DR. WALLACE: I'm a 16-year-old girl and so is my best friend. My only problem with her is she lies a lot. She doesn't tell vicious lies, just little white lies, but she sure tells a lot of them. For example, if I told her a boy liked me, she would say that two guys liked her. Well, just two weeks ago, she spent the night with me at my house because her parents were out of town. The next day, she called me and said that we were no longer best friends, and she never wanted to talk to me again. When I asked her why, she said she read my diary — she didn't apologize for snooping around my room — and in it, I had written that she was the biggest liar in the state of Florida.
I admitted I had written it but really didn't mean it the way she took it. I really do like her, and she is fun to be with; I don't want to lose her as a friend. Please, tell me what to do to try and get her to change her mind and be my best friend again. — Anonymous, Miami
ANONYMOUS: Send your friend an appropriate greeting card and add a note telling her you are still her friend, you miss her, and you're sorry. Ask her to please call you. She shouldn't have been snooping, but she might stop exaggerating the truth after she knows that you are quite aware of her lies.
REWARDS APPROPRIATE IN THIS CASE
DR. WALLACE: I'm 16 and get good grades. I do all my homework and then some.
My good friend, who also is in the National Honor Society, receives $25 from her parents for every A she achieves each semester. She also gets an allowance.
My parents don't think students should be paid for good grades. I also don't get an allowance, but my dad does give me money for special occasions with no strings attached. I do regular chores around the house, but our family has no specific allowance program in place at this time.
I consider my studies to be my job, and jobs should earn money. I'm not furious about not being rewarded for my grades, but since I got six A's at the end of the last school year, a reward of $150 would have come in handy for this summer. I hope you agree. And, yes, my parents can afford to reward. — Good Student, Naperville, Illinois
GOOD STUDENT: Most educators and those in the know frown on rewarding students with cash for exceptional grades, but after giving your letter some thought, I've decided to be on your side in this particular case. I agree that students should work hard to earn the highest grades possible, regardless of rewards for A's and B's. I can see that giving rewards can instill in certain students that extra drive toward excellence.
Not every family can or should offer cash rewards for good grades, but there are certainly other nonmonetary rewards that can be given for excellent performances.
CALL HIS MOTHER DIRECTLY
DR. WALLACE: Until a few days ago, I had a super boyfriend who I loved very much, and I know he loved me. The problem is his mother made him break up with me because of something I said to his younger sister. I'm really not a bad kid! — Anonymous, via email
ANONYMOUS: Call your boyfriend's mother and do a lot of explaining and a lot of apologizing. Most people are forgiving. Much depends on the content of the conversation you had with your boyfriend's sister. If it was serious stuff, you might need to start looking for a new boyfriend.
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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