Why do boys tease girls all the time?
You’re at the age where boys and girls may start noticing each other more. You probably still like hanging out just with your own gender, but boys are getting a little more curious about girls, just as girls are becoming more curious about boys. Sometimes preteens don’t quite know how to express this new interest, and it comes out in funny or hurtful ways, like teasing or gossiping. These are not appropriate forms of behavior; we all want to be respected, and we should therefore respect all persons around us, no matter what they look like or how they might behave. This can be an awkward time for everyone, so we need to be careful what we say to each other.
I’m not interested in boys (girls), is there something wrong with me?
No. Everyone has a different pace. It’s very normal for someone your age not to be romantically interested.
Why are you always on my case about what I wear?
I may not always say it in the right way, but I want you to dress in a way that reflects who you are. People get an impression of you, rightly or wrongly, by what you wear. Maybe we can talk about it at a time when you aren’t going out or your friends aren’t around.
I just want to hang out with my friends at night and walk around – why are you so protective?
I’ve been around long enough to know that there are dangers you aren’t aware of. We can talk about ways that you can be around your friends in a safe environment.
A couple of acquaintances got caught with alcohol at school. Why is experimenting with drinking such a big deal – they won’t become addicts?
He/she is a minor in possession and it is a big deal. Alcohol can be a dangerous if not deadly substance. There are so many reasons to explore. Young people can experience a great deal of harm by drinking. Becoming an addict is the least of the problem.
Why do we have an Internet filter on our computer? My friends have computers in their bedrooms with Internet access.
There are too many people who don’t have your best interest in mind and are just waiting to find a young, vulnerable person for their latest victim. I care about you and by having the filter, you are actually getting more freedom and less monitoring than if we didn’t have one.
(If that doesn’t work, try “Nevertheless, in our household we have an Internet filter to keep bad people out.”)
Why can’t I date – some of my friends do?
What do you mean by dating? Do they walk to the locker together or do they have a planned activity in which they go alone together? In our house, you know what the rule is, no single dating until… You still are able to be around lots of friends and have a lot of activity going on. You are too young to be held back by being with one exclusive person.
Why do I seem really sensitive around my friends?
You are changing from a child into an adult and all sorts of strange and exciting things are happening inside you. Sometimes all these changes make us feel a little insecure and that can make us very sensitive to things that people say or do. Also, as your hormones are changing, your moods might change a lot too. Try to take good care of your body. You’ll feel better physically, and feel better about yourself too.
Why are my friends mean sometimes?
Unfortunately, people aren’t always thoughtful. It’s possible the friend might be tired, hungry, sick, or bothered by something that doesn’t have anything to do with you. Periodic moodiness is different from someone intentionally trying to hurt you or bully you. Some people, in their quest for status or power in a group, will pick on someone or a group of people. Try to find friends who treat you with respect.
I don’t feel like I have a lot of good friends. How can I be more popular?
Popularity isn’t always based on the good qualities that we want in a close friend. Often popularity is based on really superficial things, and by trying to be popular we might not really be “being ourselves.” But you can make an effort to be someone that others like to be around. Show interest in other people, and get involved in new clubs and activities. Try smiling and learning people’s names. Remember, you can be friendly even if others are not. Focus on being a good person and a good friend; you’ll find that “being popular” isn’t so important.
I feel really ugly and awkward around my friends and sometimes get really sad and don’t know why. Is something wrong with me?
No, nothing is wrong with you. Everyone has feelings like that from time to time, especially around puberty and adolescence. Your emotions might feel out of control sometimes because of hormonal changes. These hormones can also affect how you see yourself. One way to cope is to make sure you’re taking good care of your body by eating right, exercising, and getting enough sleep. It is recommended that teens get at least 9 or more hours of sleep.
Focus on the positive things about yourself, and develop your talents. Try to make friends with people who like you for you, and not how you look. By feeling more confident in yourself, you’ll probably start to feel more attractive and more appreciated. If you still feel sad a lot of the time, talk to your parents or your school counselor about it.