Dear Carol

Dear Carol: “I don’t want to be a teenager!"

Dear Carol,
Is it OK not to want to be a teenager? I don’t want my period or anything!
—Not Ready

Dear Not Ready,
It is A-OK to want to be a kid for as long as possible. Who doesn’t like the idea of hanging out in pajamas and playing games? But teens can do that too, and it’s fun to have more independence than you have now. If you’re anxious about the potholes of adolescence (like vaping or drinking), please know you can (and should) always say no to such vices—and by saying no to them, you’re saying yes to yourself. As for your period, I didn’t get mine until I was 15(!) and, by then, I was more than ready. Yours may not come right away either. Every young woman stresses at first then figures it all out. Next time your with older siblings, cousins or friends, you could ask what stuff made them nervous about growing up. I bet it would be reassuring.

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by GL | 2/2/2020