me a message if you'd like to talk more!
January 11th, 2021 7:35pm
The key is to recognize that other people's judgements of you say more about them than they do about you. The biggest regret dying people have is "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me". Have the courage to remain true to who you are despite others' judgements of you. Even and especially your parents. Although your parents no doubt have your best interests at heart, they might not understand that trying to judge or control is not a healthy way to achieve that. You are enough as you are right now.
April 16th, 2015 3:34pm
Parents are very fickle humans. The worst thing that parents can do is to make you feel like you need to earn their approval as this may make you feel like you're never going to be good enough which will effect your life overall within society. The hardest thing I ever did was simply not caring about what anyone in my family thought about me and just carry on my life the way I want it to be. Everyone has such high, unrealistic expectations; everyone's different and has their own image of a perfect life but parents of all people seem to think theirs matters overall, which of course is not how it is. You can either try to earn their approval by doing what they want you to do or take your life into your own hands and do what you want to do, regardless of what anyone else has to say.
September 6th, 2015 6:26pm
The best thing you can do is talk with your parents about what you are feeling. It might help to actually have a conversation with them about your feelings and their feelings and what to expect from one another.
September 14th, 2015 4:10pm
First, my friend, you should approve of your-self! Reading your query, I thought to my-self, self-esteem is the problem here and not his parents. Without knowing you, I can tell that asking for attention of others is a sure indicator for the lack of self-reliance. Maybe, your parents are just bad communicators? Maybe, you want them to be discontented? Maybe, they are just bad parents? You will never know for sure. Try to find the approval you so desperately seek in your-self, find comfort in who you are and talk to your parents about your thought, worries and pains.
January 11th, 2016 1:10am
Start by realizing nobody is perfect. Your parents will still love you. I'm sure when they were kids they made mistakes. Why should you have to perfect when the werent.
March 29th, 2016 3:29pm
Talk to them about how you feel. Maybe they're pressuring you to do better than you're capable of? You're their child and they should be proud of what you can do. Not be let down by stuff that you can't do.
April 26th, 2016 6:39am
You do not need to earn any approval from your parents, as they are your parents and they have already approved you. Ask them if they you are letting them down and listen to what they have to say. The only time you have really let your parents down is when u have given up.
May 31st, 2016 1:37am
Pay key attention to what they do seem to approve and emphasize that. Also, just talk to them. Maybe your just looking at it wrong and really your making yourself feel depressed over nothing.
September 19th, 2016 6:07pm
You first need to approve yourself. Afterwards, sit down with your parents and ask them if you are letting them down and explain you are trying your best.
September 27th, 2016 3:41am
have a conversation about what their expectations are and come up with a way to meet their needs while being reasonable with yourself and your capabilities
July 17th, 2017 8:07am
It's highly likely your parents are proud but they just don't communicate it clearly. Spend time with one another and your lines of communication will open up.
June 25th, 2018 1:57pm
We all want the approval of those closest to us. But that doesn't mean we need it. During the times of my life when I thought everyone else was looking down on me I often found out that I was the one doing the looking down. Trying to refocus on yourself and doing things that make you proud of yourself can be beneficial.
November 24th, 2020 7:30pm
By being true to yourself you will have your own approval and that is the only one you will need. Life should not be about pleasing other people or living by someone else's standards or rules. Most parents worry to much, but all they want is their children to be safe, healthy, happy. Try to focus on finding out what makes you happy, what you are good at, what you enjoy doing and you will be on the right path. Listen to your heart. That is where your focus should be and not on trying to earn anyone's approval but your own. Good luck and stay safe, healthy and happy.