Agony Aunt helps teenagers deal with their physical challenges

A teen’s tale

I am a 16-year-old boy and I have recently started gaining weight. I spend most of my time in school or classes. I don’t have the time to start gymming like most of my friends, since I am preparing for extra entrance exams. I am also getting acne and I feel it’s because of stress, but I can’t help it. What should I do?

Ans: I hear your concerns and let me assure you that the changes you are experiencing are a part and parcel of the hormonal changes taking place in your body. Being unable to take out time for gym could be replaced by working out for at least 15 minutes (preferably three times a day); hydrating yourself, having smaller meals at regular intervals are other ways in which you can help yourself. Sleeping on time and for adequate hours is also essential. You could also opt for involving yourself in some sport activity which could be once a week, but at least helps you with a change in environment.

Make the ‘move’

I am a 32-year-old single father living in Haryana. I live with my parents and brother’s family, but as my kids are growing up I want to move out and shift to Bangalore, where I had studied. It is a big move, and I don’t know how to tell my parents before I start the formal work. What should I do?

Ans: The strong sense of feeling independent and being able to manage your as well as your kids life by yourself could be the driving force for you to make this big move. And if you identify with this as well then using this force positively to convince your family could help. Putting across your viewpoint on what makes it pertinent to shift to another city with your kids could also elicit a positive response from your parents. Share your plans with them which could help in looking at the entire plan as well thought through and not something that you have simply fancied.

Parent’s American dream

I was born and raised in Mumbai and I am used to a metropolitan lifestyle. My parents however, are planning to move to US and settle in a small town. They think it will be better than India, but it’s actually going to be very boring and too slow. I am very frustrated. What should I do?

Ans: You seem to have made up your mind about how the new place in the US is going to be. This results in cognitive rigidity and bias that would prevent you from forming an alternative view towards the shift. Discuss about your frustration with your parent’s; explore the options around the place that you’re shifting to, in order to get better sense and not get there disappointed. In case the research suggests that the place is indeed drab, together you and your parents can discuss about other possibilities which take into account yours as well as your parent’s requirements.

Agony Aunt helps teenagers deal with their physical challenges

He loves me…he loves me not? 

I am a 24-year-old woman. I married my school best friend three months back and it has been very awkward between us since the wedding. We talk, but it’s not very natural and I am very confused as I am attracted to him, but I doubt if he feels the same way. What should I do?

Ans: Communicating clearly and honestly as to how you are feeling with an individual often resolves half the issues that might have cropped up due to misunderstandings and miscommunication. You both have entered into a different role than what you are used to see each other as. This transition process usually takes a while and patience is the key to sail through this period. Discuss about your fears before assuming his feelings towards you. Give each other time and space to explore the new relationship along with the set of responsibilities.

‘Hidden’ love

I am a 21 year old boy and I have a boyfriend since 3 years. We are both done with college now, where we were dating openly. Outside college, it is very different and it is putting a strain on our relationship as we can’t be that open. We are worried more than being happy as a couple thus resulting in few fights which aren’t ugly but impact in certain way. We have spoken to our respective families and they are very open to accepting and supportive. But fear still prevails. What should I do?

Ans: The fact that recently Supreme Court hearing makes it clear that every individual has a right to choose the partner whom they can share their lives with is instrumental in your case. The choice lies with the two of you as the decision to be open about your relationship outside college has to be made mutually. It is important to know about the factors in the external environment that are making it difficult to be comfortable outside the college and then charting down ways to resolve them. Seeking legal assistance is also a possibility in case you fear that others might make things difficult for the two of you.

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