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 so negative!”

Hey Terra,

I feel like "Enough", who wrote to you about her mother, and I have the same mother.

She constantly is yelling and complaining about me and my father. Yet when we tell her about something she does that annoys us she says, "That's right, I'm the bad guy." I honestly feel as if I don't even want to look at her. All she does is complain! Then, when I complain, she tells me to stop, that all this pessimism is making her mad! But my father! He annoys me too! Every little thing I say or do is turned into something worse then it really is!

They both make me SOOO angry! They don't respect me and I want out, but I'm 11. What do I do?


Dear Frustrated,

When I was your age I think I had the same mother too! So I understand completely how this feels. Nobody enjoys "yelling and complaining." And being around it is never fun.

You sound like a very intelligent, self-aware young woman. As much as you might "want out," you're 11, so the reality of this situation is that you aren't leaving any time soon. What can you do?

Well, I suggest you ask yourself, "What do I want?" What's the goal, for you, in this situation?

Is it "I want my parents to respect me."
Or is it "I want my mom to listen to what I have to say."
Or "I want my mom to be more positive in her attitude."

Think about what it is you want and then after you have stated a goal, ask yourself this question: "Is that [the goal you stated] actually something that I can control or change or make happen?"

When it comes to what other people say, think, feel, or do... you get ZERO power. Absolutely zippo. On the other hand, when it comes to your own choices, you have 100% control. Ahhhhh... So maybe there's a solution in here.

Maybe your goal in this situation might be: "I want my mother and father's behavior to NOT BOTHER ME so much." Do you have any control over that goal? You sure do!

What would it take for you not to get your buttons pushed... Not to get SOOOO angry?

Think about it.

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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