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I don't know how to take care of myself, & I am fourteen

By April 5, 2010 - 9:28pm
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I simply do not know what to eat to be healthy, how to brush my teeth so they do not rot, who to hang out with, how not to be depressed, how to not get hurt, what type of people to look for to be friends, how to have a good future...

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Dear Inandoutoflife,

I'm so glad you found EmpowHer, and so glad you wrote to us.

Here's the thing, Inandout: You're just 14. You aren't supposed to know all these things yet. It's OK. The early teen years are all about change and growth. They are confusing to everyone (and if someone says they aren't, they're lying, OK?)

But I can tell that you ARE very smart, and I bet you do know a lot more than you are giving yourself credit for. I bet you know that lean meat, vegetables and fruit are good for you, and that fat and sugar aren't so good. I bet you know that you brush your teeth, with toothpaste, up and down and side to side, and that flossing helps too. I bet you know that some girls are good friends and others talk about you behind your back. Right?

You say in your title that you don't know how to take care of yourself. Is there a reason that you feel this way? Did you lose one or both of your parents, or do you feel they haven't been able to teach you as much as you want to know? Do you have problems in school because of hygeine or personal appearance?

Have you been hurt by people who pretended to be friends, or something similar? (All of us get hurt. It is something that simply can't be avoided. But we do learn that it happens less when you hang out with honest people than dishonest ones.)

Are you in school? Do you like it? Do you have friends there? How are your grades?

Do you have dreams for your life? What might they be?

Tell me a little more about yourself, InandOut. I can already tell that I think you're cool, and I'd like to hear more from you so I can write back and be a little more help.

April 6, 2010 - 8:58am
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