Q&A with Dr. Dorothy: Your tough questions answered
Dorothy Ratusny is a Certified Psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Therapy.
I have been thinking about plastic surgery for a long time, to reshape my nose because it sticks out so far, and I hate it. I always get teased about it, and it is so stupid because I could have had it fixed so long ago. I’ve even saved up most of the money to pay for it myself, but my parents say no. What can I do to convince them I need the surgery?
Ask your parents what you can do to convince them but remember—it’s important to give your body a chance to develop fully before considering plastic surgery. Typically, it’s recommended that teens are 18 or older before choosing elective surgery. If this means waiting until you’re a bit older, pay attention to whether your feelings about your nose change. Sometimes we actually ‘”grow into” parts of our body, becoming more accepting of them. If at that time you still believe your nose impacts your body image and self-esteem, consider thinking about (and sharing with your parents) how you believe the surgery will improve your quality of life. Be willing to also hear their point of view. Consider bringing one or both parents with you when you go for a consultation, so that they can ask questions and hopefully feel more comfortable with what you are proposing to do.
My parents just got divorced last year, and I am trying to be okay with it. All I really want is for them to be happy because they weren’t when they were together. But it hasn’t been all that long since my dad moved out and my mom is already dating. She’s introduced me to a couple of guys, and it really creeps me out to see them at the house, when it still feels like my dad’s house too. Is it fair to ask her to wait a bit before she starts dating again?
Unfortunately, this is an adult decision. Your mom’s choice to date now, whether or not you agree with it, is hers. Be respectful of her need to meet members of the opposite sex. It can help a lot if you ask her how it feels to be single again and what she is looking for in a life partner. If you make an effort to understand your mom’s relationship with your dad— particularly as it began to unravel—it can help gain perspective on why your mom has actively begun dating again.
Okay, so my boyfriend is this really, really, REALLY sweet guy, and we’ve been dating for about 5 months, which has been so great. However, the other day I went over to hang out, and his mom let me in and told me he was downstairs in the computer room. But when I went down there, I walked in on him looking at internet porn. I got out of that house so fast, but now things between us are really awkward, and we never know what to say to ea ch other anymore. How do I get things back to the way they were?
Silence is awkward. Not talking about the “pink elephant” in the room is awkward. Regardless of your beliefs around what your boyfriend was doing, saying nothing is bound to create emotional— and physical—distance between you both. If you really want to get things back to how they were, have a conversation about what you walked in on. Ask the questions that you want answers to. Be prepared to share your true thoughts and feelings about what you saw. Being honest will create a better understanding between you both.
My stepsister has started stealing money from my dad and stepmom. She takes it from their dressers, their wallets, pant pockets etc., and she doesn’t even care that I know she’s doing it. She says if I tell them, she’ll let them know that I’m sleeping with my new boyfriend— which isn’t even true! My parents are starting to get suspicious, and I’m worried that they’ll point the finger at me. What do I do?
This one I’m going to suggest you decide based on your conscience and sense of right and wrong. Just know that if you choose to stay quiet, your stepsister’s blackmail has worked and you’ve lost your power. It’s usually much easier to come forward with the truth than have to work at defending yourself later, if fingers are pointed at you. The choice is yours, but can you guess what my recommendation would be?
For more on Dorothy check out www.dorothyratusny.com