Nattie Swan is St. Charles Parishís best new advice columnist for kids and their parents. Let her help you. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
My daughter has quit going to church
Dear Nattie: I'm worried about my daughter. She's 17 and a good student, a wonderful child and very mature for her age.
But suddenly she's become opposed to going to church.
She's always been good about getting up on Sundays for Sunday School and the regular service.
But these days it's everything I can do to drag her out of bed and she makes a scene when I do. She says she's old enough to decide whether she wants to go to church or not.
I want her to talk to our preacher, but she refuses.
A friend of mine says she's probably going through a phase and will be fine if I just leave her alone to sort things out on her own.
If I talk to our preacher after she asked me not to, she'll think I betrayed her - so I'm hoping that you can help because you know how teenagers think.
Am I worrying over nothing? Do you think she's going through a phase and will come back to church if I just tell her I love her and I'm here for her? - Concerned Mom in Des Allemands
Dear Concerned Mom: Your friend is right. Teenagers do go through stages and they donít usually pass in a day or two, they take time. But your daughter is right as well.
She is old enough to decide things for herself.
I know that you want the best for her but you canít force her to do things, because the more you push the more she will rebel.
Just let her know you will always be there when she needs you and give her time to sort things out.
My mom says Iím too irresponsible for pets
Dear Nattie: My mother! She treats me like I'm a baby. I'm 15. But she won't let me buy an aquarium even with my own money.
She says I won't take care of the fish. She says she'll have to take care of them because I'll lose interest and stop feeding them like I stopped feeding my bird.
Well, duh! I stopped feeding my bird because he liked Mom more than he liked me.
When I let him out of the cage he would always fly to her because she was giving him treats when I was in school.
But the fish aren't smart enough to know who's giving them treats and they'll be my pets, not hers.
How can I make Mom see that she's the reason I stopped feeding the bird, and believe me when I tell her I'll take care of my fish? - Needs a Pet in Montz
Dear Needs a Pet: I definitely know where you are coming from.
My mom was like that with my pet when I was seven, not fifteen.
What you should do is ask your mom if you can buy a small fish bowl and get a Beta fish for starters.
They cost about $4. Then work your way up to an aquarium.
If you start small and work your way up you can show you are responsible and ultimately get what you want.