DR. WALLACE: I have what some people might say is a "good" problem! I have a boyfriend that I love and a good girlfriend that I also love. I'm a 17-year-old girl and will soon start my senior year in high school.

My boyfriend has been with me for over a year now, and we get along great. In fact, we are often called the "model" couple at our high school! Everyone on campus knows we are a couple, and many other students like us and are friends with us.

But on the other hand, I have a really good girlfriend that I have known and been best friends with ever since we were in fourth grade! We are not related, but we are closer than most sisters I know. We talk about everything, and we like the same things and think pretty much the same way. So, for eight years we've been inseparable!

So, this is why I tell you I have a "good" problem. Both my boyfriend and closest girlfriend are wonderful people, but the problem is they strongly dislike each other! This makes me feel bad since I care for each of them so much. I don't know exactly why they don't like each other, and neither one has ever told me anything specific about the other that is really bad or obviously out of line.

I do my best to be a good friend to my girlfriend and a good girlfriend to my boyfriend. What can I do now to help them to get along better with each other? And why do you think they always seem to be at odds? They are both good individuals, so this is quite puzzling to me. — Want Them To Get Along, via email

WANT THEM TO GET ALONG: My first guess would be that they are both a bit jealous of the close relationship you have with the other one. And when you spend time alone with one of them, this means you can't simultaneously be spending alone time with the other.

Your letter did not mention if your girlfriend was dating anyone regularly or not, but if one of your boyfriend's friends were to ask her out, that might help break the ice a bit. In a best-case scenario, there could be double dates between the four of you to allow for some social interaction between your best friend and your boyfriend. If they spend "nonthreatening" time together, it's possible that each of them may be able to relax and start to get along better with the other.

Along these same lines, if the double date idea is not possible, seek to find activities, volunteer work or outings that all of you could attend simultaneously. Again, this could provide a forum for them to get to know each other better, and this would likely increase their mutual respect for each other and reduce the animosity you've noticed that currently exists.

DR. WALLACE: I'm 17 and have four siblings. I'm the oldest sibling, and even though I'm a girl, my parents are kind of hard on me when it comes to family squabbling between us kids. I have one little sister who is 11 and three brothers ranging from 8 to 13, and they all get rowdy and amped up once in a while. Two of my little brothers are kind of harmless, but my 8-year-old brother can be a terror!

His favorite thing to do to upset me is to run at me in my room with a black felt-tip marker in his hand like he's going to write on my nice clothes. He always does this when I'm getting dressed up to go out on a weekend date.

Sometimes he comes way too close to a nice, light-colored garment I'm wearing, and I have to literally slap his hand away to keep him from hitting his mark. Of course, he then "pretends" to cry and runs to our parents to tell them I slapped him. My parents are busy people who both work, so they don't have a lot of time to go into a big discussion about the incidents that are always happening around our home. They just tell me to stop slapping him or I'll get grounded. My brother loves hearing this and laughs his little bottom off when his prank gets rewarded. This isn't fair! So far, I have not been grounded, but I'm worried that will be next if I can't get this little terror to stop his nonsense. What can I do? Help! — Unfairly Accused, via email

UNFAIRLY ACCUSED: Your parents should take the time to listen more carefully to you and consider what you are saying in the context of what is truly happening, rather than just issuing you "slapping" warnings.

What to do about this? Fortunately, you live in an era with cellphones that have video cameras built into them. Train your 11-year-old sister how to operate the video function on your phone, and the next time your youngest brother runs in with his exposed felt pen, your sister can record the incident from a hidden spot in your room. Be sure to do something nice in return for little sis when she agrees to help you.

Then, once you have hard evidence of what's truly going on, you can show your parents proof that you've been telling them the truth all along. This should trump their penchant to give you the lazy warnings they've issued in the past and prompt them to get down to correctly disciplining your little brother, as they should have been doing all along!

Dr. Robert Wallace will answer questions from readers in this column. Email him at rwallace@galesburg.net.

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