Teens Should Get an Allowance DR. WALLACE: I'm 15 and my parents give me a $10 per week allowance. My problem is that I must save five dollars of it. In fact, they put the five dollars in a bank savings account for me. My dad says that to pretend my allowance is five dollars …Read more. Now I Feel Better TEENS: It doesn't take long for readers to let me know when they disagree with my advice. Anne was living with her divorced mother for four years, but three months ago her mom's boyfriend moved into the house. Even though Anne liked him and he was …Read more. Our Dog Understands the English Language DR. WALLACE: I smiled when you recently wrote that dogs couldn't really understand human conversation. It's obvious that you have never met Buddy. We gave our son a puppy as a companion for the times he was home alone after school. He started …Read more. The Almighty Dollar Trumps Decency DR. WALLACE: Teens are depicted as being sexually wild, with hormones that are out of control. Television programs and movies show teens seducing each other at a rapid rate. It's like "Let's show it because everybody's doing it." That's simply not …Read more.more articles
Opossums Are Valuable Creatures
DR. WALLACE: We have a cat that sometimes doesn't finish eating all the food in her bowl in the backyard, and the uneaten food attracts opossums and raccoons. My brother thinks raccoons are cool, but says opossums are part of the rat family and carry a lot of diseases. When he sees an opossum in the yard at night, he chases it and tries to kill it by throwing rocks at it. I don't think opossums are rats, and I don't want my brother killing them. I think they're cute and that they were put on earth for a purpose. What's the right answer? —Katie, Riverside, Calif.
KATIE: Every couple of years I get inquiries about this wonderful animal. Let me set your brother straight. Opossums are not related to rats. Some think they are because of their long, rat-like tail. Actually, opossums are North America's only marsupial (meaning the mother has a pouch), and they eat all types of nuisance insects, including cockroaches and beetles, as well as snails. They're called "nature's sanitary engineers" and present a far lower health risk to humans than your cat does.
Please encourage your brother not to throw rocks at this valuable but defenseless creature. We humans must respect the right of all "critters" to live in harmony with us. Please make sure your parents read your letter and my response. They must make sure your brother stops this uncivilized behavior immediately!
Her Boyfriend Wants Her Super Slim
CORRINE: Almost all anorexics feel they're in control and can stop starving themselves whenever they reach that "ideal" weight. Unfortunately, they never reach that ideal weight. All anorexics are out of control and need professional counseling to overcome their obsession with thinness. Insist that your parents seek professional help for your sister immediately. Your parents must be made aware that anorexia nervosa is an extremely addictive eating disorder, and if not overcome, it can result in death by starvation.
I'd also suggest that your parents call the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders at 1-630-577-1330, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST. They'll answer any questions and give you advice.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at email@example.com. To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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