You Belong at Home at Night With Your Child DR. WALLACE: I really need your advice. I'm 19 and the single mother of a beautiful 7-month-old daughter. The baby's father is in prison for nine years. He and two friends were convicted of robbing convenience stores with the aid of a gun. The baby'…Read more. I Must Hide to Enjoy Alcohol DR. WALLACE: I'm 19, an adult in every way, both physically and mentally, yet I can't legally go into a bar and order my favorite alcoholic beverage. I have to sneak behind my parents' backs just to enjoy a cold beer. I started sipping alcohol when …Read more. I Really Want to Be Pleasant DR. WALLACE: I am basically a pleasant person except when I wake up in the morning. I enjoy school, but every morning, Mom has to drag me out of bed by a leg and an arm. It doesn't make any difference how long I sleep; I'm still a bear to wake up. …Read more. Helpful Suggestions When Taking a Test TEENS: You have taken many tests during your educational career, and you are bound to take many more. Dr. Edward Newman, a Los Angeles psychotherapist who counsels teens, wants to offer some useful suggestions on how to do your very best when taking …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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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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