I was never bothered what sex my children were. But before they were born there was a part of me that was terrified that if they were girls they might put me through the same hell I'd put my poor mother through when I was a teenager.
If I could, I would rewrite history and expunge those years. I would do it in an instant, as the mere memory of the way I behaved leaves me hot with shame.
To her credit my mum handled most of my teenage nonsense with aplomb and a recent survey of 3,000 parents reveals that she is far from the only one to suffer at the hands of her teenage daughter. Two thirds of the respondents said teenage girls were harder to handle than their male counterparts. Three quarters said they were more likely to argue with their daughters than their sons and almost a third branded teenage girls as 'rude'.
Well I can vouch for that. I was unforgivably rude to my mother on a daily basis when I was a teenager.
If I wasn't screaming at her that I hated her, I was slagging off her taste in clothes or slamming doors in her face as I stormed off in a huff.
I cringe to recall some of my more colourful teenage tantrums. There was the time when I threatened to jump out of my third floor bedroom window if they didn't let me call my boyfriend that instant. There was the row over pocket money, which had me wrenching the door open declaring I was going out to earn my own cash by selling my body. Fortunately my parents never took me seriously, which as a tip to any parent of a teenage girl, instantly took the wind out of my sails.
Now that I am looking 40 in the eye all I want is for people to think I am younger. Rewind 25 years and I did my utmost to look older, which inevitably led to more clashes when I tried to go out in sky high heels, pancake makeup and fishnet stockings. Come to think of it my favoured look back then was perfect for my planned career of working on the streets.
Then there were the unsuitable boyfriends who my parents tolerated despite their total lack of manners and propensity to treat our city centre apartment as their own personal crashpad. One even kicked in our front door during a particularly heated lovers' tiff. My dad just got out his hammer and nails and fixed it up without so much as a murmur.
Not to mention the staying out late and binge drinking, which is not an invention of the current generation of teenagers. Way back in the 80s I once greeted my parents with a bill for an overnight stay in hospital (I was living abroad at the time) on their return from a business trip. The messy result of downing a bottle of vodka with the friend I was staying with while they were away.
I was constantly in trouble at school for answering back, being late and spiking up my hair (it was a conservative institution). My parents must have spent almost as much time in the headmaster's office as I did.
I am just grateful that my parents had the patience to endure the tricky teens without showing me the door as now we get along fine.
My mum says her only regret is because I have four sons she will never get her revenge by watching me attempt to cope with my own teenaged daughter. As she says, there is no justice.
Do you think teen girls are more tricky than boys?
Were you horrible to your parents?
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