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Teenagers and Independence

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I've lost about 20 pounds, which was my goal. But, my stomach area is still flabby. I do stomach crunches, so what more can I do?

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I am an 18-year-old female writing an article for a school newspaper about teens and decision-making. I would like some advice on where to search for information on teen psychology and why teens fail to think ahead when they make decisions. For example; a friend of mine is graduating high school early so she can go live with her college boyfriend, despite her parent's wishes against it. She will attend her boyfriend's college not for herself, but to be with him. Why won't she be independent? What can society or even family members/friends do to convince her and other women like her to be independent? I realize that the answers to some of these questions will be opinions, and that is fine. I simply need expert material for my article. Thank you very much for your time!



Dear Wondering,

Your friend thinks that she is being independent by opposing her parent's wishes and being with her boyfriend.

Teenagers often face difficult and confusing decisions. However, since they want to be independent and in control of their own lives, they don't listen to their parent's advice, but rely on their own decision-making, a close friend, or turn to others in their peer group.

When a teenager moves out, parents can still provide advice, but cannot enforce it (unless they are paying for the teenagers food and lodging). By not enforcing advice, parents can still keep the lines of communication open. The outcome, whether good or bad, is the teenager's own decision, and is part of their growing and learning process.