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So I went into the bathroom, shut the door, and asked myself very sincerely, “So what do YOU think?” Teenagers are difficult. Just saying. Yeah, teenagers are difficult. So after a confusing exchange with my incredibly skilled-at-negotiating-and-distracting-his-parents-from-the-point-at-hand teenager, I needed to ask myself what just happened. I’d stood my ground with him on his opportunity to go out last night, or not. Not, was the verdict. He has to keep his grades up and treat everyone in the family decently or his chances of borrowing the car and going out to see friends falls precipitously.

It gets difficult with teens and you have to know what you believe. I actually said out loud to him not even sure what my position was, “I just think I’d be a lousy parent if I let you go out tonight after the way you acted earlier today.” When I heard that, I suddenly knew where I stood. And saying it out loud informed us all. It actually had more power because we both heard what my feelings were.

But I still had to check in with myself afterward. Because teens are tough.