Why you shouldn't try to be your teen's friend - Essential Kids Middle daughter slams the door. "I hate you. What sort of mother are you?" she screams as I take her phone off her late at night. It's the night before I'm due to interview the teen whisperer, psychologist Michael Hawton. I hold my fists tightly behind my back. Parenting is the hardest job I have ever done. On a good day, I would ignore my darling's rudeness. But tonight, I hit back. "I'll send you to live with your father, or to boarding school!" I yell. "At least he's nice!" my 14-year-old strikes back. And what does Hawton say in his new book, Engaging Adolescents? My frustrated teen has spat an insult my way. I should look her straight in the eye and come out with this: "You must have had a pretty bad day to feel the need to say something that nasty to me when we are trying to work out a solution to a problem. I hope you feel better."