D., author of 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent.
"I've seen kids beat themselves up, wondering, 'What's wrong with me?
She typically entered my office with heaviness and depression, and talked about how miserable her life was and how hopeless she felt. When I asked her why, she thought she was stuck in this awful place, her lethargic demeanor changed to anger, and her voice turned strong. By middle school she had a serious boyfriend and she was always with him and never had time for me. When I think about it now, I can see my mother was really into herself and I think she was competitive with me.
I don’t think she wanted me to succeed or dress well or have boyfriends.
Save the kudos for when they're truly warranted, and be as specific as you can.