Mothering a teen can be a chore. Here's a few thoughts on how others overcame challenges.
Set limits early. My 13-year-old is just entering the teen years. He’s trying out how far he can push mom before she snaps – back talk, defiance, doesn’t want to do chores. The girls are calling. So I set limits. I let him know if he crosses the limit I'm going to ground him heavily the first time. No second chances. When the children’s museum called and he was down with security because he was disrespecting the authorities, he was grounded for two weeks. Not allowed outside, not allowed to watch TV, not allowed to talk on the phone. Just his bedroom and four walls. He hated it. He tried his best to maneuver his way off punishment. But I stood my ground.
Don't be afraid to use humor when having sex talks. I remember one time when my son was becoming a teen, he wanted to watch the movie "Carrie." I said, "I don’t think you're ready to watch it." But I ended up letting him. I had forgotten about the opening scene of the movie, where they are throwing tampons at her. Then the next scene is John Travolta getting a blow job in a movie theater. I tried to distract my son. I said, "How to do like the movie?" He didn’t say anything. Later, we were on a road trip and suddenly he said, "You know during that scene in the movie theater? What was happening?" I said, "What do you think was happening?" He said, "Was that guy getting a kiss on his ...?" I said, "Yes." He said, "That’s disgusting!" I said, "You say that now!" So I used humor to keep the situation light.
Howard Beach, New York
My first husband used to say that a child should be put in an oak barrel at 13 and be fed through a bunghole and then be released at 18. He said that was the best way to survive teenagers!