DEAR ABBY: I’m a 13-year-old girl and I had a big argument with my mom. It’s about her drinking. I have tried to get her to stop because most of the money she makes goes straight to her alcohol, but instead of talking it out, she starts yelling. She says it’s her life, and we can’t tell her what to do with her money. I have five younger sisters and brothers, and I try to come up with the money myself from baby-sitting. I feel as if my younger siblings are my children. I am so fed up with my mother’s behavior. Should I keep talking to her about it or leave it be? — Can’t Do It All on Guam DEAR CAN’T DO IT ALL:
As long as your mother continues to deny that she has a drinking problem, there is nothing you can do to help her without further putting her on the defensive. But you may be able to find support from Alateen.
Alateen is a group for teens that was established specially for young people who are affected by the drinking problem of someone close to them. You would also be welcome at a weekly Al-Anon meeting in Chalan Pago. For more information on Al-Anon and Alateen, visit www.al-anon.alateen.org, email wsoal-anon.org or call 888-4AL-ANON.
At your tender age, you should not have to assume financial responsibility for your younger siblings. You should discuss this with your clergyperson, a teacher at school or another trusted adult because they may be able to get you some help from a social services organization.Concerned about overweight child DEAR ABBY:
How do you know the child’s parents and grandparents don’t see his weight as an issue? A way to raise the subject would be to mention your concern and ask what the boy’s pediatrician has had to say about it. While years ago doctors may have been reluctant to raise the issue, today they are much less so because the American Medical Association has declared obesity to be a disease.
Also, as a relative, try to include the boy in physical activity you engage in.
I’m glad to help. No one should touch a child without first asking permission from the adult who is accompanying the little boy or girl. Not only could the child be frightened by it, but the parent could misunderstand and it could lead to an altercation.© Universal Uclick 7/13