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:
“How can I get my mom to see that I don't need more friends?”

Hey Terra,

I've got a lot of friends at school, but for some reason, I'm not the kind of person who likes to invite people over, so I never do. So my mom thinks I don't have enough friends. Whenever she hears me say something about some kid she says stuff like: "Why don't we have her over sometime?" Every day she tries to talk to me about getting more friends, and I always tell her that I already have lots. And it's true, but I just don't feel like inviting them over. She makes it seem like I have a problem when I don't!

Just Fine Thanks!

Dear Just Fine Thanks,

Take a few slow deep breaths and calm down a bit, OK? I want you to really listen to what I'm saying so you can begin to understand where you're mom is coming from. She loves you more than anything and she wants you to be happy. That includes knowing that you've got friends who care about you. These are good things for someone to want for you, right? Sure.

Okay, now, for some reason your mom thinks you're lonely and friendless. What have you done to help contribute to her beliefs? Well, you say "I never invite any friends over." So she never sees you with friends at your house. Do you ever talk to your mom about your friends? Do you ever talk to friends on the phone when you're at home? Do you ever go over to a friend's house? Do you ever go places (movies, mall, school dances, etc.) with friends? If the answer is "yes" then your mom isn't seeing this "evidence" as proof that you do have friends. (You can definitely point all this out to her... Calmly and respectfully.) If the answer to those questions is "no, I never do any of those things" then how would you expect your mom to think that you have friends when she has absolutely no evidence that you do?

One more thing for you to think about: You say that you're "not really the kind of person" who likes to invite people over. What kind of person would that be?

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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