Got a problem you'd like to share with Sidney? Write to her at: The Meridian Star, P.O. Box 1591, Meridian, MS 39301 or e-mail her at All submissions are confidential and go directly to Sidney.

Editor's note: Sidney is still on

vacation, so we are running one of her columns from 2007.

Dear Sidney:

How do you help your son mend a broken heart? He had been dating the same girl for five years and they had plans for marriage in the future. He has many qualities but failed at the most needed — faithfulness.

He cheated on his girlfriend more than once. Since this all blew up (she found out), he has not been sleeping, eating, and can hardly function. He cries everyday — even on his job.

I am worried about him emotionally. What can I do to help him get back on track? I have talked to the ex-girlfriend and I told her we would miss her and always love her and I understand that she has to do what is best for her. She is a RARE find! I can't believe my son has made so many mistakes that it cost him the love of his life.


Heavy Heart

Dear Heavy ...

Gosh it hurts to see our children hurt even when the hurt is by their own hand! While I'm sorry for you to have to watch him suffer, quite honestly, I'm glad he's having to — for his own good!

No, I'm not glad that he made such a bad mistake because the price is so high. But, what better way for him to learn not to repeat such negative behavior than to actually suffer the consequences of his own actions. Think about all the lessons you've learned through your own life. Did your best life lessons come from lectures and instructions? No, although certainly they can't be discounted. The best lessons we learn more frequently come from painful events that evoke changes within us.

What you're seeing him go through — not sleeping or eating and even crying on the job — are within the scope of appropriate reactions to what he's experienced. He'll have to endure many emotional changes throughout the coming process in order to heal: guilt, shame, sadness, self anger to name a few. But, if you don't want him to repeat the bad behavior again, he must see the process through.

With time, you should see measurable improvements toward his recovery from the pain. If you don't see that, I'd suggest you help him seek counseling. Until then, as his mother, be supportive and encouraging as you guide him through this difficult time but help him see that, while this is a horribly painful time for him, it doesn't have to happen again. Being faithful to your life's partner is one the most important aspects of any relationship. Perhaps now, after this, he'll begin to respect himself more and do all he can to respect those boundaries.

Dear Sidney:

My 12-year-old is rather top heavy and begs me to let to have reduction

surgery. While I understand — it's hereditary — I think she is too young and her body will become more proportioned as she becomes older (that was the case with me).

Still, she get's teased — by boys and girls at school — and often comes home crying. She hasn't complained of back pain and I haven't noticed any binding marks on her shoulders, but she is still developing so I'm sure they will get bigger.

Should I consult with a plastic surgeon now before it becomes a problem? Or, wait and see how things develop (no pun intended)?


"Blessed" daughter

Dear Blessed ...

Sometimes we have to pray that we can endure our blessings, don't we??

Obviously, some gals are more "blessed" than others. It's ironic how those who don't have "blessings" want 'em and those that have too much, want less. Some of us would be thrilled if we had "perkier blessings." Then there are some of us who bind those puppies up and go around looking like we have a speed bump under our chin.

But, I digress. You've already answered your own question. While I can sympathize with a 12-year-old being teased, I'm sure she's not the only one going through some tough challenges ... it's a painful rite of passage. Still, that doesn't necessarily make her, or you, feel any better. As she continues to go through her teen years, there's going to be a huge amount of changes she'll encounter and, while you say that heredity plays a part in her development, don't discount the fact that, through the coming changes, other hereditary factors just may kick in leaving her with the opposite problem!!

We all know how hard it is to be a parent and watch our children being teased about anything. Certainly you can take her to a surgeon and get input with what may take place in the future for her. This may offer her some comfort to know that, eventually when the time is right, she may be able to have medical intervention. Until then, lend a sympathetic ear to her frustration and help her camouflage her "gifts" as best you can until Mother Nature finishes what she started!



• Sidney Covington has a master's degree in counseling. She is a patient

advocate and public relations

representative for Riley Hospital.

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