DR. WALLACE: I'm a very busy teenager. I'm involved in student government, drama, music and cheerleading. I study a lot, get good grades and am also in the honors club. I'm very active in my church as a youth counselor. Because of all my activities, I don't have time to go out very often, and I've never gone steady. My girlfriends often tease me that I don't have time for a boyfriend, so they think my priorities are out of order.
Here's my problem. My mother has recently assigned me a huge list of new household chores. I used to only have to keep my room clean and take out the family trash every other day. Now with all of these additional chores, I was told that if I don't do them, I'll be punished by not getting my allowance each week — and I really need that money! I've tried to tell Mom it isn't fair for a busy person like me to have to do chores during the school year. I have no complaints about doing them in the summer. In fact, I would be willing to do more chores throughout the summer to make up for during the school year. Do you think my request is reasonable? — Too Busy Suzie, via email
TOO BUSY SUZIE: The thing about chores is that somebody has to do them. It would be nice if they went away during the school year and were around only in the summer when you have more time.
You are obviously a very responsible teen and wonderful daughter, but it's important that you fulfill your family responsibility: doing your chores well and on time. Yes, I know that a busy teen only has so much time in her day. Do your chores and let some of your activities of the lowest priority go. You'll maintain the harmony at home and learn how to prioritize and budget your time. Win-win!
HOW COULD THIS BE TRUE?
DR. WALLACE: I read a column of yours where you stated that most fatal accidents involving driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs occur between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. How could this be true? There are not too many cars on the road at this time. I would think there are many more accidents during the morning rush hour and again around 5 to 6 p.m. — Not So Sure About That, Portland, Oregon
NOT SO SURE: The time slot from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. is when most parties wrap up and bars close. Therefore, that's when most people who have had too much to drink get behind the wheel. A large number of cars doesn't have to be on the road for someone to have or cause a serious accident. Also, when cars and trees collide, the tree rarely comes out second best. Speed and sharp curves are enemies of drunken and impaired drivers, and this is exacerbated at night due to the darkness and reduced visibility. In this day and age of ride-sharing (Lyft and Uber) and plentiful taxis, there is absolutely no excuse for an impaired driver to ever get behind the wheel of a vehicle — be it day or night, rush hour or closing time.
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 protected] 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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