I get it philosophically I agree with it for the most part. But dangbangit-- I RESENT the whole "work on yourself" -- "you can't change them you have to change yourself" I AM NOT BROKEN. HE IS. And I get it - I do - and I appreciate the whole insight that our upset, our tears, our emotional responses - only serve to drive them further away. Please know that I do appreciate the practicality of knowing these things and putting them to use. Yet at the same time...I feel like I am wearing kidd gloves around my kid. Don't ask, don't tell, "how nice", and "do not tell him how you really feel" which is where I am 85% of the time. I want to sit that kid on his butt and give him a piece of my mind. Mattsmom's post really touched me (bump in the road thread) That's where I struggle - I feel so UNAUTHENTIC by being this polite dinner party host with my own flesh and blood. Remember when they were tots and we swore we wouldn't be their friends? We would be their "Parents!" And we did the hard work of following thru on difficult punishments, holding them to higher standards, asking the hard questions, checking up when necessary ... when it should have been so much EASIER to just "go with the flow..." Maybe it's because I came to be a difficult child mom late in my difficult child's life at exactly the time I thought my parenting needs would LESSEN, empty nest on the way... But I wouldn't let a friend or even a frenemy treat me the way my difficult child does. If he were PC18 or PC15 - I would call them on it immediately. Heck, if he were H - I would kick him to the curb! And I struggle especially because PC15 is watching and I don't want to set this tone for his late teens... I know our kids struggle. I know substances are bigger than us. But I want to say that they way they treat us is NO WAY TO TREAT A MOTHER. And I resent the idea that I must be this sort of Teflon Super Mom with no expectations lest I scare him away or make him worse. I get it, I do. And I will go along with it. But you can't make me like it. And I am not convinced that it will work out for the best in the long run. But no - I don't have any better idea. Please know this is more of a vent than anything else. I just feel like he walks all over us sometimes. A little common courtesy would go a long way. And I feel like I am one of those toddler moms: "oh look at him, my precious, budding artist expressing his creativity..." as he colors on my neighbor's walls..