Q: I am an 11-year-old girl who has a crush on two seventh graders. There is an eighth-grade boy who likes me, but I don't like him at all. What do I do?
A: If the eighth grader wants to know if you'll be his girlfriend, be honest and let him know you're not interested in him. Otherwise, he may keep bugging you. As for the two boys you like, be friendly with them so you can get to know them better. You may then be able to figure out which one you really like and can keep being friendly toward him. Hopefully, he'll like you in return. Or, you may want to enjoy your friendship with both boys and not worry about which one you like more.
Q: I am a 12-year-old girl who has a crush on a 13-year-old boy. He hangs around my best friend a lot. That's why I don't thinks he like me. On the weekends he stays with his grandmother. She is very nice. He gave me his grandmother's phone number. I thought that he liked me because of that. But it seems that he likes my best friend. If he likes me, why does he hang around her?
A: You must really wish this boy liked you, so you find it hard to believe what you are observing -- that he's paying more attention to your best friend. He probably does like her and if she likes him, it might be best for you not to go after him as you could lose your best friend. However, since he did give you his phone number, you could continue to be friends with him. Later, you might have a chance of getting together with him if the relationship between him and your best friend doesn't work out.
Q: I am a 12-year-old boy. My grandmother has come to live with us. My brother is 16 years old and has to sleep in my bed with me every night. It's very uncomfortable and crowded, but he won't wake up when I push him away from me. My mother works, my father lives in Colorado, and my grandmother is old.
A: Your family must be going through some hard times. It's difficult to grow up without a father around and to care for an elderly grandmother. It must also be hard financially, and that's probably why you and your brother are sharing beds. Still, there may be ways you could sleep separately once you let your mother know how uncomfortable it is sleeping together. Perhaps she could buy a used bed or even a mattress, so that you could sleep separately, or friends and relatives might be willing to help out if they knew about your situation. You and your brother could also consider earning money by yardwork or odd jobs to help purchase a bed.
Dr. Sokal is a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist practicing in Baltimore. If you have a question, send it to Kids Ask, Features Department, The Sun, Baltimore 21278.