DEAR AMY: I am 13 years old and my parents seem to always be fighting!

Whenever the two of them are in the same room I hear them getting mad at each other! They fight over my mom’s cooking, they fight over jobs, they fight over who should drive car pool in the morning and it’s just awful!

I am not sure if they know that my sister and I can hear them fighting, but either way they don’t try to hide it.

My question to you is, are my parents headed for a divorce? What should I do? Should I confront them and tell them to shape up?

I’m so sad, Amy. I want to see my parents happy again! -- Miserable

DEAR MISERABLE: I wish every parent would clip your letter and tape it to their bathroom mirror as a daily reminder of how confusing and sad it is for children when their parents fight.

Thank you for giving a voice to this -- and for giving your parents (and other parents) the motivation to change.

Telling them to shape up might not be successful, but I like your idea because I agree with you in that they definitely need to shape up.

It is completely normal for moms and dads to argue. Arguing can even be a good thing -- if arguing leads to solutions. But people should be respectful, even when they are disagreeing.

Please tell your parents what you see and hear, and share your concern with them. Do this during a quiet time, not when things are heated.

Tell them you’re worried. Tell them you and your sister hear them fighting and say it scares you and makes you sad.

I am crossing my fingers that your statements shock your parents into behaving differently.

DEAR AMY: I am 25 years old. I had a college boyfriend for three years before breaking up.

Looking back, I remember that we told each other we were in love very early on. We had only been dating for two or three months at the time! After breaking up, I questioned whether I ever really meant the word “love” or if I just thought I did.

Now I have a new boyfriend of less than two months, and we are basically inseparable. We work together and live near each other, and it is evident he is as crazy about me as I am about him. We have so many things in common.

I feel like I am in love again!

Is this ridiculous? Why do I always think I am in love immediately? Doesn’t it usually take people months or years to feel that way about someone? I’d appreciate your thoughts. -- Love Struck

DEAR STRUCK: Every sensation you describe seems completely normal. It is normal, for instance, to fall in love when you are young and then wonder if it was really love in retrospect.

Maturity brings on perspective about these feelings and emotions. After a breakup, the mature thing to do is to take these lessons in love and apply them to your next relationship.

It is also normal to fall in love more than once.

The only aspect of your letter that seems off-kilter is your declaration that it takes months or years to be in love. Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is a process that takes a long time to achieve.

It is wise to take these things slowly and carefully. But it is also wonderful to surrender to the immediacy of loving feelings, to nurture and tend them, and to be in a relationship where these feelings grow and deepen.

DEAR AMY: I am writing in response to “Santa’s Helper,” who was worried about the extravagant gift opened on Christmas Eve.

On Christmas Eve, our kids are also allowed to open one gift, but it’s always new pajamas.

The kids love wearing their new pajamas when they go to sleep (we tell them the PJs help Christmas morning come faster) and they always look good in pictures the next morning. -- Savvy in Louisiana

DEAR SAVVY: Several readers have reported that a savvy Santa always starts the holiday with jammies. I like it!

Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2011 by the Chicago Tribune

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