Dear Mr. Dad: Our adorable little girl has turned into a difficult, rebellious teenager. She’s only 14, but she already insists on wearing make-up, and screams things like, “I hate you!” and “It’s my life so you can’t tell me what to do.” Help!
A: And people say the terrible twos are bad? Ha! It won’t come as much comfort right now, but just about every parent of a teen has watched helplessly as their sweet baby morphed into something not nearly as sweet.
The first thing to do is take a deep breath and summon up as much patience as you can—you’ll need about four years’ worth.
Dear Mr. Dad: I feel like when I spend time with my 2-year old, I’m constantly telling him “no!” Is there some way I can enforce boundaries without being so negative?
A: It’s no wonder that one of the first words kids learn to say is, No. After all, it’s the word they hear the most—even more than mommy, daddy, or their own name. Since two-year olds are on a mission to destroy everything in their path, hearing No is important. But the problem with No is that it eventually becomes background noise and our kids tune us out. And when it comes to health and safety issues, that’s the last thing we want.