Through the talking back, eye-rolling, neck twisting, foul language, and overall piss-poor attitude – I tried to control this parenting thing all on my own. I had to actually make a phone call, which led to making an appointment, which lead to sitting, on a dark brown fluffy couch, with my kid, across from… sigh… a life coach. It was incredibly hard to sit and listen to his version, awaiting the inevitable judgment from the life coach himself… but after Nick had given his version of current events, and before I had been allowed to speak, the life coach said something that I will never forget. You see, according to Nick (and a majority of the nation’s teenagers I think) everything is all about him, everything is done to him, and he is always the injured party. In the spirit of honesty, confession #3A is that at that point, the life coach turned and it went from being Nick’s session – to mine. I have however been told by said life coach, in the grand scheme of things my kid is… just a kid. So, as it stands, I have a normal teenager, and I am a normal parent… and it only took the both of us being schooled by a coach to help us see it. Okay your turn, GEM nation… have you ever had to ask for outside help with your kids?
I’m not there yet, but I always appreciate this insight as it will allow me to prepare.

What I always find amusing (and I know, you can say “I told you so” in 4-5 years), how is it we as parents always forget what it was like to be a child or a teenager?
It’s an image thing really… a way of giving the big, middle finger to those that look down on single parents, with a little bit of stubborn hard-headedness thrown in. This year, thanks to the torture that is being the 5’4’’, single mother to a 6-foot, 16-year-old man-boy, I was smacked upside the head by the cruel hand of reality… and I just had to do it. I showed, what I personally think was intense and stoic restraint, as I listened to his version of reality, constantly reminding myself that there are three sides to every story: side one, side two, and the truth.
For years I have tried explaining that every action he makes causes a ripple effect in life around him. With the exception being called out for being a hovering parent, I enjoyed finding out that for the most part, I am not going about this the wrong way. He comes here with no formal training in the matter, but He still does not think that makes him unqualified for the position. Any chick that can make a baseball hat look good, or at least looks cute in a baseball hat, can have a guy eating out of her hands in no time. There are a great many issues that us to this decision, and out of respect for Nick, I won’t detail them all but I will say that one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do as a parent, is admit to a stranger that I need help.

There was also talk of taking responsibility for ones actions; for accepting consequences for choices made, and… learning to live life without mom looking over his shoulder.
Literally every word that I have preached, lectured, taught, and brow beat into my kid was repeated by our highly paid third-party, degreed counselor. So where I have been lecturing but not listened to, it can also be said that I have been told, but haven’t heard. Granted it seemed to click a little faster for Dominic coming from someone else, but still… as long as the message is received.
Nick now walks in on his own as opposed to being dragged in, and I am now only allowed in the room long enough to pay the bill. It doesn't have to be a flat brim hat either, go into a guys closest and steal any baseball hat. What makes things more difficult on my end is that my husband and I often don’t agree on parenting tactics or styles, especially when it comes to boys.

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