10-Year-Old’s Advice Column ‘Ask Lauren’ Is a Younger, Wiser ‘Dear Abby’
Seriously — ask Lauren. She’ll help.
-Piper Weiss, Yahoo! Shine
This summer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning San Diego Union Tribune hired a new writer. Her name’s Lauren and she’s 10. Her column, Ask Lauren, offers advice to kids with kid problems.
What qualifies her as an expert? “I’m a kid just like you.” She’s also more open than most girls on the cusp of fifth grade. “I have been through a lot in my life, like being bullied, changing schools, having my parents divorced, family illnesses, friendship problems, pet deaths and lots of other experiences, some good and some not so good,” she explains in her introductory column published in May.
By the time I discovered her (while researching a story on viral wedding proposals), she’d already fielded questions from local kids about braces and being afraid of the dark. They may seem like kid problems, but take away some of the metal and monsters, and the concerns are no different than those of a 33-year-old woman, this one in particular.
Avery, 9, is having problems sleeping. “I am tired all the time, and this is driving me crazy! Sometimes I can fall asleep, but usually I lie in my bed for a really long time totally scared. What can I do to get some sleep and stop worrying about every single noise I hear? Everyone says I look so sleepy.”
A grown-up expert might tell a kid to drink warm milk and count sheep because that worked for children in orphanages in the 19th century. A grown-up expert might advise a grown-up person to consult a doctor, and ask about prescription sleep-aids.
Here’s what Lauren suggests: “Soft music. It lulls me to sleep and covers up noises.” She recommends ambient music from a band called Marconi Union. “My mom found it and made a CD for me…my favorite song is called ‘Weightless.’ It’s really mellow.”