Nattie Swan is St. Charles Parish’s best new advice columnist for kids and their parents. Let her help you. Send questions to the editor.
My parents fight with each other all the time
Dear Nattie: My mother and father argue a lot and it makes me cry, mostly at night when they can't see me.
They used to be so happy and our family had lots of good times. But not anymore.
It seems like all Dad does is come home late and I know he's drinking a lot.
When I asked my Mom if Dad needs help she got all choked up and just looked away and didn't say anything.
I don't know how to help them or what to do.What would you do if you were in my situation? - Sad Teen in Hahnville
Dear Sad: First of all, don't blame yourself for your parents fighting because it is not your fault.
Your parents need more help than you can give them, professional help, and before you even try to help them you need to help yourself.
Since you talked to your mom, maybe you should try to talk to your dad about this.
He may be able to give you the answers you need.
Talking to your father can let you see the situation from a different point of view.
I had a dinner disaster at my new friend’s house
Dear Nattie: I went to a new friend's house the other day and his mother invited me to stay for dinner. I accepted because I was starving. Big mistake!
She served up some kind of weird green "mystery meat" that looked kind of like a hamburger but it had a real strong smell like stinky fish.
She also gave me a scoop of macaroni with no-fat fake cheese on it - yuck. I didn't want to be mean or seem like I didn't appreciate the invitation, so I lied and said I had forgotten about an appointment and I had to leave without eating.
Now I feel guilty because I don't like to tell lies. Do you think it was okay in this case to avoid hurting her feelings?
I know I would have tossed my cookies if I had tried to eat that stuff. I have a sensitive stomach and might even have wound up in the hospital. - Needs Reassurance in Luling
Dear Needs Reassurance: I think it was ruder to leave abruptly like you did than to be honest and say what you really thought. I am sure she would have understood having a sensitive stomach.
My brother recently had a friend spend the night and the next morning my mother made pancakes. He came right out and said he did not like pancakes. My mother understood and just offered him something else to eat.