10-Year-Old's Advice Column 'Ask Lauren' Is a Younger, Wiser 'Dear Abby'

Seriously -- ask Lauren. She'll help.
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girl writing at desk

“They’re only around when there’s something in it for them,” writes Lauren of frenemies. “It’s always all about them and what they want to do. Sometimes a frenemy will say something really nice to you and then something really mean right after. For example: ‘You have really nice clothes, but they’d look better if they weren’t so tight.’ They say things that sound like a compliment but end up making you feel bad or sad.”

Here’s an obvious question no one ever answers properly: What kind of horrible monster does that?

“They are kind of like bullies. Only with frenemies, they may like you and want to be your friend but something inside them doesn’t want you to be better than they are or have better things than they do.”

Read Should This Little Girl’s Big Bow Be Banned?

So they’re the ones who are confused! And how should someone handle them?

“Start to pull away and let the “friendship” fade away. Don’t act mean or rude or pick a fight. Just stop phoning, texting, or hanging out a little more each day.”

Very cool. Where was she in 2007 when I sent that emotionally overwrought email I deeply regret? Oh right, she was in kindergarten.

Still, my favorite nugget of timeless wisdom goes back to Lauren’s advice on wearing braces (or any other shame-producing device, real or imagined.)

“Don’t not smile at all because you are afraid someone will notice because that will be even more noticeable, and everyone will ask you ‘what’s wrong?'”

I hate when that happens.

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