I was just listening to the woes of a friend whose son has recently hit puberty and is now pounding life with an attitude hammer. She is pulling her hair out as we all do when we can’t figure out who abducted our children and left a look alike disrespectful little alien in their place.

I always thought that things like respect, manners, selflessness and so on could be passed on pretty much just by example, but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I know I’ve struggled trying to figure out why my children went the directions they did and make the really stupid choices they make, so I came up with a plan for her. It’s kind of sad, but the best I could do and it goes something like this.

She has one of those you and me, parent/child sit down serious talk things. When they sit down she lays a syringe full of fluid on the table and starts, “Son, I think we both understand that puberty has struck and taken control of your emotions and your attitude. At this point it is obvious that you and I are going to have to find some compromise, some way to change the direction things are going before you or I do something rash and we are forced to use your life insurance policy.” At this point she picks up the syringe and squirts a few drops out the way they do in the movies.

“So, as hard as this is going to be, you have two choices. You either get a grip and turn back into the loving, respectful young man you were just a few months ago……..or this (the fluid) goes in your arm and turns you into a girl. You see, I understand girls and how to deal with their stuff because I am one. Once this goes in, the game’s over. You have 5 minutes to explain to me how the rest of your life is going to go, and no, you can’t use the phone.”

Bottom line. I’ll be glad to pass on any other techniques or suggestions to my friend.