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.more articles
Teen Asks: Is it Home or Prison?
I used to live in a happy home. Even if I had a really bad day, like if a cool girl made fun of my hair, or if I had a big fight with my best friend, or I didn't get a part in the school play (All of this actually happened to me), I got to come home, relax and just be myself. This is how our home used to be. It was just my dad, my big sister, who is 17, my big brother, who is 15, and I. I am a girl who is 12.
We always had fun with our dad. He was very easy going about stuff. We would order pizza and watch funny movies and just laugh and laugh. I got along well with my brother and sister. My big sister even taught my friends and me how to dance, and she told me to practice kissing my pillow so I am ready before I kiss a boy for the first time. Everything fun at home changed six months ago when our dad married this woman, Crystal. When Dad told us he was engaged, we had never even met her! He hasn't dated since our mom died four years ago. So when he told us, it was this big shock! Dad met Crystal at a business seminar that she attended after being in the Army for a long time.
When Crystal came in, all the fun went out. She acts like she is still in the army and wants everything in our house to be perfect. She went into my sister's drawers and the clothes weren't folded, so Crystal threw them all on the floor! My sister cussed her out and got in big trouble. When I got a C on a math test, Crystal said I was grounded for two weeks. We don't watch family movies anymore or eat pizza. Crystal says I'm fat (I wear a size 8), so I can't eat junk like pizza.
My sister never comes home anymore. My brother stays in his room. All I'm allowed to do is go to school, do homework, exercise and do chores. It feels like I am in prison. I tried to tell my dad, but he just defends Crystal. He says what a good job she's doing and how it's hard because she is only 25 years old, so we have to give her a chance. I would like to just run away.
Bummer. I don't know your dad, but here's my guess: He loves you, your sister and brother more than anything in the world, but he ... how can I put this ... royally messed up.
Hey, the best people in the world mess up sometimes, and this was your dad's time. He just did not know how to deal with bringing a stepmom into your lives. Let's give Crystal the benefit of the doubt and assume she'd like all of you to like her, but she's clueless about how to be a stepmom to you. There is power in sibling numbers, and you're fortunate because you're close to your brother and sister. I suggest the three of you have a talk, and then talk with your dad. It'll be tough for him to blow you off when all three of you present a united front.
Note to Dad: Yo! Time to step up here. You got a new squeeze, but your kids are miserable. Suggestion No. 1: Have a weekly family fun night. Let Crystal learn to become a part of your family, not make your family over. One other thing, do not let her dis your daughter about her weight. Do active family stuff together, encourage healthy behavior for the whole family and get Crystal out of her face. Thank you.
'K back to you, Unhappy. Once Dad steps up and Crystal learns to become a part of your family, my guess is that you guys will make the circle bigger to include her. Little by little, you'll grow into a different but happy family again.
This is so humiliating. I'm a girl, age 13. I have long, black, curly hair. Unfortunately, it's not on my head. That hair is brown and straight. From the waist down, I look like ape girl. My parents are from Libya and won't let me shave my legs. In Libya, they say only slutty girls shave. I wear pants every single day so that no boy can see my legs.
My cousin (my mother's sister's daughter) moved into a new house with a built-in pool. She's only six months older than me, but she's allowed to have her legs! She's going to have pool parties this summer. I will look like a woolly mammoth in a bathing suit. Help!
Oh, tough one. Hirsute social suicide aka death by the poolside. You need adult intervention. Maybe your mom's sister — the one with the new pool — could speak privately with your mom. She lets her daughter shave her legs and her daughter is a girl with morals, right? That means you can shave the Chia Pets growing on your limbs and be a girl with morals, too. It takes a village and all that. Good luck.
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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