This is a difficult topic. No one can tell you how to be a parent. But with that said ... please read on.

Teens need rules. Teens do not need more and more freedom even though that is what they tell you they need and want. As a parent you need to set limits for all your kids - they bump against the limits and fight them but that is a good thing. It's how they learn what are the rules for our culture. If you keep moving the limits as kids bang against them - they never understand limits. Kids are very good at the "gimme gimme gimme" game and it is perfectly fine to say "no no no" to them.

I’ve never said it was easy having a teen in the house - in fact it can be downright nasty. When he was in his 20's and a fine adult - my son said "Did you know how much I hated you when I was a teenager?" I said yes - it's part of the parent - child scenario. He reflected and then said: "You picked your fights carefully." We discussed this and I realized I had done that since he was born. I was always a working mother, then a single parent and after his father died – more or less his only family. I am also a psychologist who tried to practice what she preaches and what to pick fights about is an important part of the process. Why make everything a fight? Kids love that - it gives them an edge, as they know how to push "buttons."

Early on I knew that toilet training was not going to be a battleground - and it wasn't. Ear piercing and tattoos were also not grounds for fights. Why? It's his body. And besides - as he pointed out - I had pierced ears.

We fought about school, driving and reporting where he was. The parents of all the kids who hung out together agreed among ourselves that we would all enforce the same rules so no teen could say so and so’s parents don't do that. And my son told me he hated me!

As I think about it now - it does take a community to raise a child - especially a teenager - and having a support system among the parents of the other teens is a big help - but you have to be in agreement even though you know the kids will hate you for those rules!

It's something to give thought to - it's really okay for your kids to hate you....

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Author's Bio: 

New York City born, raised and educated through college. I've always been a word sponge and a degree gatherer [PhD, JD] and now use those words to offer advice and information - all while floating in a home on a river.