DEAR READERS: Thank you for your recent responses to "Teen Talk." I appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with me whether you agree or disagree with what I say.
DEAR KELLY: I'm a retired psychologist and was disturbed by your response to "Unhapy Girl," whose "counselor" called her selfish. That counselor needs counseling. It's inexcusable for someone in her position to say something like that. And for you to place the onus on dealing with it on the girl herself is just plain wrong.
The counselor's concerns could be couched in ways that would be helpful, not punitive and blaming. The girl should speak with both her parents and have them approach the school with their concerns.
DEAR KELLY: I am very concerned about your response to this young person who struggled with her high school adviser on several fronts.
Unless she is flat-out lying in her letter, the adviser engaged in a directed, unprofessional, personal attack. Name calling is never appropriate, let alone in an adult (school personnel) and minor (student) relationship. The power dynamic in such a relationship is highly unequal, and your response abandonded her to it. She has parents; in this situation, they are the ones who should be responding, and directly to the school administration. Whether this child is or is not selfish, and what she might do if she is, is a side issue. The central concern here should be addressing what appears to be emotional abuse by a school adviser.
To suggest she resolve it herself, when she already reports a very high level of emotional distress, simply lines her up for more of the same and fails completely to acknowledge her perceptions. This is important not only for her, but for other students who have, or will encounter this person.
DEAR KELLY: Your column is an excellent one, which I read on a regular basis. Usually I can endorse your suggestions, but I mostly disagree with your advice to "Unhappy Girl."
Your comments put too much onus on her, and you presume too much understanding from her (ill) adviser. She will learn that she has no power when authority belittles her. And likely the administrator will support the adviser.
"Start talking with adviser"? She should be talking with her father and mother first. They are aware of her persona and can best "advise" her with love, compassion, and understanding, and subsequently deal with the school administration to provide a different adviser.
Your suggestion that "Unhappy Girl" address the specific occurrences of the issue of selfishness is well taken, but I suggest the young lady obtain a written and signed response. Am I cynical assuming that such a response will not happen?
Your advice that leaving the school on this account to be a poor choice is appropriate on several levels.
DEAR KELLY: Regarding "Lost" people of the older generation cannot believe teens are now having "phone sex." Seriously? What is the world coming to? What are we doing to our teens? All this social media stuff is not helping our teens and only adding more problems to their plates. Enough is enough.
DEAR KELLY: The high school freshman who wrote to you about meeting a high school-age security guard needs to be extremely cautious. I am very doubtful that any security company would hire a high school student. Your writer may be in danger from a predator posing as a high school student.