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          Advice for Teens in Trouble

          October 08, 2002

          All teenagers have disagreements with their parents and feel the need to get away. But when that need leads you down a self-destructive path, it’s time to make a change. The answers can’t be found on the outside — they’re inside you. Dr. Phil explains:
          • Don’t throw your life away to spite your parents, or to get even with them. Although you may not see eye-to-eye, those disagreements aren’t worth ruining your future.
          • Running to a boyfriend or girlfriend is not the answer, because you’re not really running to them. You’re running away from your problems at home.
          • If you are living with a boyfriend or girlfriend, don’t settle for someone who treats you poorly. Someone who truly cares about you will treat you with dignity and respect.
          • The first step of abuse, whether physical or emotional, is isolation. When you allow someone to isolate you from your friends and family, you’re falling into a pattern of abuse.
          • Even if no one else tells you, remember that you are a valuable human being. You have so much to offer to the world — don’t sell yourself short and give yourself away cheap.
          • You are a worthy person. But the only person who can give you more of what you need is yourself. The only time that you will ever get more than what you have now is when you decide that you deserve more.

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