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:

Blended Families:
“I don't like my stepdad-to-be.”

Hey Terra,

My mom's getting married and she didn't even ask me how I felt about it! I don't like the man she getting married to and I feel very uncomfortable around him. He's always winking at me, it's weird. I tried talking to my mom but she won't listen. She always says, "I understand how you feel, but I love him and he loves me and there's nothing you can do about it, sorry." She doesn't do anything to help me and thinks everything will go smoothly when she gets married but it WON'T!

Freaked Out

Dear Freaked Out,

I totally understand why you're upset. Your mom's remarriage is her choice but of course it's going to impact you big time. There are a couple of things going on here. The first is your upset with the fact that your mom didn't ask you how you felt about her remarriage. You feel hurt and left out and I understand that. It's a normal reaction. You and your mom were just the two of you for a while (maybe a very long while) and you probably had a close bond. And now there's this big change that is going to impact your life and you probably feel that you didn't even get to talk about it.

Then there's the weird feelings you're getting when your stepdad-to-be winks at you. It may just be a friendly habit of his... with nothing else meant by it. Or it may be something else. In either case, your feelings are valid on this one too.

You say that you've "tried" talking to your mom and you feel that she won't listen. It may be that the way you've talked to her feels like a verbal attack. For example, if you are yelling or crying when you "talk" to her about the upcoming marriage, it's likely that she will shut down... Nobody can listen when someone's talking to them like that. If you try a calm and mature and respectful tone and choose a time to talk with her when it's just the two of you and she's not in the middle of a hundred other things (or even one other thing) then you've got a much better chance of her really listening to you.

Once you have her full attention, you might say, "Mom, I love you and I want you to be happy. I also feel hurt that you didn't ask me how I felt about you and ______ getting married. Our family is going to change and I'm worried that you and I won't have the same closeness, that you'll always choose him over me and you and I won't have time together. I'm worried that I'll feel left out." If that expresses your feelings then tell her that. If it doesn't express your feelings, then calmly say whatever expresses it for you.

As for the winking... You absolutely need to talk to your mom about that. "Mom, ______ is always winking at me. It makes me feel weird. Can you please tell him to stop?"

I hope you have this important conversation with your mom and that it leads to better understanding between you.

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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