Annie Fox's Blog...

Thoughts about teens, tweens, parenting and this adventure of living on Earth in the 21st century.

Annie Fox, M.Ed., is an internationally respected parenting expert, award-winning author, and a trusted online adviser for tweens and teens.

Teens: I’ve got a bf but he doesn’t act like one!

May 12, 2011

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It’s spring. Nature’s juices are flowing all around us… and inside us too. If you’re single and wish you weren’t and all that flowing juice isn’t enough to remind you how much you want a bf/gf, let’s add Prom to the mix!

If your top priority is getting a bf/gf , it may seem like your school is packed with lovey-dovey couples. The sight or the sound of them (talking endlessly about each other) may be enough to make you wanna scream, barf or cry.

If you have a bf/gf (w/the added status boost that comes with it) you probably don’t want to lose them. That’s why t(w)eens in relationships often try to ignore the bad stuff and convince themselves things are cool even when that little voice inside screams “I’m not happy!” Your Inner Voice knows you better than Mom. Ignoring its messages rarely helps a situation.

I just got this email from a girl who doesn’t seem to trust her Inner Voice, which is why she turned to me for a second opinion. What do you think of the opinion I gave her?

Hey Annie,

Me and this boy are together but he doesn’t call me and that makes me cry. I need help. What should I do?



Hi Confused,

It sounds like you and your bf have different ideas about what it means to be “together.” You’re unhappy because he’s not paying as much attention as you want. Have you talked to him about it? You might say something like, “I want you to call me every day.” (Or however often you think he should be calling.) Of course, telling him straight-up what you want is no guarantee that he’ll change his behavior.

The real question is: Does this guy want to be with you as much as you want to be with him? You deserve that level of interest from a boyfriend… but you can’t force someone to care about you. If he doesn’t want you, dry your tears, move on and find someone who treats you better. If you keep putting up with less than what you want, you’re sending him a message that says, “I don’t deserve any better than this from a boyfriend, so keep on ignoring me and I’ll keep putting up with it.”

If that’s not the message you want him to get, then tell him what you really mean.

I hope this helps.

In friendship,



Podcast For Parents: Want to be yourself? Go for it!

May 25, 2009

Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken

"Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken" by Mike Robbins

When my son was in grade school he never wore bright colors but he liked all kinds of t-shirts. When he started 6th grade the only tees he’d ever wear were blank white ones (the kind Haines sells in packages of three). When  I asked him about it he launched into a detailed description of the school’s social hierarchy and where he fit in. (A notch above the  losers.) Losers wore whatever they wanted because they were invisible and lacked social aspirations. Popular kids wore whatever they wanted and instantly spawned new trends.  The rest of the kids (95% of the class) were very cautious with their wardrobe choices. From my son’s perspective, wearing a plain white tee was a low risk move. All he could afford to make. As he patiently explained, “I’m not cool enough to be different.” In other words, he wasn’t confident enough to be himself.

You expect insecurity from tweens and teens. “Do I look OK?” “When am I going to learn to keep my big mouth shut?” “Did anyone just notice what I did?” But many adults still work overtime keeping our ‘unacceptable’ selves in check. We wait at the corner forever looking both ways before we make an assertive move.  In doing so, not only are we holding ourselves back from truly enjoying our lives and relationships, we’re also missing in action when it comes to showing our kids how a self-assured authentic adult operates.

I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a long time. That’s why I was drawn to Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken: Transform Your Life with the Power of Authenticity by Mike Robbins. In this week’s  Family Confidential podcast, Mike and I talk about removing the barriers to being ourselves so we can be better people and better parents.

Have a listen here:

If you have iTunes, you can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes Store.

Or, you can download an MP3 version here.

Upcoming guest authors include:

Subscribe to Family Confidential and tune in each time!

*What’s a podcast? “A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually either digital audio or video, that is made available for download via web syndication.” — Wikipedia… So, in this case, there’s an audio file for you to listen to (in addition to reading the above).

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