Being the mom of an out-of-control teen was the hardest time of my life.

There were so many emotions. Frustration. Fear. Anger, Sadness. Regret. Grief. Guilt.

And, unfortunately, embarrassment and shame.

To me, our son’s behavior seemed like a testament to what a terrible parent I was and, at a deeper level, what a terrible person I was.

Not only did it feel horrible, my embarrassment and shame made a bad situation worse.

In my book Surviving the High School Years with Your Sanity Intact, I wrote:

“I hated those feelings. I hated that I was in a situation in which I felt them. When they were triggered was probably when I made the biggest mistakes with my son, when I would yell the loudest or say the meanest things or come down on him the hardest. It’s when I felt the most separate from him.”

At the time, I didn’t know how else to deal with my feelings.

But I grew so much from this experience. I learned SO much; my son is my biggest teacher.

I learned that I don’t need to carry my shame with me for the rest of my life.

I learned that I can feel those yucky emotions without imploding. And there are ways to work through them and come out the other side with wisdom and inner peace.

I learned that there is forgiveness in the world for my failings.

I learned to give myself grace.

If you would like to read more from my book, you can download it for free at