‘Don’t mess with the mother’

Karen is a mum of mixed sex, 15-year-old twins. And knows it. Each week she shares with us what her teenage two have been up to.

‘This Sunday there was a big family get-together planned with aunts and cousins whom we hadn’t seen in years. Now, my son was excused because he had an important sports fixture which sent his twin sister into ‘it’s not fair’ mode.

The early rumblings of her intended mutiny started about mid-week, building to a crescendo on Saturday night when she refused outright to come with me.

“Well I’m not going,” she flounced, with her best bad girl stare.

“Yes, you are,” I replied, with my best ‘don’t mess with the mother’ stare.

“I’m not going and you can’t make me,” came the reply.

Now, I remember being dragged along to family functions in my teens and having to answer tedious questions about my education, my life plans and other boring stuff when all I wanted was to be at home listening to the chart run down or hanging out in McDonalds with my friends. Yet while I could sympathise, this was a pivotal moment in our mother/daughter power struggle and one I had to win.

“You’re absolutely right,” I replied. “I cannot physically make you go. I’m not going to manhandle you into the car. What I can do, though, is ground you for a fortnight, withhold your allowance and if you still don’t do what you’re told I will cancel your phone contract.”

I didn’t get another peep out of her, and on Sunday she went to her grandmother’s to lunch and was polite and civil as she answered questions about her GCSE options.

It’s reassuring to know that I have found her Achilles heel. Her mobile phone obsession which has driven me mad for years clearly provides me with a powerful weapon. That phone contract is worth every penny, after all!’

Do you, like Karen, have some tricks up your sleeve for when your teens won’t behave themselves? Tell us in our comments section below or on Facebook.

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