Tag Archives: dating

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Ask Weezy – Race Bullying

Ask Weezy
by Louise Palanker

Photo by Gazayel

I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place.  Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to about 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.

Question 1

Our Place Post: I am a muslim and started wearing a hijab ( scarf ) only a few months ago and it made me feel better about myself. On the bus for the past few months, people started talking about MY RACE and how we are ugly and my RELIGION… how we would bomb something down if we aren’t happy. I always cry in my seat and try to draw no attention to myself . Now I really want to rip my scarf off of my head and never wear it again!

Weezy
You are being subjected to prejudice and hate speech. This is race bullying.  You can report it to your school principal, speak to your parents about it or you can handle it yourself. It will help if you have backup. A friend who is in your corner.

This will take a lot of courage, but it can be done with a little bit of practice. You turn to these bullies and you say, “Muslims believe in peace. Extremists and terrorists come in every religion, shape and color. I am not one. What is sad here is that YOU are behaving more like terrorists than am I. Please respect me here on this bus and I will respect you.”

You can make that speech your own. These kids are ignorant. You can try to take them on or you can report the behavior. You DO NOT deserve to be treated this way. A little bit of understanding goes a long way. Teach them some of it.

Question 2
I have a friend I like and she’s always in a relationship.  Every time she breaks up she goes straight on to the next one.  It just keeps repeating and she just gets hurt in the end.  Is there anything I can do to help her?

Weezy
You can tell her that when we repeat an unhealthy pattern this means that we need to stop and do some work on ourselves.

Unless she changes, the boys she chooses won’t change either. Nor will they ever fix the problem. Tell her how much you care about her and that you want her to be happy. And then you just have to remember that you can not walk her path for her. She has to do that.

Question 3
How do I find my own personal fashion style?

Weezy
Don’t feel a pressing need to find one. The most important aspect of choosing “a style” is selecting clothes that make you feel like you. Clothes in which you feel comfortable.

If you buy something just because someone else told you it was cool or cute, it will sit in your closet and every time you look at it, something in you will reject it.

You can shop with your mom or with a friend and ask them for their opinions. But you must also feel good about the clothes. Finding your look is a process and you do not have to pick one specific look. One day may be a jeans and sneakers day. The next may be a little vintage/a little sassy.

There are no rules when it comes to fashion, because every year, the rules change. Why not be the one who changes them?

Question 4

How do I prepare for periods at school? I know its still summer but I NEED to be prepared. Anyway , I started my period a couple weeks ago and I want to know what should I do when I’m at school and I need to change my pad? Like where should I put my pad? I know in the trash but I don’t want it to be noticeable that I’m on my period when other girls walk in the bathroom. And how can I make it quieter when I’m opening my pad? I’m VERY embarrassed about having periods. and what should I do if I have a spot on my pants cause at my school we wear khaki pants and white shirts…

Weezy

Every girl gets her period, so I know this feels embarrassing (because it is happening in your private area) but it is also part of being a woman and being alive. You are actually pretty lucky that you get to spend your summer adjusting to your period. This will all seem less intimidating when school gets here. If you are embarrassed by the sound of opening the pad, open it before you get to school and roll it up in a paper towel or something. On your heavy flow days, wear a second pair of underwear over the one that is holding the pad in place. This helps prevent accidents.

You can check on your pad between every class.  Even if you see that it is not time to change it, that will give you peace of mind. If you see a spot, pull up your pants, go to the sink, put soap and water on a paper towel.  Go back into a stall and scrub it out.  This will dry within the next half hour.

There should be a little container which serves as a receptacle for used pads and tampons in each stall. If there is not, then you roll the used pad in toilet paper and tuck it into your hand. As you come out to wash your hands, subtly toss that into the wastebasket. You are not the only girl doing this. These are just the little tips and tricks that all women learn to use during that time of the month.

Question

Ever since my brother got a girlfriend (Rose) I feel like it’s my job to keep them together. My brother is four years older than me, but I feel like if I do anything or say anything Rose will be disgusted by it and end their relationship. I know that they’re relationship has nothing to do with me. This is my brothers first serious relationship so I don’t know how to act around his girlfriend. We get along fine but what if Rose all of a sudden gets so annoyed with me about something that she breaks up with my brother!?! He would never forgive me! I know I’m just being paranoid but I need advice!

Weezy
I wouldn’t use the word “paranoid,” but I would ask you what may have led you to believe that Rose’s love for your brother is contingent upon your behavior? Have you been made to feel, in your household, that what you say and do has an effect on love? Does love feel conditional to you? If that has been happening, then I am so sorry. It’s not fair and it’s not realistic.

Flip it around. If you loved a boy and his sister was a wild, little hellion, would you love the boy less? With no offense intended, you are giving yourself far too much power in your brother’s life.  He and his girlfriend are fully capable of loving or not loving each other based on a billion factors that do not include you.

Get to know Rose and be kind to her, just because it’s the right thing to do and because she will enrich your life, but you are neither their glue nor their dissolvent. You have no power to either pull them apart or hold them together.

teen advice talk show, Our Place Out Loud

Our Place Out Loud – Teen Advice Podcast

 

Teens are Talking on Our Place Out Loud, the video podcast  launched from a teen advice and social network that would not remain silent!

In this fine episode, Teen Expert, Louise Palanker and a panel of wise and wonderful teens discuss:

Turning “Talking” into Dating
Feeling Ugly
Advice for Middle School
Too Many Friends?
Moms and Trust
and a whole lot more!

You can find Our Place in the iOS App Store.  It’s Free!

Joann Palanker's Our Place logo

Ask Weezy: Teen Advice – Are You Beautiful?

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Image by: OzMilkshakes from DeviantArt.com

by Louise Palanker

I host a teen advice driven social network called Our Place. Here are this week’s highlights.

Question 1

How do I accept that I am ugly ? I try my hardest to look pretty. I did my hair a different way, changed my style a bit, makeup, etc but nothing works. I just want to be pretty like other girls. I’m tired of crying myself to sleep, looking in the mirror and just crying, etc.

I’m not even sure if any guys like me. They look at me and that’s it. For example : the same guy may look at me over and over but doesn’t talk to me or approach me. He may be looking at me over and over wondering why I’m so ugly because where I live about 99% of girls are pretty.

I’m so sick of everything. I isolate myself from mostly everyone my age cause I can’t get along with any of them. They always say negative things and nothing positive. It hurts so bad…. Okay! The problem is that I don’t want to cry because of my ugliness. How do I accept I’m ugly?

Weezy

You are not ugly. Let’s put that first and foremost. Next, most girls your age do not feel great about their looks. And most importantly YOU are not your appearance. Wouldn’t it be sad if that’s all we were? The way we look? Nothing more?

Appearance does play a part in how we initially react to another human being. That is built into the core of our instincts. But then our brain must take the rest of the journey.

If you had to make a list of the ten most important and influential people in the history of time, your list would probably have NOTHING to do with appearance. I know mine wouldn’t. My list would go something like this:

Martin Luther King

Ghandi

Abraham Lincoln

Thomas Jefferson (OK, he’s kind of cute)

Golda Meir

Eleanor Roosevelt

Rosa Parks

Nelson Mandela

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Susan B. Anthony

Anne Frank

All of these people are beautiful.  When you allow yourself to feel this much pain over the way you look, you are not giving yourself enough credit for the actual person that is you. Please stop looking in the mirror and start looking out into the world. The question is not, “What do you look like?”  It is, “What are you going to do with the life you have been given?”

Question 2

I’m scared to do what I love the most in my own house. Drawing. Cause my dad comes up to my room and gets mad at me for not studying. I have really good grades already but he doesn’t think it’s enough. Art is my outlet. He even knows. I talked to him & he says he cares but he actually doesn’t. He won’t listen.

Weezy

Think about what your dad values. What does he do to unwind? Then compare your drawing to that. Say, “Dad, this is what replenishes me. It will help me study harder and do better. I need this. Please trust my judgement. I know when to study and when to give myself a well needed break.”

You have heard the word, “recreate.” If you break that word down, it says “re-create.” We, as humans do not do well if we do not have a chance to re-create our energy. Explain this to him from that perspective. Try to get your mom to help you do this.

Question 3

Hey weezy… So I was wondering if this was a good idea? So I really like this girl (we’re both lesbian) and I know she likes me (at least as a friend I guess) and I was wondering if it is ok for another friend to tell her that I like her… Cos I really can’t myself and I’m scared if she doesn’t know she’ll find someone else even though she probably likes someone else anyway… Do you think her finding out I like her would ruin our friendship??

Weezy

It may ruin your friendship or it may not.  But liking a friend is exactly the same whether you are straight or gay.

Once you have feelings, the friendship is already ruined.  It is now out of balance.  You like the person romantically.  That person may still like you as only a friend.  Meaning, the two of you have different agendas.  That’s not going to be healthy, moving forward.

She deserves to know your truth.  Once that is revealed she will have the information she needs to make her next decision.  Without clarity, your “friendship” limps along.  You want more.  She’s not sure why you are so easily hurt by this or that.  You interpret everything she says or does through a filter of hope that it means something.  She can’t understand why you don’t want her talking to some other girl.

Once she knows that you like her, everything makes more sense.  Will this harm your “friendship?”  Your friendship was “harmed” the moment you began wanting more.

Let your other friend carry the truth to your crush and then deal with the consequences.  I know it’s scary but this is what needs to happen.

Question 4

We’ll this guy has been embarrassing me at school because he thinks I like this other guy.  I was just being friendly to the guy but I do kinda like him but i don’t know. These two kids are friends so whenever I text the guy I like, “hey :)”  the other guys sees it and he is just mean at school.  In front of everybody he says still liking (boys name)? and then he laughs. I’m afraid everyone will hear and I need advice on how to overcome it and not be scared. Please help.

Weezy

You can look right back at him and say, “You’ll never know.” or, “What if a do?” Or, very sarcastically, “Oh, my gosh. A girl may like a boy. Alert the media.” Honestly, nobody has a right to tease anyone over a crush because we all get them.

Question 5

I’m 12 and this guy is in his 20’s. I met him from youtube though he didn’t post videos. I did. He was the first guy I ever really liked.  We had nice conversations. Didn’t talk about sex or anything.  We act/think just alike.  I can’t explain it, but I really did like him until one day i stopped talking to him.  He then deleted all his social networks.., He also helped me out with my suicidal thoughts.  I stopped talking to him because my parents fussed at me. I don’t think he’s a pervert. He never said anything sexual. But he runs though my mind everyday ..

Weezy

It is completely normal for a 12 year old to have a crush on a 20 something year old. But your parents have every right to be concerned about your talking with this man online. It just sounds shady. It may not have been and he may be just fine. But it is still very dangerous.

When a man goes out of his way to contact a 12 year old online, his motives will always be questioned. If you knew him in real life and he were a teacher or a youth pastor or a mentor, it would be much more acceptable.

Online connections can so easily lead to inappropriate language and suggestions. This is why the internet is full of predators and pedophiles. They can very easily speak to you away from your parents. They start by being your best friend and being there for you and completely understanding you. Then it becomes sexual very quickly.

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Ask Weezy: Teen Advice – Bi Confused

Ask Weezy – Bi Confused

by Louise Palanker

Cover Art by MeikZane

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I host a safe and friendly teen social network called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I respond to about 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy. What are today’s kids thinking about? Here are this week’s top five questions.

LGBT Youth
Rita Volk and Katie Stevens from MTV’s Faking It

Question 1

What does it mean to be bi? Is it liking both sexes?

Weezy

There is a lot of different terminology to describe one’s sexual preference and gender orientation. If you were to google LGBTQ, you would find more accurate descriptions of Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, and Queer.

For example

And there are new words, probably created through internet connectivity which even better describe how various people feel about themselves. Terms like Gender Fluid and Pansexual. I don’t fully understand all of these words. I don’t know why there is a separate word for Lesbian and Gay. I don’t know the difference between Queer and Gay.

You may go to France, or Mexico and find different definitions of any of these words in different languages. So, having given you this disclaimer, my understanding is that a Bi-Sexual is somebody who is attracted to both sexes. Somebody who could be in love with a woman one year and then break up with that woman to find herself falling in love with a man.

But I invite anybody to step in and clarify. These terms are ever changing. The bottom line is that there is no correct way to be or to feel. Whomever you love, whatever gender you claim and however you choose to define yourself is up to you.

Question 2

Ok so i really like this guy and he says he likes me to. He isn’t allowed to date and I respect that and understand. We are best friends and we skype all the time and talk 24/7. We planed to go to the movies with a group of friends and his mum looked at his messages and saw how close we are and she said he isn’t allowed to talk to me anymore.

I’m crushed and so upset I cant talk to my best friend. He promised he wouldn’t leave me but we haven’t talked since. I am sad all the time and feel like crying and it is killing me I don’t know what to do!. I miss him so much what should i do ? Fight for him or give up?? And how?? Please help me.

Weezy

I don’t know your ages but it is never healthy for anyone to talk 24/7 with another person. Whether it’s face to face or through text or Skype or Chat.

Maybe you are exaggerating to help me understand how close you are. But just because today’s technology allows two people to stay in constant communication does not mean that they should.

You both need to be present for the people who are present. You both need time with your own thoughts. You both need a chance to think about the other person and miss the other person. And most importantly, you both need to figure out who you are individually. That can’t happen when you are in what I call The Constant Conversation.

His mother may have overreacted. She may have felt like he was going behind her back and breaking a rule.

Would it help to have your mom speak to his mom? Explain that you are really good friends but that you fully understand that he is not allowed to date. You have been respecting that rule.

“Fight” is the wrong word. “Explain” and “discuss” are better words.

Question 3

Hey Weezy I need your help. My parents have been arguing a lot. And it’s all because my dad has been drinking. I feel that it’s affecting him a lot. He’s been drinking a lot. And has been having a bad temper and even made my mom cry. My mom always tells him to stop but then he insults her and my mom insults him back and it turns into a huge argument. It disappoints me to see my dad drunk. I told him before and he doesn’t listen to me. I don’t know what to do anymore. It’s become a constant thing. Me and my mom can’t take it anymore. Help.

Weezy

You and your mom should visit the Al-Anon web site and find a meeting near you: http://www.al-anon.alateen.org You are dealing with a person who is sick. He is no longer speaking to you. It’s the alcohol that is doing all the talking. I know that it hurts to feel like he won’t stop drinking for you. But it is actually far more complicated than that. Please go find a meeting and learn more about what you can do to help yourselves and your family.

 Question 4

Ok I need some help so there is this girl I thought was cute. I became friends with her and told her I though she was kinda cute, then it turned into a mess. She started telling me she loved me. I’m 14 and I think I’m to young to date. Then she started telling me what she’d do with me and it creeped me out.

She started talking about marriage and moving in. She’s really nice but if I tell her I don’t want this I’m afraid shell commit suicide. I have noticed her cuts and she has attempted suicide many times but she says I’m making her better. She’s starting to creep me out she tells me shell strip for me and do stuff like that. I’m 14!!!! Help what should I do? I don’t want this.

Weezy

This is too much for you and your instincts are correct. You can not fix her. She’s in a lot of pain. Back away. When she says something inappropriate, you can say, “Too much, too soon. We’re only 14.”

This girl needs love and attention and she has a flawed perception of how best to meet these needs. If she puts pressure on you to be the reason she does not harm herself, say, “I can’t accept that level of responsibility. I’m a kid and you need help from a therapist.”

If she persists, bring an anonymous note to the guidance counselor at your school or tell your parents about the problem. This kid is on a fast path to getting herself into a lot of trouble. It is not your job to stop her, but you can let her know that being sexual, inappropriate and desperate is not going to work with you. While doing so, urge her to seek professional help.

Question 5

Is 12 too young to wear pushup bra’s? I’m 12 and my mom bought me about 3 pushup bra’s and I want to wear them so what age do you think is right for pre-teens/teens to wear them?

Weezy

I don’t think I understand why your mom bought push up bras for a 12-year-old. The idea behind a push up bra is to accentuate the bust line. Why would a 12-year-old want or need that?

So, first let’s make sure that you understand what a push up bra looks like and maybe you can start by asking your mom why she purchased these bras for you. It’s an awkward topic to discuss with your mom but for the next six years, she is going to have a big say in the underwear purchased for you, so start the conversation.

By push up bra, do you simply mean a bra with cups? When you move from a training bra to a cup bra depends not on your age but on the size of your breasts. If you can feel your breasts moving when you run, it’s time for more security.

Every body is different. Every girl and woman needs to figure out for herself what looks good and feels good. The classic definition of a push up bra is a bra that will lift up and push together your breasts. This is neither healthy nor comfortable. I would say, never wear one, but for an adult, that would be her choice. For a child? Just, no.