Dear DeeDee ~ A.T.

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Dear DeeDee,
What would be the best advised to give a person to stop trying to bring themselves down and to stop hanging out with people that are a bad influence on them. I have a cousin of mine; she’s only 15 years old, she struggles with depression and anxiety she takes medication for that. Lately, she has been getting in trouble at school she skips her classes and leaves school campus with another cousin of mine and her friends. They leave school just to smoke at the beach. My 15-year old cousin recently got in trouble with the law. There’s a chance she might be going to juvenile hall. I would really want to help her. I don’t want her to live what I lived. I wouldn’t like her to experience going to juvenile it really sucks in there, and it’s really sad. I saw my parents suffer for a bad decision that wasn’t thought thoroughly.  It’s just not worth it. My mother was really depressed. When it came to visiting days, my parents would always say, “There are no friends in this world, the only friends that you have are your parents. Your parents are going to be there for you 24/7.”

DeeDee, I would really want to help her realize the people she hangs out with are just not worth it.

What advice to do you recommend me giving her?



Hello A.T.,
I’m glad that you are taking the initiative to help your 15-year-old cousin. It is important that you help her through this situation as soon as possible before it is too late. All of us, at some time or another, struggle with an inner voice that is critical, negative and even harsh.
The first tool for dealing with this is to confide the negativity. Your cousin needs you, or a friend, a parent, a teacher, a counselor. If no one is readily available, she needs to confide in her higher self. If she keeps all the negativity stuffed inside of her, it just builds up and makes her feel worse.  She needs to release it, and let it out.
Next, her confidant (you) will reflect back to her something accurate and positive about her – something you know to be true (“You have handled difficult situations before,” “You can figure this out,” etc.).  The reflection from the positive mirror is essential because up till now your cousin is glued to the negative side. She needs to get out of the grips of the negativity and receive a different message.
Once you’ve done that she is ready for the third tool — envision. Taking small manageable steps, successfully, to correct the original negativity. Your cousin should be able to imagine each small step that she can take in order for her to see herself taking them.
Let your cousin know that you care about her. It can be difficult to stay away from friends who are a bad influence on you. Let her know what you experienced in juvenile hall and what she’s doing is not worth it. Let her know that her friendships are toxic and can affect her future.  She needs to recognize her bad friendships. These steps can help your cousin stay away from friends who are bad influences.
1. Realize the effect her friends have on her

2. Talk to her friends

3. Set boundaries from her friends

4. End the friendships

5. Stay away, and make new friends that have a positive impact in her life.

Following my advice, may not erase all of your cousin’s problems, but it will help her stop bringing herself down, and will stop toxic friendships.

I’m always here if you need me,
Wishing you the best of luck,


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Dear DeeDee ~ A.T.