From Trust Issues to Attitude Differences

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Suzanne Gelb Image ‘Left Out – Why Doesn’t My Mother Trust Me?’ Q: Dear Dr. Gelb: I’m a 16-year-old girl and I get good grades and I try to please my parents, but my mother still won’t let me get rides in the car with friends that are older who have driver’s licenses. I feel like she doesn’t trust me. Left Out A: Dr. Gelb says . . . Dear Left Out: Oh, if it were only that simple. I can appreciate the growing pains that you appear to be describing, but I must say that I agree with your mother’s stand and concern for your safety. You appear to be quite a responsible young lady, which leads me to believe that most likely it is not you, my dear, whom your mother does not trust. Rather, it is those individuals whom you may choose to associate with that she is probably concerned about. In my opinion, more than two teenagers in a vehicle is tantamount to an accident looking for a place to happen. On the other hand, I am aware of some parents with responsible teenagers who take the approach that if the teenager is going to be transported by a friend who is licensed to drive and the parents know and trust that individual, then the parents are not likely to have a problem with their teenager riding to a destination in this manner. One day when you become a mother, if you choose to, you will most likely understand that your mother’s protective behavior is borne out of her love for you. It is so unfortunate that there are so many young people of your age group who are members of gangs that roam the malls, back alleys and theaters, mutilating their bodies with multiple tattoos and body piercing, and who even consider promiscuity as a way of life. Hopefully they will wake up someday, but you see, your mother loves you enough to keep your eyes as well as her own, open for your safety. Keep in mind that when you turn 18, then your safety becomes your responsibility. What an awesome thought. ‘Parent Talk – What Does My Mother Mean?’ Q: Dear Dr. Gelb: I’m 10 years old and I don’t understand why my mother always says to my father, “You always see a cup half empty instead of half full.” I don’t understand what my mother means by that. A: Dr. Gelb says . . . Dear 10-Year-Old: I will try to explain this to you. Some people see life as gloom and doom, and sometimes they think that life is not very fair. For the most part, such individuals constantly complain about how bad things are. This is how your mother appears to be describing your father. Such people are often referred to as Pessimists. Instead of my explaining that word to you, I would like you to look it up in a dictionary. Your mother, on the other hand, appears to be someone who many people would probably identify as an Optimist. An optimist looks for the good in everything. I imagine, for example, that your mother could find a good bite in a rotten apple. The phrase your mother is using is an old saying about the fact that an optimist tends to look at the positive side of things. Such a person tends to see a cup half full. A pessimist on the other hand, is likely to see the cup half empty, which is the gloomy or the negative, down side of life. Such a person tends to feel slighted or cheated because “the cup is half empty.” I personally favor your mother’s attitude. I try to find the good in things and I’m always optimistic that even better things can happen. I hope that you can be more like your mother. This means, noticing and finding the positive aspects of life. ”Suzanne J. Gelb, Ph.D., J.D. authors this daily column, Dr. Gelb Says, which answers questions about daily living and behavior issues. Dr. Gelb is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Honolulu. She holds a Ph.D. in Psychology and a Ph.D. in Human Services. Dr. Gelb is also a published author of a book on Overcoming Addictions and a book on Relationships.” ”This column is intended for entertainment use only and is not intended for the purpose of psychological diagnosis, treatment or personalized advice. For more about the column’s purpose, see” “An Online Intro to Dr. Gelb Says” ”Email your questions to More information on Dr. Gelb’s services and related resources available at”