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:

“What can I do to help my family?”

Hey Terra,

I'm having trouble with my parents. It feels like the family is falling apart and I wanna get it back together. What can I do to get things back in order??

Crashing and Burning

Dear Crashing and Burning,

I'm really sorry you're feeling like your family is "falling apart." That sounds like a very uncomfortable situation to be in the middle of. It also sounds like something that you can't fix all by yourself. A family is a unit. When one person has a problem, it's usually going to affect everyone and then, the next thing you know... the WHOLE family has a problem. The way to get a "falling apart" family "back together" is for the WHOLE family to 1) acknowledge that there's a problem and 2) work together to address the issues and make the needed changes (sometimes with outside help, like a counselor or a family therapist).

The first step would be for you to take a leadership role here and call a family meeting. Use this Family Meeting Plan from my website and get started talking about what's going on (from your perspective) and how you feel about it.

If the rest of the family isn't willing to talk about what's happening, then I suggest that you do one of the following: 1) reach out to a close and trusted family relative who doesn't live with you (grandparent, aunt/uncle, older cousin), 2) stop in and have a talk with your school counselor, or 3) call this Teen Help Line 1.800.999.9999

You need to be able to talk to someone who will listen to what you have to say.

I hope this helps!

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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