:Dear Abby: I am a 12-year-old girl who is happy, healthy and doing great in school. But lately I have felt sad, lonely and just plain frustrated. I used to talk to my parents about it, but I don’t feel comfortable doing it anymore, and my friends don’t like listening to me.
I have tried hard to push back these feelings, but it is putting a strain on me. Sometimes I break down crying and can’t stop. Most people think it’s just my age, but it’s not. It’s more than that. I want to talk to a psychologist, but I’m scared to ask for one. What do you think?
:So Mixed Up
Dear So Mixed Up: Admitting you need professional help with a problem isn’t something to be scared of. It is a sign of maturity. Your mood swings may be caused by the hormonal changes going on in your body as you are becoming a woman. However, because they are of concern to you, it is important that you let your parents and your pediatrician or a counselor at school know how you are feeling. It’s the surest way to get the reassurance and, if necessary, the counseling you think you need.
:Dear Abby: My 6-year-old daughter wants a dog more than anything in the world. She mentions it at least once a day.
She’s a great kid, well-behaved and doing well in school, so I hate to disappoint her. But I have absolutely no interest in taking on the added responsibility of a pet like that.
My wife and I work long hours and our home is unoccupied for most of the day. It would have to be adjusted to be pet-friendly. I have nothing against pets, but I could never be considered an animal lover. We currently have two goldfish, but I can see that the time those guys bought me is quickly running out.