Mother’s Perspective is an advice column by Backstreet Mom Author + Life Coach, Denise Solis.
Q: Hey Denise,
You have my respect for your work and support. I would like to know why Alex has a red fingernail? What kind of meaning does it have?–mslngc
A: THERE WAS NO REAL SIGNIFICANCE TO HIS RED NAILS OR BLACK ONES FOR THAT MATTER. HE AND I HAD A PEDICURE AND MANICURE WHILE HE WAS VISITING AND HE JUST DECIDED TO DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT. NO SPECIAL REASON OTHER THAN JUST TO BE AJ.
Q: Hi Mrs. McLean,
I’m gonna be going to high school soon and I’m scared because I come from a “good” family. Nobody in my family do drugs or drink or had sex before marriage. I know I’m gonna be mixed with people that all that stuff is “normal” for and I don’t wanna even THINK of doing that stuff. So I’m really scared of going to high school. How can I stay safe and not run with the crowd? P.S. I really enjoy your columns. All the subjects are something people need to talk about. Take care.
–Fatimah, Queens, NY
A: WHENEVER YOU ARE FACED WITH SERIOUS DECISIONS LIKE EXPERIMENTING WITH DRUGS, DRINKING OR OTHER ISSUES I HAVE ONLY ONE PIECE OF ADVICE: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF AND THINK ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF YOUR ACTIONS, BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY DECISION. CONSIDER IF IT IS WORTH DAMAGING YOUR BODY, BRAIN AND SELF-ESTEEM JUST TO RUN WITH THE “COOL KIDS”. WOULD YOU RATHER BE A LEADER OR A FOLLOWER? HOPE THAT HELPS.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit more about being a life coach?–Michelle, Cloudcroft, NM
A: BEING A LIFE COACH IS A VERY REWARDING CAREER. YOU HELP PEOPLE HELP THEMSELVES BY BECOMING THEIR “SOUNDING BOARD”. YOU LISTEN TO THEM AND ASK THEM QUESTIONS SO THEY CAN DISCOVER NEW WAYS TO LOOK AT ISSUES AND FIND SOLUTIONS WITHIN THEMSELVES. I LOVE IT.
Q: Hello! I have been battling a drug and alcohol addiction for the past 5 years. So far I am doing better with the alcohol problem. Recently my mother and cousin staged a mini-intervention to talk to me about the pain killer issue that I have. I have listened so far to what they told me (mostly my cousin) and am doing okay I guess. The withdrawal that people talk about is hard. I watched AJ go through it and is doing well. I was sad to hear that when it happened, but I realized that it was the same situation I was in as well. Your son has helped me a lot. His strength and motivation and positive attitude shows me that I can beat this as well. My question is what should I do when I still feel the urge to take more pain killers than I should??? I still want them, you know? It’s hard for me to stop. I hope to hear from you soon! Thanks a lot! From what I know of you, you seem like an awesome person and mother.
–Lauren, Tucson, AZ
A: AS WITH ANY ADDICTION, ONCE YOU ARE CLEAN AND SOBER YOU NEED A GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM IN PLACE. YOU NEED TO ATTEND MEETINGS LIKE AA OR NA REGULARLY AND WORK A PROGRAM. WITH THIS SUPPORT SYSTEM IN PLACE YOU HAVE THE MEANS TO GET HELP WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE YOU MAY RELAPSE AND USE AGAIN. YOU CALL A SPONSOR OR GO TO A MEETING. THAT IS REALLY THE ONLY WAY IT WILL WORK IN RECOVERY.
Q: How can I make sure that I don’t follow in the footsteps of my mother who has used drugs for as long as I can remember?–Michelle
A: MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES. MAKE THE DECISION TO NOT USE DRUGS AND STICK TO IT. FIND FRIENDS WHO WILL SUPPORT YOU IN THIS DECISION AND DON’T PUT YOURSELF IN SITUATIONS THAT MIGHT BE TEMPTING FOR YOU TO USE DRUGS. THE ANSWER IS IN YOUR HEART, LISTEN TO IT.
Q: What is the coolest experience that you had when you wrote “Backstreet Mom”?
A: I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THE DAY THE BOOK ACTUALLY BECAME PUBLISHED AND I HELD IT IN MY HANDS. THAT WAS TRULY A DREAM COME TRUE FOR ME SINCE I HAD WISHED TO BE A WRITER SINCE MIDDLE SCHOOL.
Q: Hi Mrs. McLean!! This is awesome to be asking you a question!! My dad and mom are divorced and my dad has a girlfriend. Do you have any advice for kids who’s parents are divorced like how to cope and how to understand it? Thanks!!!!!
–Amanda, Elgin, IL
A: FIRST OF ALL, REALIZE THAT THEIR ACTIONS IN GETTING A DIVORCE ARE IN NO WAY YOUR FAULT. TRY TO BE FAIR WITH THEM AND LET THEM BE HAPPY WITH WHOMEVER THEY CHOOSE. AFTER ALL IS SAID AND DONE THEY ARE STILL YOUR PARENTS AND THAT NEVER CHANGES, NO MATTER WHERE THEY LIVE. KEEP LOVING THEM AS INDIVIDUALS AND THEY WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU BACK.
Q: Hi Denise,
When I got the e-mail from StarShine that you were giving out advice, I thought I’d give it a try. I mean you know a lot from what I’ve read. Here’s my question: Me and my boyfriend have been dating for about two weeks now and I’m unsure of exactly what’s going on. When we’re alone or just with a few people he’s nice and sweet and just the guy I started dating, but when we get to school and are around his friends, he changes. He’s stand-offish. He still walks me to classes and stuff and kind of acts like my boyfriend, but I wonder what’s up with him? Help!
–Kelly, Burnsville, NC
A: SINCE YOU SAY YOU ARE STILL IN SCHOOL I HAVE TO ASSUME YOU ARE A TEENAGER. THEREFORE, THE REASON FOR HIS CHANGING ATTITUDE IS PROBABLY THAT HE DOES NOT WANT TO APPEAR WEAK IN FRONT OF HIS PEERS. HE MAY THINK THAT SHOWING AFFECTION IN PUBLIC IS A SIGN OF WEAKNESS. HAVING A RELATIONSHIP AT A YOUNG AGE IS A CHALLENGE. THE BEST ADVICE I CAN GIVE YOU IS TO COMMUNICATE HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT WHAT HE IS DOING AND SEE IF IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE. HE MAY NOT REALIZE HOW HE IS ACTING SO HE MAY CHANGE THAT FOR YOU. IF NOT, THEN YOU HAVE TO ASK YOURSELF IF THAT IS TRULY WHAT YOU NEED AND WANT OUT OF THIS RELATIONSHIP. IF NOT, THEN MOVE ON AND FIND SOMEONE WHO GIVES YOU WHAT YOU NEED.
Q: Dear Denise,
First I just want to say I admire you and all that you do. I have a huge amount of respect for you. I wanted to ask your advice on something. I don’t have the best relationship with my mom. Ever since I was ten years old, she has abused me and treated me awful. I am 19 years old now and it still hurts me and she still disrespects me and treats me bad. My grandmother and other people that I talk to say I should just let it go and move on. I am trying to move on and not let it get to me, but it seems like she’s always calling to yell at me and tell me how worthless my life is and how big of a failure I am. I don’t know what to do, I wish I could just solve this once and for all. But I really don’t know what my mom’s problem is. She’s been treating me this way for over ten years now. I have tried talking to her, but she just won’t listen to me. What is the best thing I can do?? Thanks for your time!! Much love!!! –Rachel, Bartow, FL
A: NOT KNOWING MORE ABOUT WHERE YOUR MOM IS COMING FROM MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR ME TO ANSWER YOUR QUESTION, BUT I WILL TRY MY BEST. I WOULD SAY THAT SINCE YOU ARE BECOMING A WOMAN OF YOUR OWN MAYBE IT IS TIME TO JUST PART WAYS FROM YOUR MOTHER FOR A WHILE. WHEN SHE CALLS YOU SIMPLY EXPLAIN TO HER THAT UNLESS SHE HAS SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO SAY WITHOUT YELLING YOU DO NOT WISH TO HEAR IT. TRY TO BE AS CALM AS YOU CAN WHEN YOU TALK TO HER AND SEE IF THAT HELPS. TRY TO MAKE HER UNDERSTAND THAT UNTIL YOU BOTH CAN SIT DOWN RATIONALLY AND TALK THERE IS REALLY NOTHING MORE TO SAY. THIS IS A BIG DECISION FOR YOU BUT YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. SUGGEST YOUR MOTHER GET PROFESSIONAL HELP IF THAT IS WHAT YOU THINK SHE NEEDS.
Q: Dear Denise,
I was almost raped by this guy. I know I’m lucky that I got away and that I didn’t get raped, but I still can’t get over it. I have tried time and time again to move on, but it is holding me back in life. I always think it is going to happen again. So what can I do to move on from this event? Thanks for taking the time to read it. –Debbie, Victorville, CA
A: I THINK YOU MIGHT CONSIDER GOING TO A GROUP SESSION FOR RAPE VICTIMS IN YOUR AREA TO SEE HOW THEY COPE WITH THESE KIND OF FEELINGS. I AM NOT A THERAPIST, SO REALLY CANNOT OFFER ADVICE ABOUT THIS ONE, SORRY.
Q: Hi Denise,
My question to you is how do you deal with life when things seem like they couldn’t get any worse? People may look at my life and think I have it easy but they don’t know what I go through everyday emotionally. I just thought with you and AJ having a life that is out there for all to see and having your own share of personal struggles you might have some good advice. I don’t really have anyone to talk to in my life so any advice would be a big help. Thank you for your time. –Karen, Fall River, MA
A: WHEN YOU ARE DOWN AND OUT THE ONLY PLACE LEFT TO GO IS UP. THAT MAY SOUND SILLY TO YOU RIGHT NOW BUT I AM SURE THERE IS SOME KIND OF GROUP THERAPY OR SOMEONE PROFESSIONAL YOU CAN TALK TO ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL IN YOUR AREA. WITHOUT KNOWING MORE SPECIFICS ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS IT IS HARD TO HELP YOU VERY MUCH BUT I WOULD SUGGEST IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED THEN YOU SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP.
Q: Hi Denise!!! How are you?? How I can buy the book “Backstreet Mom”? –Jacqueline, Mexico
A: HELLO, THANKS FOR WRITING TO ME. THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN GET MY BOOK NOW IS THROUGH AMAZON.COM OR MY WEBSITE WHICH HAS A LINK TO THE PUBLISHER. HOPE THAT HELPS.