One year ago, the intro to this column led to this line: "It's never been tougher." The "it" referred to being a teenager, teaching a teenager, and the real toughie parenting a teenager (though parenting a preteen can't be a walk in the park, either).
In that column, I wrote that "effective parenting today like the pursuit of health and fitness is a never-ending endeavor that's more an art than a science.
Talk about a daunting job. You rarely get a break, you often get grief, and you have no manual or guidebook to follow."