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:

Age difference:
“Why should they care if my bf is younger?”

Hey Terra,

I am in 8th grade and my bf is in 6th. I don't see any problem in the matter but my peers do. Some girls in my grade are constantly coming over to him and making fun of him for going out with an older girl. The kids in his grade don't seem to care at all. I really like him and we have been dating now for 3 months and luckily our parents are good friends. But why do the others in my grade care?


Dear Baffled,

Who knows why those girls care and why they feel the need to make him (and you) feel uncomfortable? Even if you did know the answer to those questions, you wouldn't be able to change their nasty behavior. So don't bother trying.

The only thing you and your boyfriend can change is what's inside of you. Here's my advice... Consciously CHOOSE to shift your attitude about their teasing. You CAN do that! When you let what they say bother you, you give away your PERSONAL POWER. Don't do that any more. It's disrespectful to yourself.

Talk to your boyfriend and decide, together, that you will no longer give away your power to these girls. You don't owe them any explanation about why you two are together and you really don't have to respond to the teasing. Choose NOT to respond. I know when someone teases you your automatic reaction is to say something cutting back to them in self-defense, but that does no good. Don't go there.

If you need to, practice with your boyfriend taking turns playing the part of the girls who tease. Say to him the things they say. Then he can get used to letting it "roll off" of him without getting upset.

Switch and let him give you a chance to practice the same thing.

Take back your power and you'll be freer.

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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