Advice for tweens and teens dealing with everyday issues
We love when experts can offer great advice, especially when it comes to navigating through the tween and teen years! Teacher and mentor Louise Palanker is back to share the latest questions she’s encountered and the advice she thinks will help. If your kids are facing similar problems, we think she’s got some great wisdom to share!
(If you or your tween/teen have a question you’d like answered, please contact us at email@example.com.)
I need some drinking advice! Even though the drinking age here is 18, it’s still pretty young. I have had drinking experiences multiple times, but yesterday I went out and it didn’t go so well. I drank what I usually drink (maybe a little more) and I just couldn’t handle it. I got sick and went home drunk and my mom had to take care of me the entire night. I feel terrible and I don’t know what happened. I can usually control myself or know when to stop. I think I’m trying to convince myself that it’s because I didn’t eat a lot before, but I’m scared – is it something else? What happens if I go out again and drink too much? Or how do I know when to stop? I know that I have done it before and I’ve stopped because I knew I was drinking too much, but if I made the mistake once who says I won’t do it again? And what if it’s worse next time? – Carly
Learning how to drink responsibly is extremely important. I’m not sure why we leave it up to kids to figure this out on their own. There is so much at stake including potentially deadly consequences. Much of your social life as an adult will revolve around eating and drinking. Now, eating too much may be bad for you but it won’t kill anyone else and it won’t put you at a tremendously higher risk of being sexually abused. Drinking will.
After coming of age you may feel a lot of peer pressure to drink. This tends to subside after you become more sure of yourself and your limitations and you begin to present yourself as more comfortable and confident in your choices. Drinking can feel very complicated because in a social setting alcohol will be offered to you, and then as you drink you become less and less capable of saying no to the next drink.
Well, the solution is actually quite simple and here it is: Have a maximum of two to three drinks per evening (on the nights you go out) and no more than one drink per hour. That may not seem like a lot. However, if you drink any more than that you will not feel any better. You will only begin to feel worse and you will lose control of your health, your judgement, your safety and the safety of others.
Drinking is supposed to enhance an evening. It is not supposed to shatter it. Be careful and cautious. If you keep a drink in your hand and nurse it throughout the evening, your mother will not need to nurse you for the remainder of the night. When people see a drink in your hand they will stop asking you if you want more. Once you say, “I’m good,” a few times, they will also get used to the idea that you are not a big drinker. If you remain sane and sober you will remain safe and sound and you will be able to help keep your friends safe. Learning and knowing your own limits actually gives you a ton of freedom to relax and enjoy yourself.
I’ve been dealing with some self-worth dilemmas lately and it’s all due to this boy whom I really like. We go to the same high school and are friends, but I began feeling more than that. He’s never been in a relationship before, much less sexually active. We’ve been getting to know each other and bonding for six months, and I’ve started speaking to him over the phone and developing a relationship outside of work. We went out and got a little flirty. I thought we were headed towards a relationship until he began getting a little too sexual. I sent him somewhat provocative pictures, but they were definitely not too scandalous or anything of the sort.
He calls beautiful, but he doesn’t know if he wants a relationship. I told him I understood, but right after I told him, he asked me for nudes. I realised he might be seeing me as more of a ‘down to do anything girl’ rather than one you would date. I was upset, but I still wanted him as more than a friend. So I gave in and we established a no strings attached ‘friends with benefits’.
I’m not sure if this is the right choice. I feel like I’ll fall harder for him, which would be terrible since he no longer sees me like that apparently. I just want to know why he suddenly became this way and why I wasn’t enough to pass the lines of being a girlfriend.
We are talking much more now, and he seems very interested in what I’m doing and how I’m feeling and telling me I’m beautiful, but I feel like it’s only because of what he is getting from me sexually. I’m just very confused and don’t know what I should do. Please help. – Destiny
As you already know, there is a cause and effect relationship between our behaviours and the results we experience. If you want to be seen as a girlfriend, then see yourself as a girlfriend. There is an old saying which goes, “He’s not going to buy the cow if he can get the milk for free.” Yes, that is hokey and borderline misogynistic. You are not for sale. But the general point is an excellent one. You want romance. You want an emotional connection. If you are not receiving what you want then why are you giving him what he wants? He’s not your boyfriend. He doesn’t get to see you nude.
The big lie is expecting to obtain girlfriend status by being sexual. You may want to see it as a sort of sneak preview or, “Hey, here’s what you would be getting!” That’s not how the guy sees it. However shy the guy, if he watches some idiot on YouTube telling him how to get nudes from any girl, he may just go ahead and try to get nudes from any girl. Try this YouTube search yourself. “Tell her she’s beautiful!” is step one.
I know that you thought this quiet boy was not going to be that guy. Well, apparently he is. So stop giving him something very personal and private which belongs to you. That level of intimacy has not been reached and it should not be offered.
I know you work with this guy so you can not cut him completely out of your life but return immediately to friend level. Treat him as a friend. Text him as a friend. Be only his friend. No benefits. If he wants to date you he will ask you out.