Gift from boyfriend leaves a lot to be desired

  • Sunday, November 17, 2013

Dear Liz,

How do I let my (serious) boyfriend know that $100 cash toward a home elliptical machine, while I appreciate it, is not exactly what I’d hope for? It’s not the amount. It is the lack of romantic trappings per se. Am I being ungrateful? He’s usually pretty romantic and thoughtful.

It is the thought that counts


Dear, “is the thought...”

I agree - it is the thought and communication of and carrying out of the thought that counts. Allow me to talk to your boyfriend for a moment: First of all, I hope that wasn’t a subtle hint about her need for weight loss. (That discussion is better carried out void of special occasion) otherwise, if that is what you can afford and what she wants - a note (“lovely sweetie pie”) that includes “honey (fill in blank), I want to contribute to your gift wish for your own personal new year. It is an unselfish desire, because the whole family can benefit from it.

“Along with this, I offer my help to pick up, set up and/or assemble said elliptical and help you have your favorite music playing as you work out. ...” Attach it to a small bouquet of flowers, or such. So you can be practical and still express a lot of romance and love.

P.S. My favorite gifts so far from my husband include dirt for the foundation of the house, the floor of my barn and a custom made, by him, stall door for the goats.

How’s that??

Dear Liz,

I have three children in school in Mount Pleasant, one at each level. I need your advice. Do you think the kids should be included parent-teacher conferences - at least for part?

Wanting my kids to best understand


Dear “wanting...”

You are on the right track. As a school counselor for 10 years, I developed a philosophy about this. Children need to learn to own their education. They need to learn early, that the more they put in to it themselves (and with appropriate help and support) the greater their choices in the future including their lifestyle and happiness. It is a gift.

I think teachers should be able to talk adult to adult as part of the process - but I believe and have seen great strides made because of this - that the students need to know and take ownership of what they can do to improve or stay strong. As a counselor I often facilitated these meetings to make sure it was clear all around.

Also, to facilitate understanding how and when the student can ask questions and get help. Follow up at home would include helping that student get organized enough to be as self sufficient as possible.

Great question.


Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.

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