YOU SO DON’T RULE! A Guest Post by Tammy Plunkett

Welcome to our first guest post in MOMFAZE RANTS where we – and now you – are free to let loose about anything and everything!

I clearly remember slamming my bedroom door behind me after a yelling match with my mom, raising my middle finger and silently mouthing I HATE YOU to the woman standing on the other side of the door.

I get that teens go through a rebellion stage, and I know that teens will experiment with alcohol. But when is enough enough?

I have become well known in my neighborhood as the mom who is putting up a stink about teens having too much power. I have been in the paper and on the radio and my story has been discussed in blogs, on Facebook and on Twitter. So here’s a window into just how frustrating and helpless it feels to have a daughter with more power than her mom has.

Most of my friends have kids who are younger than my almost 16-year-old, and approach my “problem” as they would with their toddler. Time-out!—Just ground her! What’s her currency?—Take away her cell phone! And my favorite: “Why do you let her go over to that boy’s house if you know he deals drugs?”

Well, here are my answers.

I don’t LET my daughter drink or do drugs, and I don’t want her over at that boy’s house. It’s not that simple. Unlike a toddler, I cannot physically lift my daughter up and strap her into her car seat when she has a temper tantrum about leaving the park. When I take away her cell phone, my teen was “given” a spare phone from a friend. And I no longer get to make play-dates with friends I approve of, and anyway, I don’t stay to observe those play-dates. First of all, she won’t let me, and secondly, I have three other children who need my attention.

The reality check is in the mail.

Even after grounding, and taking the cell phone, and bolting the bedroom window shut, my daughter uses drugs and dates a drug dealer. I have called the police countless times, and even tried to press charges against my own child to force her into rehab. Yet nothing has changed.

Because the crime of underage drinking is so minor in the eyes of the law, it is not investigated, let alone prosecuted. Neither is the consumption of small amounts of drugs. And by the way, teens know this.

They also know that rehab is voluntary. They know which neighborhood parents allow their kids to drink and do drugs in “as long as it’s under their roof and they know where their teens are.” Kids know they can legally leave home at 16, and they are more than happy to let you know all about it.

Gone are they days of smoking one of Dad’s cigarettes behind the shed once a month and praying not to get caught. Today’s teens post pictures of themselves toking on a bong on their Facebook page, with the utmost show of pride. Today’s teens are also using drugs with a potency that has tripled or quadrupled.

So in addition to trying to get the move-out date moved from 16 to 18 years old, I ask you this: What can parents do to regain control over their teens?


Tammy Plunkett is a partner at BusyWoman Productions and Executive Editor for The Bridge Post. She has written, critiqued, and edited fiction for over ten years, winning an award from the Ottawa Romance Writers’ Association in 2007. Tammy does all this, of course, while raising a family of four children and their dog Charlie, with her wonderful husband.

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About randi

Randi Chapnik Myers & Mara Shapiro don't get fazed by their teens. At least they try not to.


  1. mainegirl5 says:

    Been there, done that, I just hung on until he turned 20. We gave him a Southwest Airlines gift certificate and a deadline. You can go to California where you’ve always wanted to go or get a place here in Maine. He went. Changed EVERYTHING. Well almost, but the negativity ended.

  2. Pam @writewrds says:

    Wow. And yikes! And oxo.

  3. I was that teen…the one who did drugs and drank…the one who hated her mom and threatened to leave. Only, I did leave. The first time I was 12 and I moved from my stable, happy home to my fathers…(there is a reason my mom left him) after 6 months I was back home where it was safe. I was so self centered that I didn’t realize just how hard it was for Mom to let me do this…to let me leave to be parented by someone who rightfully still needed a parent or two himself. But later in life she told me she felt she didn’t have a choice…she had to let me see what life was REALLY like, and her options were to let me go to my father where at least there was a roof over my head, or wait until I ran away… I was still really young at this point (12-13), When I was 15-16 It started again, only worse. My Mom never gave up, she never gave in either. I had rules that I broke…though what I didn’t have was a cell phone, or facebook…or any means of contacting the outside world when I was grounded. Today’s children DO have too much power. And now that I’m a parent of a 7 and 2 year old, I’m trying my best to keep up with the times, so that I’m always one step ahead of them.
    As for your daughter, just don’t give up…keep fighting the fight. She’s worth it, and one day she’ll understand. And if you have a family member who lives out in the woods where there is no wifi…send her there. 🙂

    Oh, or Katimavic (sp??)


  1. […] It’s hard to imagine your babies growing up.  But they do.  And they go to Montreal, or wherever, and to University parties, and wear Barbie costumes and makeup, and smile at older boys. They have to. It’s life. But life is more complicated than it was when we were young. Teenagers have too many choices, too many wrong paths to choose from. […]

  2. […] Parenting teenagers is tough-especially when we’re denying them something they want.  But, our job is to keep them safe, teach them to make good choices, and help them to grow up to be productive members of society. All of those come when they learn self-discipline and delayed gratification-both the result of denying their requests on occasion. […]

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