Ask Rene:
HELP! I Have A Bad Reputation!



Dear Rene,

I am only 12 but I have a very bad reputation. I am getting in fights and I really want to change that, really for my dad. People say it’s just a phase but I have been this way for a long time. I really need some advice on what to do. I am afraid of doing one, real stupid thing and getting caught so please, I know this is a website for moms but I need help because I want to change. 


One of a kind, Lacee


Hey Lacee:

I want to tell you something and I really mean this. I don’t know you but you know what? I am really proud of you. I know that may sound strange but you have done something a lot of grown-ups can’t do which is to admit they have a problem. That’s the first step in making things better. Being self-aware is going to take you a long way in this life so if nothing else, I want you to be proud of that.

 Now, what to do about this path you’re on that you want to change? Well, I have a few ideas.



Creative Commons/stevendepolo

You say you want to change for your father but beyond that, I’m curious about the type of relationship you have with your parents;  you don’t mention your mother at all.  Are you able to talk to them? If so, I would suggest you start there. Tell them exactly what you told me, that you feel you’re headed in the wrong direction and want to change. They might want to take you to a pediatrician who might talk to you. If you can’t speak to them, reach out to someone at school,  a trusted teacher or a school counselor.

Read more:  Ask Rene: Puberty And The Pill.. How Do I Talk To My Mom?



Have you ever heard the saying, “Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop”? Basically it means that people tend to get in trouble when they’re not doing enough. You need to fill up empty hours with some constructive activity. There are a lot of places who could use the help of a good kid. Maybe you could volunteer at a local animal shelter or help an elderly neighbor. Maybe a frazzled mom could use a mother’s helper (someone who watches the kids while she’s in the house doing something else) or start your own business scooping dog poop (GASP! I know but that pays pretty well since no one wants to do it). Bonus: you’ll also make contacts and develop a good work ethic. Hey you never know; that could turn into a job down the line.

Read more:  The GEM Debate: A Trophy For Everyone?



Lacee, listen to me. The people you hang around with, no matter how strong you think you are, will have an influence on you and your behavior. They will do things and talk about things that sound so normal and fine that absolutely are not. People see you around those trouble makers and label you as one, too. Don’t make life harder than it already is by hanging with a bad crowd. Trust me, it’s just not worth it.

Read more:  Tandem Tantrums: Do You Believe In Wonderful Every Day? Here Are 6 Reasons You Must!



Creative Commons/valstar2011

I want you to sit down with a piece of paper and map out, in great detail, the life you want for yourself. What kind of job do you want? Where do you want to live? Will you live in a house or an apartment? In a big city or in the country? You wouldn’t plan a long trip without a map so that’s what this is going to be. It’s called visualization; you have to name it (what you want) to claim it.

Read more:  Monday Morning Motivation: The Best Is Yet To Come!


A quick story before I go. I once knew a girl, she was very smart, but didn’t apply herself to her studies very much. She got out of high school and went to college where she just sort of phoned it in, getting grades that were far lower than she was capable of. At the end of her third semester there, administrators grew tired of her antics and asked her to sit out one semester as they were going to use her slot for someone who would take their schooling seriously. She did and in that time realized that she was smart and working as hard as she was for so little money really did suck.

That girl was me;  I hung with a bad crowd but, like you, knew I had to change. I did, which is why I know you can, too.

The one thing I really want you to understand, Lacee, is that adults are here and willing to help; all you have to do is ask. I think you are destined for greatness. Now go get it done!

Do you have a question for Rene? She has an answer. Click here and fire away. And don’t forget to follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

More from GEM:

5 Conversations You MUST Have With Your Kid… Including THIS ONE! (VIDEO)

Tandem Tantrums: Do You Believe In Wonderful Every Day? Here Are 6 Reasons You Must!

Our Story Begins: But Dad, Just LISTEN!