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:

“Is my mom crazy?”

Hey Terra,

My mom is a psycho! I've only just now started to figure this out at age 14 (I'm a guy, by the way). Right now, I have a lot of trouble in school staying focused and getting my work done on time. I also get busted a lot for messing around in class. Well, I've figured a few things out. When I was younger, I always got my way. Even if I wanted to walk around the class in the middle of a lesson, my mom would go to the teacher and order her to let me do as I pleased. I was never wrong, about anything! Even if I picked a fight with someone. I know it may sound funny to say that she's at fault for the way I am now, but that's the way I see it. But, now that I'm older, I don't feel like she's on my side at all! She even laughs right in my face when I try to talk to her about something and never takes me seriously.

Is she crazy? Am I crazy? I see most of the kids around me going through "normal" teenage stuff with their parents, but I don't feel like I even have a "real" mom sometimes. What should I do?

Going Nuts

Dear Going Nuts,

Thanks for writing to me. No I don't think you're crazy. You are extremely intelligent and self-aware. I admire and respect your desire to find out what's going on here. Maybe I can help.

It may be true that your mom's indulgence of your behavior taught you that you are "never wrong about anything." If that's the way you were raised before you had any awareness of self, then that was a mistake on her part. But clearly, you are extremely self-aware at this point in your life. And now that you understand the connection between the choices you make and the consequences of those choices, it's time to stop blaming Mom for what she may or may not have done in years past.

So, if you're not happy with the way things are going at school, or in your friendships, then you need look no further than the face in the mirror. The power is yours to make the kind of choices that will give you the results you want.

As for your feeling that now your mom "isn't on your side at all" and your question "Is she crazy?"... I have no way of knowing what her mental state is, but I'd strongly suggest that you sit down with her (pick a time when there's not a lot of other stuff going on -- right before she needs to rush out the door to get somewhere isn't a good time) and tell her what you want from her. Do NOT yell at her or use statements like "You never..." or "You always..." Stick with statements that talk about your feelings. Like: "I feel frustrated when you laugh in my face..." "I would like to be able to talk to you and for you to really listen..." (What do else you want from her? What does it mean to you when you say you want to have a "real" mom?)

Tell her that you love her (you do, don't you?) and that you want the relationship to be closer.

I'm a mom myself, and I can't imagine any mom who wouldn't want a closer relationship with her son or daughter. Perhaps your mom just isn't aware of how her choices are affecting you. Maybe this conversation could be a wake-up call for her.

How does this sound?

In friendship,


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

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