Average Answers (Part 20)

We're thankful for so many fantastic questions. Dig into some Average Answers, with a side of hand-mashed potatoes.

Ask Average Boy a question.

Question  Dear Average Boy,

My sister always gets to do stuff that I don’t get to do. Sometimes I feel left out. Do you ever feel that way?

Anna

Answer  Hey Anna,

I do now. I didn’t know your sister got to do stuff that we didn’t. Is it because she’s older?

I get to do stuff that my younger brother doesn’t, but that’s just because I’m older. He’ll get to do that stuff when he’s my age . . . and he’ll probably do it better after watching me make so many mistakes. (He definitely won’t eat as many chocolate-turkey sandwiches. Ugh.)

Here’s something that may make you feel better: If your sister is older, she probably has more chores and responsibilities. So enjoy the age you are and know that life is a fun journey. You don’t want to take all the trips at once!

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Question  Does your mom know what you’re like at school?

Emma

Answer  Hey Emma,

I think so. Mom and Dad go out to coffee with my teachers at least once a month so they can “carry one another’s burden.”

I try to be the same person at home and at school. I know some kids act differently when their parents aren’t around, but that sounds too confusing—how do you know which you is the real you?

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Question  Hi Bob,

I have heard you mention the “skunk in school” story, but unfortunately I have never read it. Can you share it again sometime?

Izzy

Answer  Hey Izzy,

You haven’t read my skunk story? Well, that stinks. (Wow, I just made myself laugh.)

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Question  What is your favorite toy?

Olivia

Answer  Hey Olivia,

I would probably have to say my brother. You can bend him into a lot of different shapes and make him different colors. I’m kidding of course. Mom gets mad when I try to make him different colors.

I guess my other favorite toy is my bike. It’s fun to ride, it’s good exercise and if I hit the ramp right it lets me fly! (At least, that’s the theory. We’ve yet to find the right angle and speed to stay airborne.)

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Question  Hi Average Boy,

I was wondering: What are your favorite books to read?

Julie

Answer  Hey Julie,

My favorite book is called Growing Up Super Average: The Adventures of Average Boy. Have you heard of it? That writer is amazing yet so humble, muscular and good-looking.

I also love to read the Bible. There are so many cool heroes inside—Joshua, David, Shamgar . . . plus the greatest hero ever, Jesus!

Other than those two fantastic choices, I like stories that take me someplace new. Maybe when I grow up, I’ll travel all over the country, making people laugh. That would be a cool life.

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Question  I have trouble with a bully at my school. I want to ask you for a few ideas so I can make him stop.

Your friend,
Joshua

Answer  Hey Joshua,

First of all, you have a cool name! Joshua 1:9 is a great Bible verse to keep in mind when dealing with a bully—“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Now, just because God is always with you doesn’t mean you can punch the bully in the nose and then say, “OK, God! You take it from here!” That won’t work . . . at least, it didn’t the three times I tried it. Also, it’s not a very Christian response.

(By the way, this is a looong answer. You might want to grab a glass of water before you keep reading.)

When I was having trouble with a bully, my mom and I talked about where bullies come from. It turns out, kids bully for a variety of reasons. Sometimes they pick on us because it makes them feel popular or in control. Some bullies grew up being picked on by other bullies. They may think their behavior is normal because their whole family calls each other names or shoves each other.

No matter why this kid is bullying you, you need to remember that it’s not your fault. You aren’t a wimp or a loser just because some kid is taking out his frustration on you.

Also, try not to feel embarrassed. Lots of kids are bullied, and most don’t have the courage to talk about it. But if you never talk about it, it never gets fixed.

When I run into a bully (sometimes literally), my first instinct is to hide. But there are better options. Ask your mom and dad to help you talk to the bully’s parents. If the bullying happens at school, talk to your teacher or the principal. And don’t forget to pray!

Whatever you do, try not to get angry. Bullies love to get a reaction. If you stay calm and walk away, most bullies will get tired of picking on you.

Stay safe!

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Question  When you grow up, will you be called Average Man?

A Fan in Australia

Answer  Hey Australia Fan,

I love Australia. Y’can probably tell because I’m typing this answer in an Australian accent, mate. And yes, I hope to be called Average Man when I grow up . . . and then move on to Average Old Man. Average Grandpa has a nice ring to it as well! I better start working on growing that beard right away.

G’day, mate, and keep reading!

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy (soon to be Average Man)

Question  Dear Average Boy,

My mom and I want to do something that will help others (like the girls in the October magazine who were the founders of Threads for Teens). Do you have any ideas?

Keilah

Answer  Hey Keilah,

You and your mom sound awesome! The easiest way to start is to find an organization that already helps people and ask them how you can help them help. (Um, there might be one too many "helps" in there, but hopefully you get the idea.)

I once met a girl who told everyone that she didn’t want any birthday or Christmas gifts. Instead, she asked her family and friends to donate the money they would have spent on presents to a group that helps orphans around the world.

Some of the kids at my church sell cookies to raise money for the homeless shelter. My dad ends up buying most of the cookies, and they are delicious. At least, they look delicious. Somehow they all disappear before I can grab one.

There are lots of other ways to help besides raising money. You can "donate" your time by doing chores for your older neighbors (like mowing the lawn or shoveling snow) or helping out in the church nursery. If you have a special talent, use it to encourage others. For example, I think up one new hilarious joke every week, and then I share it with the garbageman on Fridays so he has something to smile about at his job.

Start small, and see where God leads you.

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Question  Hi Average Boy,

I was wondering what you would do if you had a hyperactive friend like I do.

She always gets distracted. And when I sit with her, we get into trouble because she cannot sit still at all and cannot keep quiet! I want to stay her friend—I will always be her friend, because I know God loves us no matter how many quirks and problems we have—but it is getting harder to talk or hang around with her. Any advice? (Cause I could sure use some!)

Sammy ;) (Remember me? ( ) Girl?)

Answer  Hey Sammy,

This is Billy. I figured I should answer this question because I have a friend with the same problem. This friend is very hyper. Hang on. OK. Average Boy just told me to point out that it’s not him. Of course, now he’s playing with the ceiling fan while making monkey noises so I think we all know who I’m talking about here.

I suggest you just talk to this girl about it. I’ve told Bob that I want to hang out with him but I also don’t like to get in trouble. So when he’s getting super hyper and can’t sit still I point it out to him. I also give him some paper and a pen and ask him to draw something for me. Sometimes I’ll thumb wrestle or find some other way to keep him busy and not so loud. Anyway, I think the key is just to tell this girl that you like her but she needs to work on controlling . . . hang on, Average Boy just fell off the bookshelf.

OK. Now he’s drawing a snowman riding a dolphin for me so I should have time to finish this. Anyway, tell her that she needs to work on being more in control so she doesn’t get you in trouble or get on your nerves. And tell her you love being her friend. Hope that helps!

AB’s friend and yours,
Billy

Question  How do you keep yourself from getting nightmares?

No Name

Answer  Hey No Name,

I read before I go to sleep. I pick books with fun stories and usually that’s what my dreams are about. (Last night, I was racing hot air balloons in outer space. It made no sense, but at least we were winning!)

I also make sure I don't eat a lot of bad food before bed. I once went to bed after eating a 7-layer burrito. Well, evidently one of the layers was an extra helping of creepy because I had crazy awful dreams all night.

The best way to fight nightmares is to starve them. If I have too many scary dreams in a month, my mom and I will sit down and figure out where the images are coming from. (It's usually TV.) Then, together, we decide that I shouldn't watch those shows for awhile. It's not fun, but it's better than being chased by angry burritos every time you sleep.

Your friend and mine,
Average Boy

Want more Average Answers? Click here.

Copyright © Bob Smiley. Illustration © Gary Locke.