DEAR ABBY: I'm a 13-year old boy who loves to play baseball and football. Because of my hard work and dedication over the years, along with the help of my coaches and my dad, I'm pretty good at both sports.
The issue is, my mom does not support me and repeatedly tells me I'm not good at either one. When she says it, it cuts my heart out.
My parents have been divorced since I was 2, and Dad has always done everything for me. Even though he gives me encouragement, it still stings when Mom tells me I'm not good. She constantly says negative and bad things about my dad that I know are not true, but when I defend him she goes crazy with rage. What can I do to get her to stop being so negative? -- VERY DISCOURAGED IN TEXAS
DEAR VERY DISCOURAGED: Your letter made me sad because there is nothing you can do to make your mother change her attitude. She appears to be an angry and unhappy person, who may perceive your closeness with your father as a threat to her. What you CAN do is stop placing so much importance on receiving her approval. If your coach thinks you're doing well, and these sports bring you a sense of closeness with your father, then you should enjoy them for those reasons.