cereta: Close-up of Merida from Brave, text "Fights Like a Girl" (Merida)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR HARRIETTE: I don't want my teenage children going to the marches and protests taking place in my city. These marches are for causes I support, like women's rights, the environment and raising the minimum wage. But these marches can get dangerous and almost always have a police presence. Also, I am not sure how much of a positive impact they end up having in the long run. How can I ensure that my teenagers are in school and not out on the street with signs? -- Skipping School, New York City

DEAR SKIPPING SCHOOL: I want to encourage you to rethink your position. The fact that your teenage children want to be involved in the political process and speak up about their thoughts is a good thing. It will encourage active participation in the voting process when they come of age. Of course you want them to be safe. A different approach might be to offer to go with them, letting them know that you want to protect them from harm. You can also give them instructions on how to be in a crowd, including not pushing their way into a crush of people where it can get dangerous, even when people are well meaning. You can find out from their school if any organized or chaperoned efforts are being considered as these protests pop up.

Reality says you may not be able to prevent them from going. What you want to avoid is having them lie to you. Then you really won’t be able to protect them. I recommend that you keep the dialogue open, talk about safety and possibly even become their chaperone.
cereta: Ellen from SPN, looking disapproving (Ellen)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Annie: Six months ago, I was fired for stealing from my job. I was too embarrassed to tell anyone, so I lied -- to my parents, my friends, everybody. I told them I quit so I could go back to school.

Then I lost my house because I didn't have the money to pay the mortgage. My parents told me that I'm almost 40 and need to stand on my own two feet. They wouldn't let me move in with them. My best friend felt sorry for me and said I could camp out in her guest room until I got back on my feet.

In that time, I've fallen in love with her husband. I couldn't help it. "Alex" is amazing -- smart, charming, kind, athletic, attractive, the total package. But it makes me uncomfortable to see him being so affectionate with his wife, always holding her hand and stroking her hair. I can't figure out why their marriage has lasted 10 years. He's outgoing, and she's shy. She's also rather plain. Alex doesn't seem to realize that he could have somebody so much better looking and smarter. He could have me.

I know his wife took me in when nobody else would, but you can't help who God tells you to love. My mother says I need therapy. I don't agree. I simply want to know how to deal with my feelings so I can be around my friend without wanting to smack that sweet smile right off her face. Any advice? -- Crazy in Love

Dear Crazy: You steal from your job, lie to your family and then try to seduce your best friend's husband. Alex is smart enough to know a good woman when he marries one. The longer you stay in that house the harder it will be for you. Get any job, maybe two of them, so you can afford another place to live, even if it means multiple roommates. Then take your mother's advice and get some counseling to understand why you keep trying to take things that don't belong to you.
cereta: Amy Pond in space (Amy Pond)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My parents have been happily married for more than 30 years. While flipping through an old family album recently, I discovered photos from a wedding many years ago that I had never seen before. Turns out, they were from my father's first wedding. That's when I realized his marriage to my mother was his second wedding.

I'd like to learn more about his first marriage, but it's clearly something from my father's past that I can't talk to him about. I also wouldn't want to sour relations with his side of the family by bringing it up with them. What should I do? -- WANTS TO KNOW MORE

DEAR WANTS TO KNOW MORE: The shortest distance between two points is a direct line. How do you know this is "clearly" something your father won't discuss? If his first marriage was a deep dark secret, those photos would not have been kept in an album. The solution to your question would be to tell him you saw them and ask him to tell you about it. He may have learned lessons from his first marriage from which you could benefit.
cereta: (Kinsa)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My life is boring, repetitive and I am often depressed. I have trouble talking to others, which makes things harder. Every day is the same: Get up, go to a long day of school, come home, do homework, play video games, draw, go to bed.

The weekends aren't much better. My family never does anything, we never go anywhere. I don't have friends (the one I'd consider hanging out with is always busy), and at 15, I can't drive anywhere, get a job or do anything on my own for another year. I have never kissed, dated or even had a crush on anyone (I'm not sure why, it's not like I'm gay or too embarrassed), so I haven't got much to talk about with my peers anyway.

I'm alone. I'm not popular, I'm a complete nerd and I'm afraid to tell others what I enjoy. If I tell anyone I like video games and Dungeons and Dragons, I know I'll be mocked for the next few years of my life.

I'm pretty smart and I do well in school, but I'm not good at much else. My social skills are borderline nonexistent. My entire life is school. I just want some attention, some friends, something to do with my life. I need help, some advice, something, anything! -- BORING LIFE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR BORING LIFE: Having never met you, I can't surmise why you have difficulty interacting with others. However, there is nothing wrong with playing video games unless you substitute them for real-life experiences.

Surely, there are activities at your school that you could join that would give you more contact with your peers -- sports and special interest clubs, such as art, come immediately to mind. If your family belongs to a church, there may be a youth group that would welcome you.

If you need suggestions for finding an activity at school that might be a good "fit," talk to a counselor there. Explain how depressed and isolated you're feeling and ask for help. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

And remember, things will change when you turn 16 and can drive and work.
cereta: Cover of Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots (do princesses wear hiking boots?)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I am the mom of two sons, ages 13 and 14. When I took them for their annual physical last summer, their pediatrician said this would be the last year I would be in the room while he examined my sons.

I don't understand why I should have to leave if my children are OK with my being there. My sons are comfortable with me, and I am an only parent. It seems to me that more and more rights are being taken away from parents. Am I out of line for feeling this way? -- EXAM ROOM OFF-LIMITS

DEAR OFF-LIMITS: Yes, if you trust your sons' doctor, which I hope you do. By ages 13 and 14, your sons are maturing into manhood. As their hormones and bodies change, they may have questions and concerns they would be more comfortable -- and less embarrassed -- talking to a male doctor about than their mother. Privacy in the examination room would give them the chance to do that.
cereta: Chris Robinson, "You amuse me" (Chris is amused)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My 25-year-old daughter suffers from Peter Pan Syndrome. Three years out of college, she wants to live an "extended dorm" lifestyle with other young men/women (and their girlfriends/boyfriends), instead of settling down and moving out with her boyfriend of two years.

She says she has "a high need for affiliation" (she needs a lot of people around 24/7). But she also has a high need for change/variety and rotates roommates every two to three years. Looking for a "mini commune" in a crowded city like San Francisco is very difficult. What makes matters worse is that she also has hobbies like sewing that require a lot of space.

Is there something wrong with this lifestyle preference? And if so, how do I help her break out of it? -- WORRIED DAD IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR DAD: At 25, your daughter is an adult. Many people her age live communally because it's less costly than living independently, and San Francisco has become so expensive that it's often their only option.

If she's already living in an "extended dorm" situation, it's her life to live and she'll learn lessons. If you feel compelled to offer her advice, suggest they relocate to a less expensive and crowded area, which may entail a longer commute, but with fewer roommates she will have more room for her hobbies.
cereta: Ellen from SPN, looking disapproving (Ellen)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I bought my 11-year-old daughter a cellphone. My ex does not approve. We have been divorced for six years, and he still can't get over it. He despises me. He refuses to listen to why I want her to have a cellphone.

While I want her to be responsible with it, I realize she will make mistakes -- which she already has by being on her phone too much. (It has been taken away from her once.) I want her to carry the phone with her in case of emergencies. If it is confiscated at school, her dad will no doubt tell me, "I told you so."

Should I abide by his wishes and not allow her to have the phone, or do you think my points are valid? -- MOM WITH PHONE ISSUE

DEAR MOM: Wanting your daughter to have the cellphone in case of emergency seems valid to me. If you are her custodial parent, I think that prerogative belongs to you.

But I do have a question: Who took the phone away from your daughter? If you did it because she was abusing the privilege, then she will learn her lesson if you are consistent. If a teacher takes it away from her at school, there should be consequences and you should ensure that they are enforced.

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Agony Aunt

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