The elementary school years were wonderful despite the rough spots, you say. We enjoyed family time together, and our child generally behaved respectfully and responsibly, especially when reminded. But once she entered middle school, she turned into a monster. What happened to our lovely child?
Parenting an adolescent is not for the faint of heart. Hormones rage and emotions become volatile, making your child feel and want to act like an adult. Unfortunately, his brain development, especially the part that controls impulsivity and judgment, is lagging his bodily development. And there is a world of temptation out there — mind-altering alcohol and drugs, Internet porn, addictive video games, the potential for romantic relationships and hookups, parties and cars — thrusting you into the role of policeman (or, in your child’s eyes, prison guard). The inevitable tension this creates, in addition to making both your lives miserable, can rupture the basic bond between parent and child.