I'm realizing my teenager doesn't need just love from me, he needs TOUGH LOVE.

Not the tough love we're familiar with, but I've been introduced to another form of TOUGH LOVE designed especially for me in dealing with my teen.

- This tough love is full of mercy when Firstborn makes a mistake.

- This tough love is full of compassion when Firstborn KNOWS he has made wrong choices.

- This tough love reminds me the part of his brain that recognizes consequences hasn't fully developed yet - Oh God, please help me!

- This tough love recognizes his right of passage into his teen years - he has to go through this!

- This tough love reminds me my child is not, has not been, and will never be perfect - really?

- This tough love tells me he wants to hang with the crowd and be popular when I tell him to dare to be different - Ha!

- This tough love helps me to bend a little and be flexible - I'm too strict, stern, and straight-laced

- This tough love reminds me that in Firstborn's eyes, I'm OLD and haven't a clue of what's going on in his world - Well, I don't!

- This tough love reminds me not to become shocked, angry, tearful, or hurt by Firstborn's normal adolescent behavior - I'll just wear a bag over my head

- This tough love pops me in the head and says..."Get a grip, Mama! You've got an eleven year old coming up behind Firstborn, so get ready for the ride!"

Mothers of younger children...take heed!

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