Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

Parents:
“My mom's getting remarried and I don't think she cares about me any more.”

Hey Terra,

I have two questions. My first is: Though I'm glad for her, my mom is getting married soon and I don't really like the man she's marrying. I've been so close to my mom for these past years and I feel as though he's "Taking her away from me." I barely get to see her during the weekdays and the weekends. She's practically spending every day over at his house! I tried telling her that I don't really know him or his family so I'm not comfortable with the idea of her marrying him but she doesn't care about what I think. She repeatedly tells me "the world doesn't revolve around you" and "Don't you care about anyone but yourself?" I know the world isn't all about me and I care about her and the rest of my family. I just think it's going a bit fast for me. What should I do?

And my second question is: On Wednesdays I have to go over to my dad's and I don't share the same closeness with him as I do with my mom. He seems to always be mad at me whenever I go over there. My mom says that it was in a document where it said that my dad had to have me on Wednesday's but I don't want to go over there! I try constantly to get along with my dad but my step-mom gets in the way or he's mad. A couple years ago he threatened to kill me and I've been afraid to go back there ever since. What should I do??

Left Out Kid

Dear Left Out Kid,

You've got a lot to deal with right now. I wish I could sit down with you and give you the kind of listening that you need and deserve. Unfortunately, I only have this email connection and so I will do my best to help.

I can understand your fears about your mom's upcoming marriage. You already feel that your step-dad to be is "taking your mom away" from you, so you probably are dreading how much less of her you'll get when she's married to him!

You're probably worried about what this major change will do to your closeness with your mom as well as what it will be like to have a dad living in your house again.

These are very big changes and the fact that you've written to me to get some help really shows me what a very mature and thoughtful girl you are. Recognizing what's ahead, I feel very strongly that you and your mom should have some serious one-on-one time to talk about this and for her to give you some of the reassurance you need from her.

I'm a mom myself and I know that your mom loves you very much. She may be more focused on the relationship with the man she's marrying than you'd like her to be, but that doesn't mean that she loves you less. No one can take your place in her life. But that doesn't mean that she shouldn't be reminded that you're feeling insecure about the future of your relationship with her and the new family that is forming.

I know that you have talked about your feelings with her before, but maybe you were very upset during those conversations. Maybe you were crying or yelling (or both) and maybe she was too. When intense emotions take over a conversation, people stop listening to one another.

Is it possible for you and your mom to make a date to go somewhere together? Out of the house. Just the two of you. Maybe a walk, or a movie or a meal out. Just something that will take you out of your normal routine and relax both of you. When you are relaxed, then I suggest you take the lead and tell your mom (calmly, respectfully, maturely but honestly) what you've been feeling... about the upcoming marriage, about your fears of how it might change your relationship with her, about your step-dad and about your dad as well.

After you've told her what you told me, stop and LISTEN to what she has to say. You may hear things that surprise you.

By taking this step to write to me, you have made the decision that you want to deal with your feelings. Talking to your mom in the way I've suggested is the next step.

I care about you.

Write back and let me know what happens.

In friendship,

Terra


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.


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