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 never said I love you.”

Hey Terra,

I'm so confused about life. I hate all my family because they think I'm a thief but I'm not. They really hurt me. They don't treat me right. When I tell people about this they say that it is not true. You know that my mom never said I love you to me and I'm 15!

Right now I don't know what to do. I'm just so confused it makes me cry all the time. I try to tell them that I don't steal but they don't listen to me. You know if there was an accident and I had a chance to save a group of people, it would never be my family. I would choose a group of strangers. Please tell me what to do. Whatever I do I can never be relaxed. I can't just close my eyes and try to be calm. I always have fears every time my family loses something they come to me. I want a family that loves me that cares about me. Tell me how I can change them. Please.

Confused

Dear Confused,

You need some help in a big way. In the perfect world, parents and close family are supposed to be a major part of your support network -- for life. That isn't true all the time or for everyone, but it sounds like you don't ever feel loved or trusted or respected by your family and it's stressing you out. That's very understandable from what you describe.

Your email tells your side of things. I'm not saying that what you feel isn't absolutely valid but I get the sense that if you and your family were together talking about all of this with a counselor, that they would have things to say as well. For example, you say that they "think you are a thief", but you don't give me any clue about why they believe this. So it feels like I'm getting only part of the whole story.

I understand that you're very unhappy and you ask me to tell you how you can "change them." The solution isn't "changing them" because the problem here is bigger than that. When a family is having this much trouble Communicating, everyone in the family shares some responsibility for the way it is. (I'm not talking about blame, just responsibility for letting it get this bad.) That's why I think it would be very valuable for you and your parents to get some family counseling. That way you can all work together to contribute to the solution of building a healthier family instead of being so unhappy about the way things are. You might start by talking to them about how you feel not being trusted. Maybe you think you couldn't tell them the truth of your feelings. If you feel you need some help doing that, then I'd suggest you start by talking with your school counselor.

No family is perfect, but most families, with some outside help, can learn better ways to communicate and can begin to treat each other with more love and respect. That will get the family back in balance, and everyone will feel so much calmer.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,

Terra


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


Find Annie Fox: Find Annie on Facebook Find Annie on Twitter Find Annie on Pinterest Find Annie on YouTube Find Annie on Google+ Find Annie on LinkedIn Find Annie on Goodreads Find Annie on Quora
What's New?
''The Girls Q&A Book on Friendship: 50 Ways to Fix a Friendship Without the DRAMA'' by Annie Fox, M.Ed., illustrated by Erica De Chavez Books & Apps for Teens
''Middle School Confidential 3: What's Up With My Family?'' iOS app ''Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind'' iOS app ''Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are'' iOS app ''The Teen Survival Guide to Dating & Relating: Real-World Advice on Guys, Girls, Growing Up, and Getting Along'' by Annie Fox M.Ed.
''Middle School Confidential, Book 3: What's Up with My Family?'' by Annie Fox, Illustrated by Matt Kindt
''Middle School Confidential, Book 2: Real Friends vs. The Other Kind'' by Annie Fox M.Ed., Illustrated by Matt Kindt
''Middle School Confidential, Book 1: Be Confident in Who You Are'' by Annie Fox, Illustrated by Matt Kindt
''Too Stressed to Think? A Teen Guide to Staying Sane When Life Makes You CRAZY'' by Annie Fox, M.Ed. and Ruth Kirschner