Questions From The E-Mailbag

I received a big shock this past week. E-mails, many of them, asking for advice, from pre-teens. I had no idea that I was such a hit with the second half of Generation Y. I guess I'm the Hannah Montana of advice columnists.

Pre-Teen Girls
A girl named Ellen in Illinois wrote:

I have these two little brothers and they don't give me my personal space. They walk in my room while I'm changing or taking a shower and they won't leave. They go through my stuff and take whatever they want. I try to talk to my mom but she doesn't do anything. She's so busy all the time, like from working and going to school. My parents are divorced and my mom is going back to college. I want to get a lock on my door. My mom won't let me. What should I do?

I don't usually do this, Ellen, but I'll share a little bit of my personal life here. When I was a boy, my sisters used to hide out in my closet at night. I would shut off the lights and get under my blankets, all snug. At that very moment, they would jump out of the closet. SURPRISE! They thought it was funny. I was terrorized. In fact, only recently in my life have I stopped checking the closets before going to sleep.

Ellen, I think that a lock on your door is not the answer. I think that maybe trying to spend some more time with your mom is a better idea. Have you told your mom that you miss her? I think you should.

A girl named Carly wrote:

I am 11 years old. Last summer I met someone at my friend's birthday party who seemed nice so we exchanged e-mails. Sometimes we forward messages to each other, like chain letters or photographs. Just yesterday she e-mailed me a chain letter and the letter had a virus on it. The virus deleted a lot of my files and so when I told her not to forward anything else to me, she called me "Little Miss Hypocrite." When I told her it was because of a virus she said, "Riiiggghhtt. Of course." Really sarcastic. I really feel like marching up to her and slapping her in the face.

Carly, what exactly would that prove? Do you think that slapping her in the face would alleviate your anger? A slap in the face heals pretty quickly. Anger does not.

What's my advice here? To be careful. Yes, be open. Yes, make friends. But recognize that trust takes time. And even when there's trust, sometimes relationships don't work out. Relationships are tricky to figure out because human beings are tricky to figure out. In this case, walk away from this girl without reaction. Doing so will be a sure sign of your great maturity.

Lastly, a letter from Kathleen in California:

Me and my crush are both 12 and we're at a big point in our relationship. He is going way too fast for me. He wants to do things I don't (like french kissing and stuff). How do I tell him to slow down and keep him my boyfriend?

Good question. I don't usually do this but I'll share a little bit of my personal life here. When I was your age, I was the timid one and my girlfriend, or crush as you now say, wanted to do stuff like french kissing. She would take me into the closet. I would try, but after a few minutes I would feel really uncomfortable. I'd make up some excuse, like cold sores on my lips, and I'd walk away. One day, I saw my crush kissing my best friend in the tire pyramid during recess. I think they might have been french kissing. I was heartbroken.

Perhaps that's why all of my relationships as an adult end in heartbreak. But that's another story.

As for you, Kathleen, you don't have to make up some lie (like cold sores on your lips) to slow down the relationship. What you need to do is to feel comfortable in the pace. Go with your instinct here and be honest with him. Do you really know what he's feeling? Maybe he's feeling just as uncomfortable as you but thinks, because he's the guy, that he has to do things neither of you are ready for. There's a lot of pressure on guys to take action. Tell him that you'd like to lead for awhile. He might feel relieved.

I'll also say this, Kathleen. If you lose your crush, it's not the worst thing. Ask your parents how many crushes they had in school. I bet it's a lot.

Finally, to all the kids who wrote in, a big thank you. Reading your letters is a great privilege. So keep writing.  And please don't feel frustrated if you didn't see your letter here. After all, there's only so much space per column.

Tags: teen sex

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Comments on "Teens top dilemmas solved"

kiddo January 09, 2011 | 10:20 AM

Good advice on teen dilemas and parenting. Keep up the good work!

Neethu January 08, 2011 | 6:28 AM

Brian Josepher, you are really doing a perfect job solving the teen dilemmas. Actually, now a day’s parents are not at all interested in bringing up their kids. They are not bothered about the problems of the kids, especially if they are divorced. This style of parenting should be changed and I hope it will happen soon. June 14, 2010 | 1:11 PM

hey ppl im 13 and ive had a hell of a lot of girlfriends, sometimes more than one. i have regularly, mostly hit it and quit it. but i have to say to younger ppl: slow down!! dont take things to fast in life or with ur gf or bf. i regret a load of the things i did. so dont get ahead of urself. just get things how u want them and enjoy ur life. ive been a juggalo for only a couple months and i will tell u im happy to be one. and now i just let things run there course. and i love it. haha i sound like an adult.

nathalie laham December 30, 2009 | 5:30 AM

dear hannah my sister is a pain in the ass i love her but she is very annoing and stupid!!!!!!!!! what should i do???????????????????????????

nathalie laham December 30, 2009 | 5:29 AM

dear hannah my sister is a pain in the ass i love her but she is very annoing and stupid!!!!!!!!! what should i do???????????????????????????

jacob December 20, 2009 | 9:32 PM

help im 10 she is 9 im dating her but the thing is i never kised a gerl help me•• ~

robs September 23, 2009 | 3:50 PM

hey girls can u send me sum nkd pics of urselves

smile September 21, 2009 | 6:16 PM

hey i am having boy troubles a boy i like sometimes he says he likes me and other times he say he doesnt ppls say he said he wants to go out with me but other times they say he doesnt WHAT DO I DOOOOOOOO grrrrrrrrr

kate August 07, 2009 | 9:04 PM

hi im kate im 10 i want to move but my mom likes our home and dosent want to move what do i do?

renee July 27, 2009 | 10:25 AM

me and my friend just got into a huge fight and it all goes back to me here is how it started 1 she got a boyfriend and we are 12 2 she cheated on her boyfriend about twice 3 she made out with a old boyfriend theres a lot of others but i dont want to give out names so i cant finish the rest but it all goes back to me and i really dont know how to say i am sorry for a billion times wihtout counting!

caitlyn July 18, 2009 | 10:14 PM

hannah is awsome

Tayja June 29, 2009 | 5:51 PM

hey hey hey hannah hannnah montana i love love love the movie hannah montana 3 so i wanna know who ur agent and if u can email me so i can ask u more important? ttly

sila June 01, 2009 | 12:28 PM

go up to him and say so and make him like u for who u are dont try and act differint when his speaking to u ok bye.

Kenneth Van Der Slyus April 18, 2009 | 6:25 PM

I'm a college Student & I'm reading here of parents split. Bad news. cause someone wanted their own way instead of wanting the best for the other. I'm seeing 12 years old thinking as if you are 18 up. Whowwww, slow down and enjoy earily teen life. Go to parties chaperioned by teachers / parents and have fun. No hand holding, just be 12 headed toward thirteen..

Vivilot February 13, 2009 | 3:42 PM

HI my name is Vivilot and I'm 12 years old. It was valentines day and I got a note saying " I love you" in my locker. I doesn't have a name. There's a rumor going on that the guy was one of my best friends. And he has been acting a little weird these days. What should I do?

Sammi February 08, 2009 | 6:23 PM

Ok i have this huge crush on a guy in my class so i told my friend and she was like ok then when we were just geting out of the door she blahhed out i liked him but the thing is hes going out with someone else and i am soo ebarresed to go near him cuz i know he doesn't like so what should i do

baa December 01, 2008 | 12:49 PM

my life is full of sadness and i hpe someone will listen so here it goes my step-mother is not treating me nice and my dad don't want me to see my mom because she killed his sister after he killed her father help what should i do

baa December 01, 2008 | 12:45 PM

hey me and my bestfriend had a fiht because she wants to talk with my x-boyfriend that know all my secrete that why she wants o talk to him and he, he is stupid because he is telling her everything and now she is not talking to me about the thing i told him about her!!!

ilia September 16, 2008 | 2:18 PM

i feel good well

harshit August 13, 2008 | 2:30 AM

hi this is har from aligarh i like a girl since we r in 7th standard she is also in my relationship she is also a friend of my friend i want to be her my girlfriend so plz suggest me wat can i do

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