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Sandy Hook Tragedy: Teens Speak From the Heart Hey, Readers! Sometimes something happens in the world that is so overwhelmingly tragic that the attention of the nation turns to it and is affected by it. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary is one of those tragedies: 26 people killed, including …Read more. Critter Litter Driving Her Crazy! Hey, Cherie! I have a problem with pets. It's not that I don't like animals. I love animals so much. The problem is my parents are crazy for animals, and everyone knows it. Like people who don't even know us know it. Well, we had two cats, Mittens …Read more. Dad Ditched, Now Mom Dating More Than Her Daughter Hey, Cherie! I'm a sophomore in high school, and this is the first year I'm allowed to go out on group dates. I was so excited to get to 10th grade because this was when my big sister Darby was allowed group dates, and I remember watching her get …Read more. Girl Heartbroken Over Cat in the Hat Hey, Cherie! I'm 13, and I am the saddest girl ever. My cat, Dr. Seuss (I named him after the author who is famous and wrote "The Cat in the Hat") is my best friend. I got him from a shelter when he was just a little ball of black fur that …Read more.
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Putting the 'Thanks' and 'Giving' in Thanksgiving

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Hey, Cherie!

I'm 14. There is nothing good about it. I can't drive until I'm 16. My parents say I can't even group date until I'm 15 (a bunch of guys and girls go out together, like to a movie, in case you don't know. My grandma didn't know.) There is also nothing good about my life. My best friend lost 20 pounds, and she was chubby, so it's a good thing, but now she's turned into this big flirt. My little brother punches me in the bicep every time he walks by, not hard, but it's annoying. When I tell my mom, she says, "You two work it out." For Thanksgiving, I have to be with relatives, and everyone says stupid things like "Wow, you're turning into quite a young lady!" or "what grade are you in?" and then they stuff their face or go watch football. And I'll have to help clean up. I don't even like turkey. It will be so boring. I want to have an exciting life and be a model and live in Hollywood and make a lot of money. But one time when I tried to tell my mom my dream, she called it "ridiculous," so I'm never telling anyone again. Her job is managing an office and my dad is a plumber. Like that's so exciting. We will be at my aunt's house for the holidays. I don't have any friends there, and I'll be bored to death. I can't wait until I'm old enough to control my own life. Thanks for listening, I guess. No one else does. —Amarah Sue

Hey, Amarah!

Pretty name. You're welcome for listening. I couldn't help noticing that you are kind of ... obnoxious. Oops. That just slipped out. Let me try again. Whiny comes to mind. And self-centered. And utterly blind to everything you have to be grateful for. OK, so now you're all mad, and I'm just another judgmental adult (although I'm pretty sure I'm a lot younger than your grandmother who doesn't know what a "group date" is).

What I'm about to suggest is not original, so I take no credit. I just pass it on. Go to a private spot with paper and a pen. No, not your 'puter. Now write down five things in your life for which you are grateful. Some examples: You have a mother and a father, and they are both employed. You have a home, a family, food to eat, relatives who love you, but don't know what to say to a 14-year-old. You have a best friend. Are you healthy? No matter what anyone thinks of your dreams, do you live in a country where you are free to dream any dream and then pursue it and try to make the dream come true? Once you start, I bet you'll be able to go on and on. After you make this list, think of three things you can do for other people. It can be for someone you know — like taking over a chore for your mom or dad without being asked. Or it can be for someone you don't know, such as volunteering at a food bank. Instead of bumming out about what you don't have, try being thankful for what you do have.

THANKS. GIVING. See, you only think you have no power at age 14. But you have the power to change the way you look at your life, the power to take action for the good, and that action, however small, is the beginning of changing the world. Happy Holiday.

Hey, Cherie!

This is so embarrassing, and I can't ask my mom. I'm going to a sleep over. These are the really popular girls. They'll change clothes in front of each other. I'm very self-conscious because one of my boobs is bigger than the other. I would die of embarrassment. Help! —Answer Fast

Hey, Answer!

I love the easy ones. You wear an athletic bra and you keep it on when you change into PJs. Lots of girls sleep in tees and sleep pants, and lots of girls and women wear athletic bras to sleep. And by the way, having different size boobs is really common.

Cherie Bennett is a best-selling author of books for teens and young adults. Visit her website at www.cheriebennett.com. To find out more about Cherie Bennett and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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1 Comments | Post Comment
LW1 - Wow. You don't realize how many teens would LOVE to be in a home like yours. Cherie had some good ideas, but let's add a little more practicality to it from your point of view, since there are not-so-difficult ways to change almost everything you listed that you "don't like."

You can't drive until you're 16, true. But you CAN start saving money to put toward a car for yourself when you reach driving age, and you can learn the rules of the road so that you'll pass your test with flying colors. You can also take a permit course online. I'm not sure what you can do about not "group dating." I'll have to side with you on that one and say your parents are pretty unreasonable. However, you CAN join some after-school clubs, or a sport, or some other activity where you and friends get together. Better yet, try out for a show. That would be almost like a group date.

Your little brother? Just tell him no, or tell him stop. As a last resort, maybe learn a few martial arts moves so he'd think twice about messing with you. Signing up for a karate class might also be one way you could get out more. Don't like turkey? Why not cook something else that you DO like and bring it to the dinner so you can enjoy it? And bring a game that you like or something else that you can suggest to relatives to do after the meal, so it's not all watching football? Mom doesn't believe your dream? Get practical about it and start researching what it takes. Trying out for a show (see suggestion above) will help prepare you for a modeling career and make the right kind of friends. Find a modeling agency and ask if you can join or take a class or two. Learn about fashion and makeup skills, and keep a healthy diet.

Your aunt's house? Try introducing your aunt to something that interests you. For example, tell her your interest in acting/modeling and ask if you can go see a show over the holidays. Talk to the cast and/or crew and see what it takes to get involved. I think it would be really good for you.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Paul W
Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:18 PM
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