Dear Abby: I am 16, and my sister Amber is 13. For the past few months, she has been throwing tantrums whenever things don't go her way, or she feels something wrong happens. So my parents and I just leave her alone.
Amber cries, stomps and hits, and because I share a room with her I am very stressed out. I haven't been able to sleep until she wears herself out. Lately, she has been saying she hates life, and I am scared she might do something stupid.
-- Older Sis in Northern California
Dear Older Sis: The behavior you have described is not normal for someone Amber's age. And if it's new behavior, it's a reason your parents should not ignore it. If your parents are unable to get Amber to talk to them, they may need the help of a physician or adolescent psychologist to get to the root of what is triggering these episodes. Please don't wait. Clip this item, give it to your parents and tell them you wrote it. I, too, am concerned for your sister.
Stop arguing over thermostat
Dear Abby: My husband and I are open with each other and can reach a satisfactory compromise on a lot of things. However, one we can't seem to reach an agreement on is the temperature of our house. When evening rolls around, my husband turns on the air conditioning and the fans, leaving me to run to the closet for multiple sweat shirts. When we sleep, I end up using four blankets while he uses just a sheet.
When I ask him to turn up the temperature, he responds with, "It's easier for you to put more clothes on if you're cold." It results in an argument every night. Please help, Abby.
-- Frozen in Oregon
Dear Frozen: Stop arguing and buy a heating pad and a long extension cord. It will solve your problem and you'll both be comfortable. And for your bed, consider an electric mattress pad. If you share the same bed with your husband, get one with dual controls.