Sunday, April 1, 2007
Dear Annie: Did you know that young people want to serve their communities? In fact, millions of young people volunteer every year, and the number continues to grow. Please let your readers know about the 19th Annual National & amp; Global Youth Service Day, on April 20-22.
During this three-day event, held in the United States and around the world, young people along with their parents, teachers, friends and mentors will address unmet community needs through service and service-learning projects. This event spotlights what youth are doing to make a difference in their communities. When given the opportunity, young people are great assets and resources to their communities, providing unique perspectives and skills.
For more information, readers can visit www.YSA.org, or write to Youth Service America, 1101 15th Street, N.W., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005. They can also find volunteer opportunities in their communities today at www.SERVEnet.org. Steven A. Culbertson, President & amp; CEO, Youth Service America
Dear Steven Culbertson: Thanks so much for reminding our readers about this worthwhile project. We hope all of them, young or old, will check out the Web sites you mention and become involved in local volunteer projects.
Dear Annie: Our daughter has been married for 10 years. Six months ago, she found out her husband had cheated on her.
Before this, we were very close to our son-in-law, but we have not seen or spoken to him since our daughter found out about the affair. This is not our choice. He says he feels too ashamed to face us.
They have since been to counseling, and we have been patient. We would love to have things back the way they were, but my daughter says he needs more time. We believe the longer it goes on, the worse it will get. Our daughter has forgiven him, and we have, too. Now what? Patient in North Carolina
Dear N.C.: Your son-in-law is afraid of what you might say or think when you see him again, but you are right that it won't help to wait. Once he forces himself to get past the awkwardness, things can become normalized. If the two of them are still seeing a counselor, ask your daughter to bring up the subject at the next session. Otherwise, send your son-in-law a note, saying, "We forgive you and we miss you. Please come for dinner next Sunday."
Dear Annie: I have a 2-year-old son whom I love very much and wouldn't give up for anything in the world, but I had him when I was 17 years old. I wonder what my life would have been like if I hadn't become pregnant.
To all the parents of teens out there, it is better to be open about sex than to expect your child to be abstinent. When I was 16 and in love for the first time, I thought my relationship with my child's father would last forever. I was afraid to talk to my mom about birth control, because she expected me to wait until marriage. But rampant hormones and a desire to be accepted often outweigh parents' expectations. Please, talk to your kids. Teach them about STDs and pregnancy. Let them know it's OK to be frank. I don't regret having my son, but I do regret losing what should have been the most fun years of my life. Too Late Smart
Dear Too Late: Thank you for making it clear how important it is for parents to discuss sex, and all the repercussions, with their children. Children must feel secure talking to the adults in their lives and know they will not be dismissed, punished or judged for bringing up any subject.
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