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By Floyd Miller



It’s time to start fighting back DR. WALLACE: I’m 13 and sort of overweight. A boy who lives across the street keeps calling me names such as “Fatso,” “Lard Buns,” “Elephant Hips” and other things you couldn’t print. I go to a public school, but he goes to a fancy private school and thinks he’s a privileged character. Lately, he has been punching me on the arms and back. I live with my grandmother and she says, “Turn the other cheek,” and this bully will stop pestering me. I’ve tried that and he continues to punch me even more. I may be overweight, but I’m not a sissy. I just don’t believe in violence. But I’ve got huge bruises on my arms and shoulders all caused by this bully. He thinks I’ll never fight back. I talked with my grandmother yesterday. She called the bully’s mother who said her son had told her I was swearing at him and deserved getting hit. Do you think the time has come for me to defend myself? – Roger, Lake Geneva, Wis.ROGER: Those who read this column regularly know what my answer will be. You’ve been turning the other cheek long enough. Now comes the time for “an eye for an eye.” Once the bully gets whipped, or at least understands you are going to defend yourself, he’ll go elsewhere to look for a human punching bag. Most bullies are cowards who search for those who can be intimidated. That’s not you anymore. MOTHER NATURE CREATED 3 BODY TYPES DR. WALLACE: My best friend can and does eat anything she wants to and she never seems to gain any weight. I have to watch my food intake or I gain weight fast. It’s not like my friend is full of nervous energy and is burning off her food that way. Carla happens to be very cool and calm. How come she’s so lucky and I’m so unlucky? – Erin, Chehalis, Wash. ERIN: Mother Nature created three different body types for humans – Slender , medium and chunky . Slender builds rarely have a weight problem until later in life. Medium builds have to diet occasionally to maintain an ideal weight. Chunky builds must constantly be on a diet alert. DON’T EVER CONTACT MOM’S EX DR. WALLACE: My parents are divorced and I live with my mom. She is 34 and I’m 17. About four months ago, she started dating Eddie and a month later Eddie moved in with us. Two weeks ago Eddie and mom had a serious disagreement and she told him to “Get out and stay out,” which he did. Eddie is only three years older than I am and I sort of like him. He told me to call him when he left. I’ll be 18 in a month. Is it all right if I call him now, but wait until I’m 18 to see him? Please answer my request. It’s very important to me. – Nameless, Tupelo, Miss. NAMELESS: Do not contact Eddie now, or ever. He is 100 percent off-limits! © Copley News Service Visit Copley News Service at ‘TWEEN 12 AND 20 Tuesday, Dec. 18 By Dr. Robert Wallace Copley News Service Tell college about mom’s previous behavior DR. WALLACE: I’m 16 and live alone with my mom. My parents were divorced several years ago and I have lost communication with my dad, but he still fulfills his child payment for me. My parents hate each other, but that’s not my problem. I love them both. I am a B student and I was not planning to attend college because I’m not fond of studying. But now I think that I have changed my mind. I’m a good athlete, but my mom ruins all the fun of competing. She’s always yelling at my coach, the umpires and referees, and even the other teams. At school she gets into arguments with our principal, my teachers and even the cafeteria people. I plan to attend a local community college and, if all goes well for two years, transfer to a four-year college. My father has set up a college fund for me so finances won’t be a problem. My mother is a busybody and everyone who knows her dislikes her. I’m her only friend. My problem is that my mother will probably pull the same stuff with my community college coaches and teachers that she does with the high school staff. Because of my mother’s behavior, I, too, have no friends. I want that to change when I go to college. What can I do to make sure that she does not make enemies of my college coaches and teachers? If she tries, I’ll quit. – Cherie, Garden Grove, Calif. CHERIE: College is much different from high school, for student and parent alike. You’re far more independent there, so parental influence is minimized. The type of conflict you describe, between your mother and the school, is extremely rare because the students are older and more mature. When you enroll, tell your counselor about the problems your mother had with high school teachers and officials. Trust me, she will not be permitted to interfere with your college activities. DON’T WASTE TIME ON REVENGE DR. WALLACE: Casey and I dated for over a year, but he broke up with me because he wanted to go out with another girl, who had been flirting with him. In other words, she was the cause of our split. Last week I ran into Casey at a party. He said he still cared for me and would dump his girlfriend if I would take him back. I really would like to have him dump her for what she did to me, but I don’t care for Casey that much anymore. My mother says I should encourage Casey to dump his girlfriend, then after a couple of weeks I should dump him. That way I could get them both. What do you think of this idea? – Arlene, Talladega, Ala. ARLENE: I don’t like Mom’s suggestion. Don’t waste your time looking for revenge. Your reward, even if you are successful, will be hollow. Probably all you’ll accomplish is to perpetuate a bitter feud. Be straight with Casey and tell him you have no interest in him. Then concentrate your efforts in a positive direction. You’ll be much happier, not to mention a better person. Top tips for raising great kids DR. WALLACE: I am 19, married, and the mother of a beautiful 3-month-old son. My husband and I want to be the best possible parents to our son and to any children who follow him. Both my parents and my husband’s were considered bad parents because they never gave us direction and never really cared what we did. Luckily, we turned out to be good citizens anyway. We don’t want to take this chance with our children. We would like some advice. What are a few very important things we should be aware of when raising our children to be honest, law-abiding citizens? I promise I’ll cut your column out and tape it to our refrigerator as a constant reminder. – Kelly, Holland, Mich. KELLY: I could list five dozen valuable rules of wise parenting, but three of the most important are: – Lead by example. Children are very observant. They’ll notice what you do far more than they’ll pay attention to what you say. Your lifestyle will greatly influence theirs. – Be a good listener. Listen carefully to what your children are saying. Most of us have no trouble talking, but while we’re busy working our jaws, we forget to use our ears, or our hearts. – Most importantly, give unconditional love every second of every day! START WITH STOPPING SMOKING DR. WALLACE: I’m 19 and have been smoking for over five years and I’d like to end this habit, but I’m also overweight. I’m afraid that if I quit smoking, I’ll gain more weight. I know that I can’t stop smoking and lose weight at the same time. What should I tackle first? I am committed to stopping smoking and losing 35 pounds. I will succeed in both. – Melody, Goshen, Ind. MELODY: I checked with a local chapter of the American Cancer Society, where the consensus was that you should work on quitting smoking first. This will require all the willpower you have, because nicotine is a highly addictive drug. If you need help, stop by the local Cancer Society and ask for all their pertinent literature which is available at no cost. After you are smoke-free for 30 days, start losing those excess pounds with proper diet combined with regular exercise. Please write to me in a couple of months to let me know your progress.GUYS HAVE A HARD TIME WITH 3 WORDS DR. WALLACE: Why are guys afraid to say, “I love you?” I’ve gone steady with three guys and none of them will say these words, even if they do, in fact, love me. At a tender moment, I will tell the guy, “I love you” and all I get is, “I care for you, too.” My best friend has encountered the same thing. Guys say, “I love you” in the movies, but not in real life. This really bothers me a lot. – Mandy, Vicksburg, Miss. MANDY: Blame it on society. Guys are taught to be rough and tough, so they find saying, “I love you,” somehow un-masculine. It’s really nice to hear those three little words, but be wary if you only hear them in the heat of passion. At such a moment, they may be uttered with an ulterior motive. When a guy tells a girl, “I love you,” while they’re walking hand in hand along the beach, then he’s sincere! © Copley News Servic

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