Let's Get Through It Together - Month Five

My father is constantly keeping his eye on my older brother, while my mother is busy with my 7-year-old sister. They tell me I’m well-behaved, and I’m the kid no one needs to worry about. So no one does. But being a teenager in 1993 isn’t easy. I’m 16 and I need, if not a lot, some support and care. My family is not the type to talk and share feelings, so what should I do?

Ava C.
Flushing, NY

Your parents obviously have a lot of trust in you, which gives you a taste of the responsibility you’ll need when you move out. You probably shouldn’t feel left out so much as you should feel privileged. But I can see where you WOULD feel left out. You’re going to have to force your parents to sit down and listen -- just tell them you need a little more quality time with them. You might even want to show them this column. If all else fails, maybe there’s an older relative, friend, teacher or clergyperson who could give you some of the care and advice you deserve.

*~*~*~*~*~*

I really like this cute guy in my class, but he told me he doesn’t want to go out with girls until high school. I’m only in fifth grade. Should I wait to date him in high school?

Julia B.
Auburn, CA

Here’s the deal as I see it: 1. He probably wants to go out with girls, but his parents are telling him he shouldn’t. 2. You are still pretty young to be going out with guys. 3. If you still want to, you shouldn’t wait for this one for four years. Move on, go out with other people, and see if you even like him once he’s ready to date.

*~*~*~*~*~*

I used to be good friends with this girl until she started changing in a bad way. She told me she was going to run away from home and not to tell anyone, but I told my mom, because I was so worried. My friend found out, and now she hates me. I feel so guilty because I ruined our friendship! Did I do the right thing by telling my mom?

Broola B.
Garland, TX

Yes, you did the right thing. You didn’t ruin your friendship -- it was sort of doomed when she got into bad things you weren’t involved in.

*~*~*~*~*~*

Everyone at school picks on me because I’ve got bigger breasts than anyone else in the seventh grade. It’s mostly the boys who make fun of me. I’m scared to talk to my mom, and my guidance counselor at school is a man. What should I do?

Colleen W.
Wysax, PA

If I were one of those boys, I definitely wouldn’t tease you. Guys your age are pretty immature sometimes -- as I’m sure you’ve figured out -- mostly because they are feeling pretty insecure themselves. But no matter why they’re teasing you, you still shouldn’t have to put up with it. Is there a female authority figure at school (like a teacher, the principal, even a librarian) you can confide in? Or can you get some of the other girls to band together and help you stand up to these guys? Or are you more comfortable trying to ignore it? Whatever you decide, remember that people aren’t as awful as they get older. Try not to let their dumb hang-ups affect your self-esteem. Good luck.

*~*~*~*~*~*

I’m really afraid of heights. I can go into tall buildings and stuff when my family is with me, but when they aren’t, I freeze up. Please help me figure out what to do!

Kelly D.
LaJolla