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Last night, I was thankful for the biting cold wind. It was 4 degrees, but it had stopped snowing (and sleeting), the sun had just set and the sky was clearing. My head was clearing too.

I had just had yet another battle with Little Guy over his winter coat. Since the Fall, as the temperature started to dip, we have butted our heads over whether he needed to wear it. And with all the signs of Spring, I had hoped for an end to our battles, or at least an uneasy truce until September.

As we prepared to leave  a friend’s house, I asked him 3 times to put his coat on. The first time he ignored me. The second time he tried to wrap it around his arms like a shawl. The third time he tried to give me a “look” – I threw it right back at him and told him to do as he was told. He did, but “attitude ” oozed from his pores as we walked silently to the car.

He took it off as soon as we got in.

Halfway home, he asked me what topic we should talk about…he didn’t expect me to pick  the coat. I asked him to help me understand by explaining to me why he was so reluctant to wear his coat? Was it that coat? Did someone say something about his coat? Did he feel “cool” when it was cold and he wasn’t wearing? (No pun intended)

Little Guy mumbled something, and then he mumbled “Welcome to the teenage years”.

Unacceptable answer!

First, you’re 10!

Second, there is no magic number that says you can now be surly, sassy or rude. It doesn’t matter if you are 2, 12, 25 or 250, you will treat others with respect. Age or stage are not excuses for bad behaviour. Other parents may  buy into this warped ideology that their precious darlings are entitled to say and do as they see fit, even going so far as to defend bad behaviour rather than letting their kids deal with the consequences of their decisions. I love my children. I think I am an understanding and reasonable parent. I have put up with far more than my parents, who were also loving and reasonable parents.”Teenage-hood”is not an acceptable answer.

Little Guy put his coat when we pulled in the driveway and wore it into the house. I didn’t say anything. And when the next snide comment seeped from his lips, I just cleared my throat, glanced at him, and walked away. I have to pick my battles and I had just won one skirmish. I chalked that comment up to being tired.

Welcome to the teenage years indeed!

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