Finding your Place/Giving Advice

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Is piercing safe?

I really want to get my tongue pierced. I'm old enough, I've got the money and my parents say it's ok. I'm all set to have it done, but I keep hearing horrible stories and now I'm uncertain. I've heard that it chips your teeth, dints the roof of your mouth, can paralyse your face and can sometimes go so badly wrong that you have to have your tongue amputated! I've also heard that a pierced tongue can make it really difficult to get off with people. Is this true? Should I get it done or not?

BSB fan, 16, Notts As a doctor, I can only advise against having your tongue pierced. The human mouth is full of bacteria, which can cause nasty infections if they get into the wound. Piercing itself can damage blood vessels in the tongue and cause heavy bleeding, and it has also been linked with Toxic Shock Syndrome. I'm sorry not to be more positive, but if you are having second thoughts, listen to your own common sense and put it off until you've thought it over more fully. If you have any doubts at all, then don't do it!

She's lying about her age

We are really worried about our mate from school. She's started to hang around witn ner next door neighbour, who's 14, even though she's only 11 and now goes around in a gang of much older people. She's even started going out with a 15 year old boy who thinks she's 14! She's smoking too, although she says it's only a couple a day.

We've told her she'd be better going around with us and she agreed, but at the weekend we were going swimming and spotted her with this gang again. We're scared for her now. She's a good friend and we don't want her to be hurt. What will her boyfriend do when he finds out she's at junior school? Please help. You're right to be concerned for your friend. An older boyfriend may push her towards a relationship that's more serious than it should be at her age, and smoking can only wreck her looks, health and finances.

Your mate is flattered at being in with an older crowd, and though part of her knows she should hang out with you, she can't quite give up the excitement of her new friends. That's her choice. All you can do is let her know you'll be there if things go wrong - and if they do, speak to a teacher in confidence and get some adult help on side.

He's younger than me

"I recently got off with this really cute guy at a disco, and we both want to go steady. The problem is, he's 14 and I'm two years older! It doesn't bother me when we're together, because we get on really well, but I'm worried about what other people will think. What should I do?

Worried BSB fan, 16, N Ireland

It sounds as if you really like this guy, and the fact that you both get on so well shows he's quite mature for his age. You don't say exactly how big the age gap is, but if you've only just turned 16 and he'll soon be 15, people aren't going to take much notice. If not, then it really depends on how well you think you can handle other people's remarks. If you think you can get over the age difference, then give it a go.

Talk to this guy. Explain that you're worried about what others might think. Ask your friends for advice. But If you and this guy are Into each other as much as you say, I think you've got a strong chance of It succeeding!

He dumped me for football

My boyfriend's broken up with me because he says he's too busy with exams and football. I understand his reasons, as he wants to be a professional footballer, but I love him loads. Can we still be friends, or should I forget him?

Footie crazy, 15, London

It sounds as if this guy felt he just had too much going on in his life and needed some space. I'm sure that he still has feelings for you, so do talk to him. There might be a chance of you getting back together. But if not, tell him you still want to be mates. He may not be ready to juggle footie, school and a girlfriend, but hopefully he'll see that he'd be stupid to cut off someone who cares so deeply. Good luck!

I've never been kissed

My problem is that I'm the only one in my street who's never been kissed. I fancy this boy who ...


Understanding / Comfort

I can understand that.

Thanks about being so honest about this

What an awful situation for you


If I were you, I would.. Give it a try..

You'd better be going to... The best / all you can do

Please don't ignore this situation any longer

Wise up and stop pressuring yourself