Let's Get Through It Together - Month Nine

I’m 13, and I had been dating the same guy since school started this semester. Then, a few months ago, he died in a car wreck. I've been asked out by other guys since then, but have said no. Do you think I should get on with my life and go out with them, or not?

Kari W.
Floresville, TX

I think you should go out with other guys, but only when you’re completely ready. Losing someone you’re close to -- especially in such a horrible way -- takes a lot of time to work through. In the meantime, when a guy asks you out, explain the situation, and let him know this is a tough time for you. If he really likes you, he’ll understand and wait. Who knows? You might even gain a new friend.


I’m in eighth grade, and I’m popular because I act like a ditz, and I’m really not one. I’m pretty smart, and I’m getting sick of acting stupid. But people won’t like me anymore if I don’t. What should I do?

Renee K.
Elizabeth, PA

I say, don’t let the act go on any further. Being yourself can sometimes be kind of scary, but believe me, it’s the best way to go in the long run. Besides, how can you say for sure that people won’t like you anymore if you stop acting stupid? You haven’t tried. Give it a shot.


I’m 12 years old and my father died three years ago. Now my mom is dating again. I like the guy she’s dating, but it is hard to get used to having him around. What should I do to make it easier?

Heather L.
Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada

Try to spend as much time as you can with him. You two have a lot of catching up to do, since you’ve only known him for such a short time. It’s good that you like him. That makes it easier. Don’t concentrate on having him replace your dad’s position, but instead, accept him as a close friend. Good luck.


I’m being harassed. Last year, I was nice to this guy because I felt sorry for him. But from that day on, he has kept grabbing me and trying to hold me when I see him. I don’t want to get him in trouble, but it’s gotten to the point where I don’t go anywhere but my martial arts class. I’ve changed my phone number three times and try to avoid him at all costs. My life is so frightening, I can’t go anywhere for fear he’ll find me. My dad told me to beat him up if he touches me, but I’m not that way. Is there any way to solve this without following my dad’s advice?

Lisa A.
Acworth, GA

You say you don’t want to get this guy in trouble, but you shouldn’t have to live in fear, either. It sounds like the only way to stop him from harassing you is to bring in a third party. Since you’ve already told your dad what’s going on, maybe he can talk to the guy’s parents. Also, you didn’t say whether or not this guy goes to your school, but if he does, it would be a good idea to let a teacher or counselor know what’s been going on. Basically, it’s time for you to stop worrying about this guy’s feelings and enlist the help of someone who’s going to protect you.


When I was nine, I found out from my cousin that my father isn’t my real father. I asked my parents if he was and they said no. I was crushed. They said when I was old enough to understand, they would explain everything to me. I’m 13 now and wondering if my real father is alive, dead or what.

Jenny S.
Tampa, FL

I think you’re old enough now to ask again. It’s been four years, and they’ve probably noticed that you’ve grown up a lot since then. If it’s bugging you, ask! I don’t think they would put it off again.


Last year I had sex for my first time with this guy named Scott. I love him so much, but he moved to Kentucky. Now he’s moving back and wants to be with me. He’s 18 and I’m only 14. Do you think he’s too old?

Naomi C.
Titely, MI

Well, I definitely think YOU are too YOUNG to be having sex! More on that in a sec. As far as dating, four years can be a big difference, but it really depends on the people involved. Since I don’t know much about Scott, I can’t say whether or not he’s too old for you. But the fact that you’re asking makes me think you have some doubts -- which you definitely shouldn’t ignore. Back to the sex thing: Just because you’ve had sex with him once already doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. And just so you know, it’s illegal for a person who’s over 18 to have sex with a person who’s under 18. It’s called statutory rape.


Okay, Jon, figure this out. I really love my mom, and she loves me, and she’d do anything for me -- except give up smoking. The problem is, she smokes pot. If I turned her in, I’d really end up in deep trouble, because I’d get my family and their friends in trouble, too. I’d end up in some foster home. If I throw their pot away, I’d be in deep trouble with them because they get expensive stuff. What do I do?

Melissa K.
Spokane, WA

The first thing to do is to sit down and let your mom know how much you care about her and how much it bothers you to see her doing something that’s illegal. This may be enough to make her stop. But if it isn’t, don’t take it personally. Once someone starts doing drugs, it can be hard to stop without professional help. If this sounds like your mom, you might want to call the toll-free Youth Crisis Line at 1-800-448-4663 and speak with a counselor. Your call will be confidential, so you won’t get your mom in trouble, and they’ll have some good advice for her and you.


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