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:

Communication Problems:
“My mom is against my staying with my aunt.”

Hey Terra,

I've been invited to go live with my aunt and three cousins for the summer. My aunt said she could get me a job at the hospital she works at, and my cousins have a weight set that I can use to stay in shape. However, my mom seems set against it. She gives me all these reasons why I can't go, such as my aunt is low on money and she might loose her house, but when I go to check it out, my mom is wrong. I tell her in the nicest possible way (really, if I ever backtalk, my mom would not take it), but then she comes up with another reason why. Her favorite right now seems to be they are a bad influence. I'm 17, soon to be a senior in high school, all my cousins are younger than I am, and I'm having a hard time with her not being able to trust her up-bringing. How can I persuade her to see things my way and let me go?


Dear Frustrated,

I'm feeling frustrated right along with you! It's very irritating to try to have a conversation with someone and respectfully attempt to listen to their point of view and not get an honest response to your questions. I have no idea why your mom is against your staying with your aunt and cousins so I'm not even going to bother guessing. The fact that you sense her "reasons" aren't the whole story is interesting. It's also ironic since I'm sure she'd expect you always to be honest with her.

What can you do? Well, it's obvious that she doesn't support your going. You might ask your aunt to have a conversation with her. (Maybe she's likely to convince her that it's a good idea. Or, at the very least, maybe your mom will come clean to your aunt about what's really bothering her about this plan.) Either way, you need your mom's approval to do this. If she won't give the green light, then there's not a whole lot to be gained from continuing the argument.

My suggestion is that you talk to your aunt and see if she will advocate for you. Otherwise, you probably should make other plans for the summer.

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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