Help Me, Bubby!

Other Bubby Books at Amazon:

Bubby Irma's Kitchen

Yiddish Your Bubbe Never Taught You

Poetry by Jewish Grandaughters

Bubbe & Gram

Bubbe's Kitchen

My Bubbe's Arms

Bubbie & Zeide's Favorite Language

Bennett and His Bubbe's Beau

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006
Reader Update

On July 9th, we received a letter from a 14-year old girl who called herself Sad and Confused. Despite the negative moniker, as she explained to Bubby, everything in her life was going great. However, she was still miserable. Most of it, it seemed, stemmed from struggles she felt she was having with her family. She and her mother were fighting, her brother was picking on her, and her father was pushing a bit too hard. That's how she felt, at least. Well, that doesn't sound too off base for the life of a 14-year old. Who hasn't had those struggles?

But like most teenagers, despite their strife, this young girl just wanted to feel the love. She wanted everyone to stop yelling at her. A teacher at school had given her a hug once, and it made her feel like crying. She told Bubby, "I really want my parents to hug me and tell me they love me... I'’ve been trying my best to be a good child, to not disappoint them."

Bubby was sad to hear such a young girl so blue, but offered some suggestions. First, she thought that mother and father and daughter should all sit down and have a good talk. Talking is always a good thing, especially because Bubby knew that deep down they all cared for one another. Second, she thought her brother should learn to mind his own business. And third, Bubby suggested that she talk to her teacher again, and perhaps get some additional help. The teenage years can be so hard!

Most importantly, and perhaps universally, Bubby advised, "Clearing the air now is more important than 'sweeping it under the rug', so to speak."

So a few months have passed, and we are happy to say we received another letter from our reader. But we're sad to say, it doesn't sound like much has improved. At least hearing from Bubby made her realize she's not alone!

Dearest Bubby,

Oh, Thank God you wrote back. I always hoped you would. I always checked back.
I cannot express the relief that I feel that you've responded.

Thank God I'm not alone. Thank god someone will take a unbiased moments to listen to me. Your compassion is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I don't think it's an oncoming train.

Bubby, did you know my heart paused, frozen when I saw the reply from you? I thought surely I was imagining things, it was too good to be true.

Your suggestions are good, but I don't know if I'll be able to talk to my mom about this. I think I would have to talk to her though, to be able to go to a counselor. It is a sticky situation indeed.

Once I tried to go to a counselor at school. I spilled out every feeling that possessed me. She responded by telling me to draw a picture, as she proceeded to take pictures of her new engagement ring on her digital camera and send it to all of her little friends. It was when I was fairly young, but the concept of no one caring hit home that day.

That, Bubby, is why I never thought you'd actually respond.
Your sweet suggestions and kindness are a breath of fresh air.

Thank you.

Your Friend,

Sad and Confused

If you've got some more heart-warming advice for this 14-year old, please share your thoughts in the opinions link below.
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Hi, I'm sorry to hear you've been having so many problems, 14 can be a rough age and I didn't enjoy it back then either. So no, you're very much not alone.

In your past letter you mentioned one teacher who took a particular liking to you. Maybe she would be a helpful person to talk to, and see if she can recommend a GOOD school counselor? (The idiot who sent pictures of her engagement ring right in the middle of a session with you deserves to be fired, for such incompetence on the job. It's not your fault she did that and there are people who care about you, she just happens to not be one of them.)

Also - if you are shy to talk to your parents directly, maybe writing a letter would help? You could even show them part or all of what you wrote to Bubby. Whatever helps let your parents know how you are feeling. And yes, your brother should mind his own business...

Anyways, good luck, take care and let us know how it goes. I'm rooting for you. ;)

By Anonymous Chantyshira, at 4:08 PM  

i'm 21 and have had problems with my parents ever since i was little... i have a younger sister, and she always gets more attention than i do, she always gets what she wants from my parents... i've been a good child, i got only A, and A+ in school, i'm in a very good university now, and still it's not enough for my parents... my sister is spoiled, doens't have good grades, and still they only see my mistakes... i have talked to them only a couple of times.. seriously i mean, about my problems... they really don't know anything abut me... plase don;t do the same mistake... just talk to them... it's so difficult to start... i never had the courage and the strength to do it... and look how i'm paying for it ... the thing is i grew stronger, but i have a lot of problems with human relationships... one evening, when both ur paretns are home, and when they are not angry, go to them, tell them.. mum, dad... i have problems, i need ur help, and start crying.. u must cry to get their attention... tell them u feel like u don;t want to live anymore, that u feel that no one loves u and cares for u, and that u thik they don't love u... they must hear these things to realize that something is wrong with their attitude...

they are ur parents and they love u, they will help u, even if they don;t know how to tlak to you or help u, but they will give their best...

By Anonymous isilme hiswe, at 3:31 PM  

hello sad and confused being the mother of a 14 yr olf girl my self i know sometimes it is not easy for the parents also dealing with their kids. you may want to put little reminders with you like remembering what are your daily tasks, see if you can help your parents with some household chores and most of all you must try to give you parents a hug too they are human too and they this might open up a door towards communication. Try to be more communicative but at a time when they are not caught up with something. Try to ask them when would be a nice time when we can talk. Make sure when your parents talk you don't interupt and when you talk they should do the same.If you have grandparents and you think you can talk with them. One other advice sometimes kids have some disability which parents are unable to identify so may want your parent to check that out too where you are very forgetful it may not be your fault check out. One more thing you did not say why are your family doing what they are doing seems like they do care so there is a problem somewhere. On the other hand you were raised by your parents and see you turned out to be so good seem,so try to make some good friends whom you can be happy spending time with sometimes when you are growing up many times when parents are saying stuff kids your age don't like it, they don't like to follow rules set for them and that is a big problem too. See if you can follow the rules because when you see your friends being all happy you may think that everything is all so good at their home but not mine well everyone has their ups and down no family is perfect and many times parents are thinking for the best of their children. Try telling your parents how unhappy and sad you feel and may be they will try to help you out without blaming them. This might work. Hope all works out well with you. Try to be happy read lots of books go to the library, write journals keep your self busy, you are growing up everyday so try to make the best out of it smile just to appreciate this world that we all live in, there are so many things to be happy about, look at the blue sky, or the birds , the fishes, the green grass or the beautiful flowers and our friends and people we know. Take care bye

By Anonymous loving heart, at 3:33 AM  

HI Chica,

I can imagine how you must feel. Growing up with my divorced parents fighting eachother and their own depression I realized that all people are working out their own issues regardless of age and if they are parents or not. I commend you for seeking advice.

My mother would always tell other people how beautiful they were, or talk to me about how beautiful my friends were or this girl walking down the street was, which made me so sad because she never told me that I was pretty even though she lavished endless comments on my older sister. I grew up with really poor esteem and even my sister recognized the inequity of attention. Every parent should tell their daughters that they are the most precious and beautiful people, but unfortunately that doesn't usually happen. At least I will not make that mistake when I have daughters! I guess that it one reason why I was learning this lesson.

Well after my mother grew up a bit, and I became less ashamed of my feelings I spoke to my mother about it. It was a struggle because it involved her admitting a wrong, and she is a pretty stubborn woman (though stubborness is what has pushed her forward in life in someways, it was detrimental in others). Thankfully after talking and battling a little she saw my point. Since then she has told me things about my appearance that are positive, but I regret I waited until I was 21 to talk to her about this. Jr High and High School would have been a bit happier for me if I had her support.

You are ahead of the game, good for you. Everyone is born with baggage from their parents and the sooner you realize it and want to release it, the easier it makes EVERYTHING else in life, I am not kidding. They are hard lessons to learn, and not everyone has the courage to face them.

I am sending you thoughts of courage to talk to your family, it might take several attempts so they understand and several more until they make changes, but you never know what you might learn about your parents. They might even end up thanking you---for example my grandmother when she was 80 years old deeply regretted never telling us she loved us, or gave us enough hugs so she tried to make up for it in later years when sadly, we weren't around that often to receive them. Help your parents and help yourself.

Good Luck and Take Care.

By Blogger ConnectedToLife, at 3:50 AM  

Hey dude.

I understand totally how you feel. When I heard about how your teacher gave you a hug and it almost made you cry I was like-Yep! same here! I never got a hug from a teacher but whenever I get a hug from a friend I'm like....aww! I know it's hard. You want love and acceptance, every teen wants that, but I'm gonna wanr you, you may not get it. Don't give up hope though. 14 is such a poopy age when it comes to communication and finding your way in life. I went through the same problems, and they're still an on-going problem for me.

My only solution was to learn to love school, and really be loved by your friends, get hugs from them and get the emotional support you need there.

You're SO no alone in this one, just hang tight. ;) We're in this together.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 PM  

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Bubby is our 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93 94 year old grandmother.
A few years ago we introduced her to the internet and we've been getting daily e-mails from her ever since. When she was 87, we began this website. We now believe she is the oldest blogger on the Internet.

Whether Bubby is reminding us that boyfriends do not substitute for warm jackets in the winter, or that it's better to receive a compliment than a brick, she always has something to say to her granddaughters.

Now with this new website, Bubby can finally share her wisdom with the rest of the world. And she's excited about it! (Which confuses us, because she used to say we were all she needed.)

Hopefully this will be as much fun for new readers as it will surely be for her. And if not, well, as Bubby says, it will all come out in the wash.

So, are you looking for advice on food, work, a broken heart, or the perfect bat mitzvah present?

But no dirty words allowed or you'll only get one matzah ball.

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I smell him from here
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