No Longer Be a Referee

By Dr. Robert Wallace

November 5, 2018 5 min read

DR. WALLACE: My parents fight and argue a lot, and I'm always dragged into their "debate." Both of my parents try to get me to agree with them. For example, my mom will say, "Tell your father he is drinking too much beer," and my dad will say, "All you do is nag, nag, nag. Isn't that true champion nagger."

I hate when they fight, and I hate it even more when they ask me to choose sides. Please tell me what to do! — Anonymous, Tulsa, Oklahoma

ANONYMOUS: It is not fair for your parents to drag you into their disagreements. If you agree with one of your parents, the other will become upset with you. When things are harmonious at home, talk with your parents and explain that you are very unhappy when they fight and argue. Ask them to please try and keep their emotions under control and to intelligently work out their problems. Inform them that you will no longer be a referee if another disagreement occurs.

If this doesn't happen, go to your room or leave the house until peace and calm are restored. Never engage in these debates and never take sides.


DR. WALLACE: I'm a 20-year-old female college sophomore. My grade point average is 4.00 (all A's), and I'm a varsity basketball player. I have never done drugs, smoked cigarettes or been involved with alcohol.

I love my parents and attend church regularly. I believe in God and believe I am one of God's precious children. I also happen to be gay.

I want to remain anonymous because my parents are not yet aware of this fact, although I'm not embarrassed that I'm not "straight."

Dr. Wallace, I do enjoy your column, even though I don't always agree with your advice. You do help the vast majority of troubled teens, and I'm happy my local newspaper prints your column. At least you are willing to help. That's more than I can say for most "advice givers."

I'm writing this letter in hopes that you will print it. I just want people to know that gays are not inherently unusual people, criminals or troublemakers at all. In fact, we are very much like most people with the exception of who we relate to when it comes to personal relationships. — Anonymous, via email

ANONYMOUS: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with our readers and me. Maintaining a 4.0 GPA is quite an achievement! Since I was a varsity high school basketball coach, I always enjoy hearing about students who participate in this wonderful sport.

I totally agree that sexual orientation has nothing to do with being a law-abiding citizen, a superb scholar athlete and a wonderful person. You're an excellent example of a quality young person and I trust your future will be bright.


DR. WALLACE: I'm pretty sure my mother is an alcoholic. She drinks every day. What can I do to help her? Sometimes I think I'm the one who caused her to drink. Sadly, my dad is no help. — Anonymous, Houston

ANONYMOUS: You are not the cause of your mother's alcohol abuse. As you likely have experienced, "home treatments" such as pleading, scolding and preaching don't work. I advise you to immediately contact Alateen, a group for teens who have an alcoholic parent. Alateen is a part of the AL-ANON family. Call or email them to find the address of your local chapter. Alateen will give you advice on how to cope with your mother and help you in your dealings with her. Alateen can be reached via email at [email protected] and via a toll-free meeting line at 888-425-2666. Please make contact and let me know how you are doing with this resource.

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

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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