Q: I have a 12 year-old-girl and she has been having some issues at school with kids wanting to make fun of her. She comes home and cries about it. We are in that awkward phase of braces and acne. I think her self-esteem is already a little low from that. What advice can I give her to help?
A: Well, if people are making fun of her, I would personally ignore them, or in another case I would use reverse psychology. Like if they called me, “brace face” for example, I would say, “Thanks! Don’t you like them?” Or something else that might trick the bully into thinking that it doesn’t bother me anymore. If bullies think that it bothers her then they will keep making fun of her. But if she acts like she’s cool with it, then they will probably quit doing it. Kids can be mean sometimes, but tell her to think about how awesome her teeth are going to be when she gets her braces off.
Q: I am divorced and my son, who is 10, goes back and forth between my house and his dad’s. When he comes home from being with his dad, he is sometimes disrespectful to me and it takes him a day or two to get back to normal. This is new for me and I just wonder what advice you might have to make this transition smoother?
A: My mom and dad are divorced too. When I was younger I remember my mom telling me that I acted different coming home from my dad’s house. A suggestion would be to ask him (your son) what his dad does for discipline. Then you could try to do something similar to each other. My mom and dad talked to each other a lot and tried to always use the same kind of discipline, so it was consistent for me. If I was in trouble for something they would tell my Nana, Papa, and my Mimi, so no matter where I went everyone knew what I was in trouble for too. I didn’t like it either. But I think this is something that would help you and maybe things will be the same everywhere for your son.
Q: Do you think that kids should automatically get an allowance or should they have to do chores to earn money?
A: In my opinion, I think kids should have chores to earn an allowance. This teaches them how to work hard, have persistence and use and distribute money. Don’t let them just blow their money on a toy in one day either. Make them save it up and be responsible. It will make them feel good about themselves. I saved up money that I earned doing chores, Christmas money and my birthday money two years ago. I used the money to buy a phone. It made me feel really good that I could buy that myself. I think it’s good when a kid has certain chores, but they can also earn extra money by doing other stuff. My mom will give me extra money for doing chores that she doesn’t want to do like cleaning the windows. And I don’t mind doing it because I like using the squirt bottle!
Special thanks to Matisse Dalton, daughter of Owensboro Parent writer Christina Dalton, for giving her advice to Parental Control Questions. Matisse is a an 8th grader at Burns Middle School. Her hobbies include playing the cello, basketball and softball. She also loves unicorns, llamas, and Stranger Things.