Annie Fox for Teens... Hey, Terra!

Annie (AKA Hey Terra!) has been around long enough to have experienced a lot of what Life can dish out. But, it hasn’t been so long that she's forgotten what it's like to be your age. Check out some of the thousands of email questions teens from around the world have sent to Terra. You may learn something useful from her answers:

“My sister has a learning disability and she gets all my parents' attention.”

Hey Terra,

My sister has learning disabilities, so she gets extra attention from my mom and dad.

I get really good grades and have no trouble with school. My mom and dad think that I don't need any help right know and focus there attention on her (my sister). I feel like dropping a grade just to get their attention.


Hello! What about me!

Dear Hello! What about me,

Thank you so much for writing to me. Your situation is an important one, because your feelings are very important. So important that your parents really need to know what's going on. They love your sister and because of her learning disabilities, they are working extra hard to make sure that she gets the support she needs to succeed in school (and in life). Your parents absolutely love you too. And I'm sure they are very proud of the really good grades you get and the fact that you have "no trouble with school." But even though parents love their children, they don't always realize how their choices make their children feel.

You asked for my advice. OK. Here's what you should NOT do. DO NOT let your grades drop "just to get their attention." That is not the kind of attention you want and besides, it would be a waste of your gifts to do less than your best. (You also won't feel proud of yourself for doing it.) You should also NOT think of your sister as your enemy or someone you're in competition with. Your sister didn't choose to have a learning disability. (You know that, but this is a reminder.) She loves you and she admires you.

So, those are the DON'Ts. Here are the DOs.

DO talk privately with your mom and dad. DO share this email with them if you like. DO tell them how you're feeling and together, as a family, figure out how you can share in their attention.


Good luck.

In friendship,


Need some advice? Write to Terra. She'll give you a straight answer you can trust without any lectures.

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