Tag Archives: parents

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Kids and Danger – How Safe Are We?

Ask Weezy Highlights by Louise Palanker

Cover Art by Shock777

Are kids really less safe today than they were 30 years ago?

Here’s a question that just came in to the Our Place app regarding safety, freedom, kids and danger:

Question
My mom never lets me have a social life!! Im always stuck inside the house! I’m almost 14… I’m a good kid with good grades!!!!

If I ask to go to the movies, a fair or anyplace with my friends,  I cant go!!!! I can only go outside if my parents go too! So the only thing I do is stay home texting! How do I get my mom to let me go out more? I feel like she doesn’t trust me!

My Response

Your mom trusts you. She doesn’t trust the world. It’s sad that modern kids do not have the same freedom to run and ride and explore and create that my generation enjoyed. But the reality is that you don’t have it.  You do need to accept what is and work within that reality, rather than just fighting against it.

We can speculate as to the reasons why kids today do not have very much freedom. Are there really more child predators today then there were when I grew up? Probably not. But because of the internet, are they better organized? That may very well be.

But I believe that the reason you have less freedom is because of a thing called the 24 hour news cycle. What is this? It’s news that’s on 24 hours a day. The national news used to come on from 6:30-7pm. They did not have time to report on every missing kid. That half hour of news was followed by an episode of Lassie where little Timmy would go running all over God’s creation, so far from home that he got stuck in a well and the only one who noticed was the dog.

Times change, our connectivity has grown increasingly interwoven and your parents are now more aware of what could go wrong. It is disturbingly ironic that you  are actually in more danger sitting in your room, on your device and possibly talking to a stranger than you would be riding your bike up and down the street.

But enough of my theories. The best way for you to feel less trapped this year is to join organized activities that get you involved with other kids. Your freedom is coming. It’s a couple years away, but it will get here. Right now, do not spend your day talking to strangers online.  That is very dangerous.

Instead, plug yourself into the activities that are available to you.  Join, take part, sign up, belong to something that is fun and safe for kids your age.

For more Ask Weezy questions and answers, go to OurPlaceNetwork.com, and/or download the FREE, safe, friendly teen social network, ios app, Our Place.

Our Place Out Loud

Our Place: Teen Advice

by Louise Palanker

I host a safe and friendly teen social network/ios app called Our Place where kids the world over gather to share in the joy and confusion of growing up. I personally respond to 15- 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy.  Here are this week’s top five questions:

Question 1
My parents never ever trust me and they always say I am lying. Plus whenever there is trouble they always blame me without any proof and 4/5 times it was not my fault. How do I get them to trust me ? Plz help.

Weezy

Make it five out of five times that it’s not your fault. Keep a pristine record going for a month and see how that changes their outlook.

Never raise your voice or roll your eyes or stomp out of a room. Be respectful. Trust must be earned. I know it’s hard because kids mess up, but your attitude is so much of this. Show respect and you will receive it.

Did you know that in a court trial, the jury is told that if they catch a witness in one lie, they have the right to not believe any of that witness’s testimony? It’s pretty much the same deal with parents and kids. You are telling me that 20% of the time it IS your fault or that you are lying. I wouldn’t believe you either.

Wipe the slate. Start fresh. Become an honorable person and trust will be yours.

 

The conversation springs to life each week on Our Place Out Loud

Question 2

Hi weezy, If u masturbate does that mean you lost your virginity?

Weezy
No. No. and NO. Loosing your virginity involves sexual contact between you and another person.

Question 3
Hi weezy, so I like this guy who is on vacation for two months. Before he left, he asked if I wanted to be his girlfriend and I said yes and he said he will officially ask me in September when he comes back. He told me he loves me and all that but he talks to another girl on Snapchat and they seem into each other.

How should I confront him? He comes back in 23 days and I really want to know now if he’s cheating on me. I can’t wait till I see him face to face. Do you think I should mention it in text? Because it has been bugging me for a couple of days. And if yes, how do I bring it up? Like how do I say it indirectly?

Weezy
Texting is for fun and for specific information: addresses, dates, times, “I’ll be there in 10 mins,” etc. It is not for intense conversations. You can phone him and say, “I’m just worried about your friendship with Veronica,” or you can wait until you are face to face. If you get into this via text, it will not end well.

That girl may like him more than he likes her. He may have been into her once but now he’s into you. We just don’t know.

I understand that 23 days feels like forever, but patience is your friend. Modern technology has tricked us into believing that we can have whatever we want whenever we want it. But that’s an illusion. Because what we really want is meaningful connections with other people. You can not achieve that via text. Wait.

Question 4
I’m 15 and a sophomore in high school. Long story short I went to a party, got wasted and ended up having intercourse with my 23 year old brother’s best friend! I figured out this morning that I am indeed pregnant. I screamed and cried for hours and my parents will be home in an hour or so. What do I tell them? What do I tell my brother’s friend?? Please help me!

Weezy
Start by telling your parents. They will be very alarmed, so brace yourself. But remember that although you made some bad choices, you are still the victim here. A 23 year old has no business taking advantage of an intoxicated 15 year old.

I am so sorry that this has happened to you. Tell your parents immediately. You are still a child. You need to be nurtured and protected through this next chapter. There will be tears and this is not going to be easy. But let the grown ups step in and help you through it all.

Question 5
Weezy I’m 14 and I’m very inscure about my large Breast size. My friends all think it’s great and tell me that it’s a blessing.  But it bothers me that I look in the mirror every day to see something that is just uncomfortable and doesn’t even fit my personality or my body.

I always see People staring and it really frustrates me. I tell them it’s really annoying but it keeps happening. How am I blessed with something that’s so painful, heavy, and big that I can’t even stand it?

I told my mom this and she just says I should be happy and feel blessed but I don’t. No 14 year old should have a DD bra size or have to deal with them and learn to fit into stuff at this age.  It’s just not right. (sorry for rambling on)

Weezy
I understand. You may want to try sports bras that offer more comfort and protection.  Layering bras and tanks may also work for you. The Gap has fantastic Sports bras:

If your breasts continue to be a problem and a source of pain and discomfort, you can have breast reduction surgery when you get older.

Some girls are unhappy with small breasts. However, I do not recommend breast implants because this involves putting a foreign object into your body and I don’t believe it to be a healthy choice.

However, reducing your breasts to a manageable size is a viable option for girls like you. Here is a website with information:

http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction.html

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!

teen advice, teen expert, teen talk show

Our Place Out Loud – Teen Advice Podcast

Episode 177 With special musical guest, Keaton Simons

Our Place Out Loud is a teen advice talk show featuring a panel of wise and wonderful kids along with host and teen expert, Louise Palanker.

This week’s installment finds the panel and Keaton discussing:

First Kisses
Crush Drama
Divorcing Parents
Rebellious Siblings
and more…

Plus, Keaton performs his hit single, Beautiful Pain.

Join us!

Joann Palanker's Our Place logo

Ask Weezy: Teen Advice – Are You Beautiful?

ugly_by_ozmilkshakes-d42f5en

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

Headshotcropped

 

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. 

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Ask Weezy: Teen Advice – Body Image

Ask Weezy
by Louise Palanker

Cover Image by CarrieLynn18

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 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:

girlonscale

Question 1

I’m struggling with my weight and appearance. I’m 12 and I have fat thighs, a big belly, long feet and I’m tall. I look at other girls my age and they have skinny thighs , a skinny stomach, small feet and they’re short.

I notice that the girls I just described are the only girls guys find attractive. They don’t like the girls who are the same height as them and almost fat.

I’m ugly. I try my hardest to look pretty. I TRY my hardest to loose weight but I always forgot I’m on a diet. I’m 130 .. The cute girls wear tight jeans, crop tops, and stylish shoes while I have to wear big shirts and jeans. I’m forced to do so. How can i be like them?

Weezy

I understand that you believe you want to be like those girls. But are you really looking at every girl? Because, when I look around, I see people of all different shapes and sizes and nobody has dibs on all the boys.

The older you grow, the more fine tuned people get with their tastes in absolutely everything… including love.

There is a guy at your school… at least one guy, maybe more… who is also insecure about himself and he is wondering why you don’t look at him.

So, you may be thinking, “Well, I don’t want that guy.” But, do you know him? Do you know how cute he is going to be in about a year? Do you know how much you have in common?

My point is, you need to go easier on yourself and on everybody else. It is so easy to assume that the skinny girls are happier than you. They are not. They are just really good at pretending they are. Everybody your age is insecure. YOU are not a body or a shape or a face. Who are you????? It’s your job to figure that out and to fall in love with that wonderful person.

Question 2

I need your advice.. What do I do? My father is in prison and I’m holding a grudge against his ex. She put him there because she did things to make him do things.. What exactly should I do?

Weezy

I am so very sorry that you are facing this situation. However, it serves nobody to blame your father’s ex and cast her as the bad guy in this scenario. I know it’s easier to hate her than to hate your father. You don’t have to hate anybody. It’s just adults behaving badly and making poor decisions.

Nobody forced your father to do anything. You probably don’t know the complete story as to how all of this went down and even if your father’s ex is partially to blame, there is nothing you can do about it. Your father chose to associate with her. She may have had a horrible childhood. You don’t know her story. She does not deserve any of your energy.

You go and make an excellent life for yourself. These events do not define you. Only you get to do that.

Question 3

Hey Weezy, So I’ve been thinking a lot. And I have a dilemma. I think I’m Bisexual or a lesbian. I am attracted to boys. But lately I have been think a lot about girls and I have kissed a girl once and I think I liked it. I have been having dreams of making out with girls and I am attracted to guys, but I think I like girls too.

My second problem is, is that if I am gay or Bi. Then what do I do? My mom I think would be ok with it, but my dad… He is homophobic. He doesn’t agree with there “life style” If I do figure out that I am gay or Bi. I think that I would wait to tell my parents until I’m a bit older. One I don’t want to get kicked out or get into a huge argument. I want to be able to express who I am. I want to be me. And I don’t know if I can do that around my family. What do I do?

Weezy

You’ve got the right idea. The older and the bigger and the more independent you get, the more freedom you will have to come and go as you please. When you tell your parents, the conversation will have a beginning, a middle and an end. You will say, “I love you. Goodbye.” and you will go to your own home, knowing that you have a ton of people in your world who love and support you no matter how that conversation goes.

I think you also know enough about life to understand that being gay or bi is not “a lifestyle.” It’s just how people are. Like being left handed or being good at music. You will be the one who helps enlighten your father. It will happen.

They say that the lesson will come when the student is ready. You and your father will learn from each other. Right now, enjoy your childhood and finish growing up.

Question 4

Hi I am a 13 year old guy.. school is is gonna be out in one month (May 22) I will be at the pool most of the summer and I really just want to have abs and some muscle. Another question would be how can I do this in one month without having to go to a gym or anything (I have some tiny weights at my house)

Weezy

I know very little about building abs. What I do know is this. Instagram is giving guys the wrong idea about what girls find attractive. A girl is looking for a sweet, friendly, kind, smart, funny nice guy.

It’s great to be healthy. But if you are more interested in lifting your shirt to take an abs selfie then you are in being a good person, that tells a girl that you are more interested in yourself than in her.

You can do sit ups and crunches to build abs, but please don’t overdo it. The right girl is going to love you for you.

Question 5

I like a boy who likes two other girls.  I found out that they don’t like him back.  Should I tell him?  How can I get him to like me instead?

Weezy

You can’t really move that kind of a mountain. Only love and fate can do that. It is up to him to decide who he likes romantically.

If you try too hard to let him know that his crushes don’t return his feelings, he will resent you for being the barer of that news. He may not want to believe you and then he may not trust you or your motives.

However, if you allow him to learn on his own that the other two girls don’t romantically like him and if you let him see for himself that you are the one who is always there for him, his feelings may change. Nobody can promise that this will happen and you’ll need to be ready to move on if you have been in love alone for too long. That will be your call. Right now, be a good friend and continue to show him who you are.

Here’s a good song for your situation by The Dixie Chicks: