Sweet Advice

By Stephanie Lynn


You Tore What I Lent You, Then Lied About It

A long time ago I borrowed an article of clothing from my cousin. Before I ever wore it, I noticed there was a huge tear in the fabric. My best friend was over when I noticed the tear. So before I returned it I called her up to report the tear, saying it was there before I even wore it. Now, after several months, she emails me and says how she's disappointed in me because I tore the item and then lied about how it got torn, which of course I DID NOT! So I called her up with the truth, but she still insists that I'm lying! What should I do?
Stephanie, 18

Well, Stephanie, if your cousin doesn't believe you then you can't change her mind. I say don't pester her and just say calmly to her, "If you don't believe me, then fine, don't believe me. I know what happened, and I know that I didn't tear it. I wouldn't lie to you about that." I would come clean, and if that doesn't work, then just let it be. Remember, you can't change everything, and it isn't always going to be fair.

In a situation like yours I would be frustrated and very annoyed. I would sit down and have a chat with her and tell her your opinion once again and explain to her that you know and remember that the tear was never there before. I think that maybe she might not have noticed she tore it before, or maybe she did, but she thought it was there already. She could also be nervous that you would get really mad at her if she admitted that she did it. I hope this helps you!

Being in a situation like yours is confusing, but try to understand how your cousin would see the situation. Try to understand her point of view. Tell her that even though you didn't do anything wrong you understand how she feels and that you would never do anything to make her feel that you don't care about her personal belongings.

Hope I helped,
Kristie :)

If you have told her numerous times you didn't do it there isn't a lot you can do. She isn't going to believe you. She has it set in her mind that you ripped it and it is final.

However, if your friendship is truly important to you, you have two options. One is buying her a new one and saying you want to make amends with her. You will still know the truth, and yes, it might be a little costly, but at least you have made an effort.

You also have the option of just telling her, "Fine, okay, I did it. I'm sorry. What can I do for you to forgive me?" Yes, it wasn't your fault, but sometimes you just have to be the better person and apologize for things you didn't even do for it to be okay in someone's mind.

My 15 Year Old Brother Wants to Move Out

Well, I am 13, and in love with an amazing guy, and everything seemed to be perfect ...until my 15 yr. old brother decided he wanted to move in with my dad and leave my mom, my stepdad, and me. When we found out he was moving I was heartbroken. I felt like I could no longer depend on him, and I cried a lot. He has depressed our house and has been as mean as ever, knowing that he was leaving. I do not know how to handle it. Things like this aren't supposed to happen. Please help me.
Jessica, 13

I would hate to lose my brother, and I'm sure that it's really painful for you and your mom, but if your brother suddenly made this decision, you need to think about why he did it. He must be going through something you don't know about. Maybe he just needs some space. At this time it might be best to let him do what he's going to do and be there if he needs you later.


My Family Is Driving Me Crazy

Okay, so I'm pretty mature for 13, but my family is driving me crazy! My dorky and annoying mom is the most embarrassing person on the face of the earth. But it gets worse ... She's teaching at my school! She has a permanent job, and I've thought about trying to get her fired, but I just couldn't do something like that. I'm a pretty peaceful person most of the time.

My dad screams at me a lot of the time for nothing, and I'm sort of scared. I know that he would never hit me or hurt me, but he makes me feel like I can never do anything right. Then he calls me a baby after he makes me cry. My half-brother hates me, and he's only 8. He is rude and spoiled most of the time. My parents have been separated since I was only a baby, and they fight a lot. I fight a lot with my mom too.

At school I have almost no friends, and I'm scared that I'm going to lose the ones that I do have because my mom is a mean and strict teacher, and she will have them all in her class next year. A lot of boys hate me and call me a lesbian. (I'm very okay with gay people, but I'm into boys.) Every day I put on my "happy girl without a problem in the world" face and pretend my life is great ... I have no clue what I would do if someone at my school found out.

I'm very convinced that I'm battling depression and that I might have ADD, but my parents never listen. I've gone to counseling before, but I stopped going. My father nearly disowned me when he found out. He called me crazy, and told me I was mental because only mental people go to see counselors.

I know that my parents love me very much, but sometimes I wonder if life would be easier for them without me. I'm not considering suicide - no way. I just think that maybe if I did go away, sure, everyone would cry a bit, but they might eventually all be happier. I've thought about running away before, but I'm scared that I'll get abused or raped. I know that I have a lot of problems, but I desperately need help, please!

It's okay if you don't answer. I won't be mad. I just wish that I would be able to find girls going through what I have to go through.
Carly, 13

Okay Carly, I'm glad that you're not considering suicide. That's a big thing, especially for a 13 year old. But I do go through what you do. Well, I did. At least most of the story here - the depression, the fact of worrying about losing friends ... Everyone has some sort of problem. But I do the same - put on a face like nothing is wrong, even if my day has tanked. Sometimes it just takes some letting your emotions out and such. I know it seems kinda sappy, but there are people who will listen. Trust me, whether it be friends you know and see every day, or just some random person on an online mag. Someone will always be there for you, even if it is some random voice in your head. (I don't know about you, but it's kinda helpful.)

But I have been yelled at for so many things that are so incredibly a) stupid, and b) there's nothing to be yelled at. I always worry about my mother being the most embarrassing mother in the whole entire world. But it happens. I've learned that parents are there to keep you from getting the guy you've been crushing on, like, forever. :D Sometimes they don't mean to. They just want to help sometimes.

Never consider running away!!! NEVER, EVER. So many crazy people live on the street - they are not good people. You may think they might be, but never. I really am stressing this. Never run away from home. I have thought about running away, but I never wanted to go through with it, because I realized life would be so much harder on my own, especially as a child. Now I'm not trying to talk down to you or anything.

Also, your half-brother doesn't know what hate is. Just show him what a great sister you are, and he should start to turn around. And don't be afraid of counseling. Some people just need it. You're not crazy if you need a person to talk to! Definitely not! And with your parents, just talk to them! They were kids once, you know! :D
Light and Love, Raven Marie

Bravo, Raven ... I totally agree. And if your father doesn't support counseling ... get it on your own. Some (thankfully these days only a few old school types) still exist who don't believe in counseling - they think it's just for nut cases. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember, through your school, a local church, or even a clinic or hospital it's possible to obtain free or low cost counseling. If you think you need it, then you probably do, and you'll find it's helpful just to talk to someone. In addition, you can always write Raven and myself as well. Everyone needs someone to talk to, including me!
Stephanie Lynn

First of all, what is your definition of mature, really? I mean, honestly, if you were to look closely at it, you can see that acting the way you are (not accepting your mom as one of the faculty in your school, but as a person trying to always embarrass you) wouldn't be the smartest way to act. Trying to get someone fired takes it to another level; all I suggest is thinking before you do anything you might regret.

About your family issues: Don't think that all the hate is directed to you. Look around; you're not the only one who might be getting yelled at "for no reason." And about that. I doubt your father would release his anger upon you "for no reason." Whenever he does, it's because he loves you. I know a lot of people say that's stupid, but it's true. Look at it this way. He's trying to make you tough, so you won't have to go through what he did/does with your mom. Just stop all this hate. Make friends with your half-brother. Even spoil him. It'll teach him a lesson in life, once he realizes that he took you for granted. And it's up to you to stop fighting with your mother. She's stressing out about your dad and maybe the fact that she has to support a family, and that's causing all this chaos in her brain that she might have. Don't take her actions for granted either, before you realize it's too late.

I'm just going to say it. Your self-esteem is really low. If you know your parents love you very much, then why would they give you up? Why would you think that they wouldn't care if you disappeared? This entire situation is bigger than you, and you shouldn't think that you're the one that has to make the right decisions all the time. That is a burden no one can handle.

Making the right decisions for yourself, however, is different. Always seek help if you have the need to let things out. I hope this gets through to you, and that you start living an optimistic life, even with its ups and downs.

Live Out Loud,

Well, for a fact you aren't the only girl in the world who puts on an "I'm Okay" face to school everyday. I myself do that too, yet my best friends just make me feel better. I also go to counseling, and it's uncomfortable sometimes talking to a counselor. But I recommend you start making a journal where you can place what you feel and whatever. It will help a whole lot to get all of your emotions out. You're a growing girl, and we all have our rough times. About your mom having a job at your school, well, I can sorta imagine that. My mom used to be at my school volunteering too, and so did my auntie, it was embarrassing. But just remember, if she's not at your school, maybe that could help you a whole lot.

Well, if your dad screams, tell him in a mannerly way that you don't like it when he does that to you. About your step-brother, well, I have a little sister myself. I always think she's spoiled, but maybe I actually am more spoiled than her. Think about it - you're 13, almost in high school, and you have more privileges actually.

Also, just be yourself around boys. They're still immature because they still haven't gotten everything straight yet. Btw, tell your mom to let loose a little bit because the more strict a person is to someone then that person might rebel. Be yourself, and everything will go swell. Take Care, Carly!

Much Love,

First I want you to know is that you are not alone. There are many girls who go through the same thing. I know it seems like you're the only one, but trust me you're not.

Almost everyone has an embarrassing parent. Unfortunately yours happens to be a teacher at your school. Trust me though, it is not the end of the world. I'm sure your mom is not intentionally trying to embarrass you (after all, parents happen to have lives too). She probably is just having a hard time getting over the fact that her little girl is growing up. All parents go through that. Trying to get your mom fired I am sure is not something you really want to do. Think about it from her point of view - maybe this job makes her happy.

As for your friends, if they were really your friends they wouldn't make you choose between your mom or them. "Blood is thicker then water." You're 13. You will have many people who will walk out on you and you will be left wondering why. Your mom is always going to be there for you. A mother and daughter have an untouchable bond.

And for guys, just ignore them. I know that is difficult, but you know what you know. As you say, you are not a lesbian, so what else matters? Boys at that age are very much immature. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

If you are feeling scared of your dad, that is not a good thing. It's not okay for you to feel afraid of someone who is supposed to be there for you. No matter what he says you are not crazy for wanting help. It's not insane for someone to want to get out of depression. In fact a lot of kids you wouldn't expect get counseling. It is not uncommon at all.

I am very happy to hear that you're not thinking about suicide. It's a horrible thing. Running away is not an option either. Everyone has some bad days. Sometimes it feels as though it lasts longer then a couple days. It feels like every time you're happy something goes wrong. From some personal experiences I know this for a fact ... you will get through. You have to make yourself happy. Happiness is not something that someone can give to you. You have to want it. Yes, counseling is very helpful, but only if you want to be helped. I find depression to be a state of mind. You can control your emotions, no matter what people tell you. You just have to decide if that's what you really want. And happiness is definitely worth the ultimate price.

Keep me posted on what happens.

Your friend,
p.s. You have already made it through the first step of getting a life of happiness - reaching for help. :]

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My Dad Gets Drunk and We Fight

Well, right now I am really confused. My dad drinks a lot and gets drunk. He is always fighting with me. I have suffered so much since I was a little girl because of him. I mean, I love him a lot. It's just I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE, and I am only 14!!! It's too much for me!!! And, well, we have left him many times, but my mother now is thinking about a divorce, and if they do get a divorce I'll go with my mom, but then I'll feel really bad because my dad isn't gonna have anyone. He's gonna be very lonely without the family. He'll live by himself and not have fun with us when he is not drunk. What should I do?
Michelle, 14

Well, let me get this off my chest ... You're right. No one should have to go through this, but the problems are there, and no matter how many times we want them to vanish they don't, and we have to go through them. Don't walk out on him anymore because, believe me, that makes the problem worse. If your mom does go through a divorce with him, and you go live with her, you might feel bad, but it's a lot safer for you, and you won't be as stressed anymore. But ask your mom if you can still see him. After all, he is still your dad, and everyone makes mistakes, and apparently this is one of his! Good Luck!


Well, you say you can't take it anymore, but you don't want him to be alone. If your mom gets a divorce there are still ways that you can move with your mom and spend time with your dad so he won't feel alone. Still include him in your life. Although he drinks a little too often he's still your dad, and you love him, and I'm pretty sure he loves you. Make him feel needed and loved, but don't put too much pressure on yourself. Don't tell yourself that it's your fault, and remember that you can't work miracles. And try to get your dad some help. There are tons of help sites, alcohol awareness groups, rehab, and many things that could help your dad out. Just hit up or

Someone drinking in the family is always a huge stress, especially on teenagers. Don't give up hope!! Have you talked to your mother about your father going to some AA meetings?? Or talked to your dad about his drinking problems? As for divorce, if your mother thinks it's in the best interests of the family I think that she would know best. If you go with your mom don't ever feel bad about it. It's your choice, and you are probably making the right one. Don't feel bad for your father. He will come to see the mistakes he's made. But don't doubt yourself or your choices for a second. Just remember your dad as the fun guy you know when he's not drinking and keep faith that he will be that guy full-time again someday, married to your mother or not.

Best Wishes,
Mia C.

I'm so sorry about your situation, and you're right, you're only 14 and you shouldn't be expected to handle this. The sad fact is that if your father will not receive treatment for his problem it is in your best interest to not be in his life, and even though you love him and have fun when he isn't drunk, it will make your life a lot better to be without his negative influence. I understand you feeling like he will be lonely, but unfortunately, he made the choice of alcohol instead of a family, and that choice will hurt all of you, but in the long run the pain will be less than the pain of living with an alcoholic. Michelle, know that if you need support, there are many resources for people in your situation. You may consider visiting for more info.

His First Family Takes Second Place

This is actually a long story, so I will make it short. Ever since my parents' divorce last year in February, my dad has been, well, not as included in my life. For instance, I don't see him for about a week. And when I do see him, it's usually for 20 minutes. That's it. And his excuse for it is that he is working for us to get us what we want and what we need. And I actually believed him.

Until I knew he was lying. One night, when he was in South America for his small business, he didn't even talk to me for 1 minute before asking for my sister, who didn't get 1 minute. Then he asked my mom for a favor ... for his girlfriend's daughter's birthday, whom I didn't even know was his girlfriend until my mom told me. Then, the weekend of his girlfriend's daughter's birthday, I called him and asked him if we could see him. Guess what he said? "Oh, I'm working. What time? In the afternoon?" The thought that came into my head was,"Bull. You liar." I mean, he did! This gave me the impression his girlfriend's kids are way more important.

And it wasn't the first time he used working for a cover. On the weekends we were supposed to be with him, he has been at parties and on vacations ... with his girlfriend and her kids. And it hurts me. It really hurts me. I cry because I think that my dad has found another family and just shrugs us to the side. And he thinks he can make it better by giving us food! My mom told him straight up,"These girls are not hungry for your food ... they are hungry for you. They miss you, and want to see you. These girls will not starve without you."

When my mom told me what had happened, I started to cry, and my mom started to say, "Oh I'm sorry. This is all my fault. I'm sorry honey." Then I told her it's not her fault. It's my dad's fault. It's his fault he wanted to have children. It's his fault that he ruined his marriage. And it's all his fault that I'm crying and suffering. And then I sat down and cried for a good 5 minutes. Then I made a decision, that if he doesn't want to see me, then not to even bother talking to me. I don't want to cry anymore. Then he had the nerve to call me and ask me how I was, and if I was feeling well. (I had a cold at the time.) I simply answered with a yes or no in a cold voice. I wasn't in the mood. Then he asked, "Do you want to see me?" I answered with, "Well, I don't know. You seem to have barely any time to see me." And then he said, "Well, how about tomorrow?" And I said, "For what? For 20 minutes, and then you leave and I don't see you for how many days?" Silence. Then he said, "You don't want to talk to me, do you?" I replied, "Not really." And then I said, "Bye." He did the same and hung up. And I started to cry. I had never said anything to him like that before. And now I don't know what to do. What is going to happen?
Bethany, 14

I know that really has to hurt, but remember this, your father is your father and he always will be. No matter what kind of ideas you get from his actions, he'll love you always because you're his daughter. Maybe he lied to you because he was afraid the truth would hurt you more. No one could ever replace you or family. Don't doubt that for a second. Divorce is a very, very big issue in America now, but you can't let it decide and ruin your life. You and your family are learning to cope with things like this, and your parents' dating is part of it. There will be new women, men, and children in their lives now and to come. But it's all part of life's changing circle.

Never let the circle change you. You exchanged some words with your father that probably ended up hurting you more than it hurt him. You love him and you don't understand why these things are happening in your life. You want so much for him to be a full-time part of your life again. Sometimes you think of pushing the issue away, saying you never want to see him again, or telling yourself you're better off without him. Yet you keep ending up in pain. My advice to you is to call your father and ask him for a day just the two of you can go and talk. You need to explain your hurts, pains, fears, and hopes to him so he knows what he's dealing with, and you two can reach a better understanding. Maybe your father has some things he'd like to talk to you about also. Just remember - don't tear your heart apart until you've tried to stitch the wound.

Mia C. - A girl who's been through it too.

My Mom Doesn't Trust My "Boyfriends"

Hey, my relationship with my mom is ok. It's just when she gets to the topic of guys, like if she hears my "boyfriend" say "I love you", she always thinks that he just wants to get in my pants! But she just doesn't understand that he's not like that, and I've sworn off guys! HELP!
Chloe, 15

Well, I can understand where you are coming from. You should try to make your mom understand. Bring your boyfriend over sometimes so she can see how he really is and not how she's making him out to be or how she thinks he is. Try to talk to her. Talking in most cases solves something. I can agree with her somewhat also because some boys are like that, but not every boy tells you that just to get into your pants. Sometimes they actually mean it. And you should try to make her see that.

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My Parents Won't Get Me Contacts

I wear glasses, and to me, I think I look better without them. I begged and begged until my parents said it was okay for me to get contacts. But then all of a sudden they backed out. So then my mom got contacts instead of me. Can you believe how unfair that is?! :( How can I convince them that I can handle the responsibility of contacts?
Teresa, 13

I understand where you're coming from. I hate wearing glasses too. In order for your parents to think that you deserve the responsibility (and cost) of contacts, show them that you'll take care of them and that you're responsible. By that I mean doing things around the house, doing your homework, etc., without them having to ask you to do it. This shows your parents that you're deserving of things - not only contacts, but also other things that you want to have. The more they see you doing chores, cooking, cleaning, etc., the more brownie points you'll be earning.

Hope your glasses are gone soon!
Kristin <3

The Joy of Life with an Obnoxious, Rude Relative

I'm 13, and I am a mature 13. My parents recently divorced, and I live with each of my parents. I have a pretty good relationship with my mother and I am very close to my father. The only problem I have is that currently my dad and I are living with my grandmother, whom I am extremely close to. Don't get the wrong idea - my father works very hard and makes a very good living - but he is unable to give money to my mother (who makes less than him) and get us a place in expensive California.

So, to get to the problem, my grandmother allows her grandson, who is gay and a supposed drug addict, to stay with her. (Be very clear, I have NO prejudice to the gay community!) He is extremely flamboyant and annoying. He says that he has an apartment, so why would he stay with us? Anyway, I have been staying with my mother all the time because of him, though I wish I could spend some of that time with my father. I know that he is simply unable to get us a place. I don't know what to do about this. If the cousin weren't so annoying all the time and didn't do rude things like taking food from the fridge that people made or bought specifically for themselves ... So, what do I do?
Kristin, 13

Talking is the best medication. Remember this ... if you don't talk or try to reason you'll never find out!!! Just sit down and talk to your mother, your grandmother, and dad about how you're feeling and the problems you are facing. See if they can work something out to better your situation. Also talk to your cousin about being rude and snatching food, and if he says he didn't know it was yours, start making labels or use a marker and write your name and the price on it. Tell him that if he drinks or eats it he will have to pay you back. That should stop his food snatching habits.

Good Luck!
Mia C.

We May Be Moving

This problem may not be as big as some others, but I really don't know what to do.

At the age of three I moved down to the state I live in now. I've lived here for most of my life, so I mean I'm like connected, but I still love Rhode Island (where I came from). I've only visited the max twice ever since I moved, so I don't get to see my grandmothers, aunts, uncles, or cousins. It's sad, but for not seeing any of them (except for one of my uncles who comes down once or twice a year to visit) for so long, I got used to it.

But now my dad, being a doctor, doesn't like working for somebody else, and he wants to start his own practice. I don't blame him! My mom doesn't mind moving, and my brother just hates where we live, and my eldest brother lives on his own now. My brother whom I still live with is leaving for college in two years, so maybe my parents feel like they want to move to forget the "emptying nest" feeling.

As I was saying, I love my life. My friends. My school. Everything about where I am. I like where I am popularity-wise, and I can't say that anybody really dislikes me at school. So now my parents keep bringing up moving back to Rhode Island where there is a practice my dad wants to buy. The first time they said that I began crying, and my mom told me it was most likely not going to happen.

But now they keep bringing it up more and more. I'm getting worried, because the girls in Rhode Island are nothing like I am - dumb blondes in Westerly. I'm gifted (meaning I'm above average for my age intellectually), I go to a school for the gifted, and I've only been with average kids when with my neighbors and in kindergarten. I'm scared they will single me out as "nerd" or "loser", even though I'm actually popular. I shop at Hollister and those places. I follow trends. If they knew what I was like, they wouldn't say those things.

But then there are my friends. The feeling that once I move away, I know that my best friends will move on and get new best friends, just as I will. And every time I think of that, I start crying. I can't help it. The thought of having to say goodbye to all my friends is terrifying.

Moving is always really hard. But like your mom said, it may or may not happen. Leaving your friends will hurt, but if you're good friends, you can stay in touch and plan to visit as often as possible. Being popular isn't the "greatest" thing in the world. Maybe when you think about it, it's awesome to be that girl everyone wishes they were. But being you is the most important thing. Look at it this way ... it doesn' t matter where you shop, what you look like, who your friends are, or what you do, as long as you're being you and you're happy. Emo, Nerd, Loser, Weirdo, Goth - they're all labels, and they don't mean anything. If you can believe that and be happy with who you are, it shouldn't matter what you're called. Remember, friends are always your friends no matter where you go or what you're doing. Don't worry about them making new friends - it's all part of life. Meeting new people is always fun and exciting ... even if it's scary at first!!! Don't cry about leaving and losing where you are and what you have. Look at all the cool, new, and exciting things there are to come. The only fear - fear itself.

Best Of Luck,
Mia C.

Moving usually feels this way. It's really hard to think about leaving where you are and basically having to start a whole new life. Not to be a downer, but it is pretty likely that you'll lose touch with some of your old friends, and even though that sucks, it's also a good thing to make new friends. Believe me, there will be smart kids at your new school whom you'll get along with too. And if you have a real best friend, you'll talk on the phone, you'll email, and you'll visit. Although you probably won't be as close as you are now, it's certainly possible to keep a friend when you move. Some ignorant people may call you a nerd, but when you're graduating as Valedictorian from Harvard, who'll have the last laugh? Your life is definitely going to change, but hopefully the move will open new doors for your whole family, and in that, create a happier life for everyone.

Good luck in Rhode Island!
Kristin <3

Getting a Divorce and Moving Far Away

Ok, this isn't anything THAT major like committing suicide, but it is my life, so here it goes ... My life has been pretty great until the past 2 years. My dad has changed (so my mom says). She thinks all he does is lie to her (which is sometimes true). But anyway, they've been fighting a lot for the past 1 or 2 years and are now getting divorced. First, let me tell you I HATE the town I live in, and I don't have tons of friends. I mean, I have a few, but I still just hate it here. My mom decided she's going to move us to Arizona, and I love it there, so I'm ok with it, except for my dad. I'm just gonna miss him so much. And I have a lot of worrying problems. What if I can't handle moving? I mean it's across the WHOLE country! And what if I don't make any friends? I don't need a lot of friends to be happy, just 2 or 3 really. I've just been so confused. I've only moved to a different state once, but I was little, so I don't even remember. Please help me!!
Nikki, 14

I'm sorry to hear about your parents' divorce. I know how rough that can be. You hate the town you're in, but at our age I think almost every teen does. I know you'll miss your dad. Just make sure you guys keep in good contact, and you'll be ok. Don't worry so much. I'm sure you'll make new friends. It's not as hard as you think. Adjusting to a new place is tough, but you can make it through. When you start school just chat it up the best you can with as many people as you can, and you'll be sure to make fast friends. Talk to your mom about visiting your dad on holidays and every month or so. It will make it moving easier, trust me!

Good Luck,
Mia C.

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Lately She's Acting Cold Towards Me

Well, my uncle and I are really close, and now he's engaged. His fiance and I were friends before they started dating. She's like a role model to me and all, and she even knows this. But lately she's been acting so cold towards me. And since they got engaged we like never talk anymore. I've spoken to her about this and she says I haven't done anything. But now she's acting this way again.. I don't know what to do now. She says she knows we never talk but does nothing about it. I've tried starting conversations with her, but it's almost like talking to a brick wall.
SK, 15

I'm very close to my uncle as well, and about a year ago, I was worried he was going to get married, he didn't, but I know that I would have hated not having him around. Well, what I suggest is that since this woman is going to be your aunt, maybe you can treat her more like an aunt than a friend, and just think of her as that, because she is clearly no longer comfortable being a friend for whatever reason. Losing a friend is never fun, but maybe the two of you should just have more of a family gathering kind of relationship.
Hope this helps,

My Parents Getting Divorced

My parents are getting a divorce. I haven't told ANYONE. Not even my very best friend who I've known since I was 2. I want to tell my 2 best friends, but every time I go to tell them I can't. I want to vent SO desperately! HELP!
Lauren, 13

I understand how hard it is when your parents are divorced. If either of your 2 best friends has divorced parents then let yourself tell them and talk. If they are really true friends to you they will listen and help out. If you really can't tell your friends, then tell one of your parents the trouble you are having. If you're willing to ask them if you can see a counselor or therapist for a little while during your pain, go ahead and do it. If they don't understand, try talking to a school counselor or religious leader. No one else needs to know you are talking to them, and they are easy to access. Good luck, Lauren. I hope all is better for you in the future.

All My Mom Does is Nag on Me

I don't get along with my mom. All she does is nag on me and not my brothers. I am tired of it. What should I do? Plz I can't talk to anyone else, soo plz reply!

I was just recently dealing with a problem related to yours. Your mom is just under pressure having to make sure you and your family are satisfied. Sometimes when there are a lot of issues, parents tend to go to the elder children to seek comfort inside. But when you are not cooperative, then they tend to nag at you. If I were you I would sit down with your mom and tell her that you don't like it when she nags at you. If your mom is respective of your wishes then she will listen. Also, start building your relationship with your mom, and she will trust and respect you more and nag at you less.

Tell Mom About My New BF?

I want to tell my mom about the boy I go out with. She said I could talk to her about anything, but I don't feel comfortable talking to her about boys like she's one of my friends. Well, anyway, I don't know how to tell her. I NEED HELP!!
Tache, 15

Sorry to give you the practical advice, but you need to tell your mother. It would be really bad if she found out later ... it could hurt her feelings, that you didn't confide in her, or she could get angry with you for not telling her something this serious. It's best to just tell her. Maybe she'll get a little goofy, but if this is your first boyfriend, most moms act that way. I hope this works for you.
Good luck, Jessica :]

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My Mom's New Boyfriend

My parents have recently gotten a divorce. I hate it! My mom is now going out with a guy, and last night she and him went to a party, got drunk, and spent the night with each other ... so she didn't come home. I'm sick and tired of getting in fights with my mom because she doesn't like the way I feel about her dating. She won't even listen to what I've got to say. I wanna give this guy a chance, but for some reason I won't let myself. Lately I have been thinking of death, but the only reason I'm not gonna do it is because I know I have a great talent and a lot going for me in the future. I just have to pass over this and wait until I am 18 so I can leave and never have to deal with all this crap anymore ... So please give me advice!
Kenzie, 13

I want to give my advice team a crack at this, so please check the advice section again in a week or two, but I also wanted to say something to you myself. Yeah, sometimes really life seems to suck, but you're smart in looking ahead. You have the opportunity to build a good marriage and a great life, to do it right. So I encourage you in this thinking. Don't ever consider death 'cuz anything crappy you're experiencing now will be history a few short years from now. Keep looking ahead and looking up ... and stay on the right track.

In the meantime, try and get along with your mom and anyone she brings home as best you can. She's hurting and lonely and looking for happiness too, and ok, maybe she's making some mistakes right now as she tries to sort it all out.

Write me again whenever you need to.
♥ Stephanie Lynn

Try talking to your mom again, and try not to get frustrated with her. Tell your mom exactly how you feel, and that you think of death a lot. Tell her that you are just trying to look out for her. If she doesn't listen, why not move to your dad's house? And death is not the answer!

My Dad Has Anger Issues

I think I have a problem. Well, not actually me but my whole family. We're basically being torn apart by my father. I see it as a minor problem but I don't want it to become a big problem. My dad drinks a lot. Not so much like an alcoholic, but enough that his anger gets the best of him. He obviously has an anger problem, he just won't admit it. A couple nights ago all madness broke in my house. My mother and father were fighting to the point where I was sure my mother was going to walk out the door and leave me and my sister alone. It's scary. Then he threatened me with a belt. A BELT. Yeah, I've gotten a big metal spoon before which hurts too, but never a belt! I understand that I need to clean my stuff up a lot, and I do forget things too, but please, I'm still young. You see, the problem is his father beat him whenever something went wrong, and now my dad doesn't understand that you can't teach kids that way. I don't want my dad to get in trouble, but I'm afraid that another outbreak will happen again. Seriously, what do I do?
Christine, 13

Dear Christine,
This is a serious. This is something I will talk to you about, but honestly is kind of beyond me in some respects. I am glad to know you are concerned and looking for ways to bite it in the butt before it gets out of hand. That shows a lot of maturity.

Now as what to do, you need to sit down with your sister and mom first depending on her age. If your sister is older, then sit down with her. If she is younger, then just you and your mom. I say that because any younger than you would make her a preteen or younger and that isn't something you should bring up with her, just for her own well being. If she is older, then she will have many thoughts on the situation that she will want to bring to the table.

Then, while talking to your mom and maybe sister, bring up how you feel - how you are scared, first, about your mom leaving, and second, about your father when he drinks. See what your mom says.

Suggest family counseling and getting your dad treatment for his drinking problem. After talking with your mom, she will probably talk to your dad. Honestly, I feel you should sit down as a family; however, that is more your mom's decision. But don't let this situation continue. Stand up to it now before it's too late to do anything about it. Be brave, which I know sounds hard, but it's your only chance.
Lots of Love,

Dear Christine,
This has already turned to a big problem. It sounds like your mom is getting tired of it as well. Have you tried talking to your mom about it? Maybe you, your mom, and your little sister could move out while he gets help. I'm sure the thought of him losing his family would straighten him out enough to want to get better, because if he thinks he can continue this and everything be ok, he will only get worse. If you don't feel comfortable talking to your mom, then maybe you could talk to your school counselor. They can help you out more than you might think when it comes to this type of problem. If he doesn't change his ways soon it could get so much worse. Good Luck to you!

Punished Too Much?

My mom and I can talk about almost anything, but the thing is when I make a mistake she's always punishing me more than she should, and I was wondering why that is.
Eliza, 14

I don't know for sure, but since you can talk about almost anything, maybe you should just ask her. I don't wanna predict what she'll say, but maybe it'll go something like it's 'cuz she loves you. To which you can say, "Yeah, I appreciate that, but I still think it's too much. I'm a good kid, and I'm not gonna do something stupid and ruin my life. So you need to trust me a little more and not worry so much."
♥ Stephanie Lynn

Mom Gossips About Me to Her Friends

I'm messaging you about the "mom" subject. Honestly, I can talk to my mom. It's just that she usually gossips or talks about our talk with her friends. Plus, to start, our relationship sucks already. Growing up she'd hit me and my brothers ... and don't get me wrong, she didn't beat us. She just randomly slapped us for stupid reasons. She once beat my oldest brother for play fighting with my other brother, and now he's 21. He's threatened to call the police if she does it again. When he says this, she usually starts yelling and getting emotional. I want to have a better relationship with her, but I can't really say it's all that possible. She works us like hounds, used to neglect our clothes, and still threatens to slap us and hit us for not doing chores.

My parents are divorced, and I'd LOVE to live with my dad, because I'm tired of her complaining and gossiping about us to her friends. I also LOVE my dad and I think they are completely opposite, but she thinks he's horrible. She's called me selfish many times for various random reasons, and I'm sick of it. I really get depressed when I don't get to see my dad sometimes, and I wish she would die sometimes.

I feel like I'm turning into her, even though my dad and every one of my friends say I'm a great person and I'm the nicest person they know. I don't want to turn into her, and I'm afraid I will. Please help. I can give advice well, but no one can really give themselves advice I guess ...
Sariah, 14

At 14, most of us have few, if any, options regarding where and with whom we live. So I'm gonna focus what you said in the last paragraph about becoming like your mother. Generally the biggest influence on us comes from the same gender parent. For girls, that means their mother. Obviously this can be good, bad, or a mixture of both. If we hate the way she acts and treats us, we can either 1) be determined to become just the opposite (which can prove equally disastrous), 2) succumb to years to programming and become just like her, including raising and treating our kids the same way, and making the same mistakes, or 3) decide we need to find better role models and better ways to live. This third path is the most difficult one, but it can be done. An attitude of "God, please help me to understand the generations of dysfunction I've been hurt by and in fact inherited, and help me to find healthy ways to live and treat others - boyfriends, friends, family, and later on, husband and children."
♥ Stephanie Lynn

A Follow-up Question

Thanks so much for the advice! It helped me, but I still feel like there's something missing. Well, for all my life I've thought about my mom, my dad, their divorce, and so forth. Really right now I am actually thinking of moving in with my dad, but I'm afraid once my mom gets word, she'll go ballistic! Plus, I can't imagine leaving my friends, because some relationships are getting deeper and deeper. This is somewhat a question of what I should do, but more like would love give me the something that is missing?

I do actually want to find love, but sometimes I think I just can't let a guy in because my heart's been broken too many times. I mean, don't get me wrong, I love hanging out with guys because they add that thing to me, and I don't think it's that I can't get a boyfriend, because I get hit on and complimented constantly. I just don't know when I can jump in and ask someone out, or if I should accept one of the date offers I get. I just don't know how to find the right guy. PLEASE HELP!
Sariah, 14

Dear Sariah, I saw an article recently titled "10 - It's the New 15". Kids are dealing with things and making adult decisions at ever earlier ages. My parents made mistakes like all parents do, but I am thankful of one thing at least - I got to grow up slowly and late, well, "late" by today's standards, at least. No one pressured me into situations and decisions I wasn't ready for at 14.

I encourage you to reject pressures like "MUST have a boyfriend", "MUST have sex", and so on. Be slow, be late, be truly mature and ready for each step in life, and don't feel you have to experience it all now.

Just today I was telling a friend that many of my high school friends have had or are having kids now - many without husbands. Some did so as young as 16. I guess I'm slow, I'm late, but I'm currently in a stable, committed, happy relationship, and have been for 2 1/2 years now ... and I was the geek who never had a boyfriend in high school.

I don't know whether you should go with your mom or your dad. I'm sure you'll figure it out. But please remember to enjoy being 14 - have friends, date and maybe find a boyfriend, but don't stress if it doesn't happen for a while. If you're with your mom, learn to enjoy that set of circumstances. If your dad, then make the best of that.

Above all, enjoy each step of life. Next year, enjoy being 15. And keep reminding yourself, "To be happy, I don't NEED a boyfriend."
♥ Stephanie Lynn

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Parents Getting Divorced

My parents are getting a divorce. I haven't told ANYONE. Not even my very best friend who I've known since I was 2. I want to tell my 2 best friends, but every time I go to tell them I can't. I want to vent SO desperately! HELP!
Lauren, 13

I have a question for you. If you have known your very best friend since you were two, then what are you afraid of if you tell her? You should be able to trust her, but that's okay. You are in a hard situation. I don't blame you since you do need someone to vent to. Not only have you stated that but also it's human nature to need someone to let things out to, to relieve stress.

If you feel you can't trust your friends knowing just quite yet, have you thought of speaking with a school counselor or teacher? They are sworn to secrecy if you tell them. Also, if you talk to a school counselor, they are trained in helping you cope with things like this. They know teen years are the hardest of all, and even harder with family situations.

I am glad to hear you realize you need someone to talk to. That shows you can get through the situation. It may be hard and you may have many nights of tears, but you are willing to get through it and you will be strong.

Keep your chin up and talk to someone. That someone may be your friends or an adult, but don't hold it back. You deserve to have someone there for you if you need a shoulder to cry on.

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