Terrible teens

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Dear Carolyn,

I’m having a hard time with my twin teenage daughters. They are perfect angels when I’m in town but as soon as I go back on the road, they start acting up. They are driving my wife crazy and I feel so helpless. My wife is a great mom but she’s at the end of her rope. Last week she caught them smoking!

Teenagers are hard enough but with an absentee dad, it seems even harder. I know they are good girls but they push the envelope. When they screw up, I hear it from every side. Do you have any tips for long distance parenting?


Dear Tommy,
I hear ya. In my opinion, human teenagers are the vilest of all species. They lie, cheat, whine, pout, rage, sulk and did I already say lie? And you have two of them at the same time? Ouch!

This letter gives me plenty of clues to work with though. You care. You have a good wife. She cares. The girls can hold it together to be nice when you are home. And you are asking for advice. That means you are going to be okay. All of you. Here are my tips for dealing with the terrible teens.

Don’t take any of it personally.
Don’t believe anything they say.
Don’t believe any of their excuses.
Set some rules.
Set some consequences to breaking the rules.
Don’t deviate from either.
Get through it.

By the way; I don’t think dads who are absent due to work, are the same as absentee dads. Big difference.

I’m just say’n,