30/03/2011 07:28 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Surviving Teenagers Or Why I'm Permanently Confused

Surviving Teenagers or Why I'm permanently confused It's very confusing, living with teenagers.

My 16-year-old daughter went out the other day with five holes (complete with ladders) in her black tights. I said nothing. If I put on a pair of tights and there's a hole in them, I take them off and put them in the bin. But she doesn't (even though she's got new ones in the drawer). Why? I have no idea.

Last weekend, my 18-year-old son said he was going out.

'Where?' I said.

'I don't know,' he said.

I waited for more information. None came. I tried to trace some anxiety in his expression. But he didn't seem to mind that he didn't know where he was supposed to be going. Why? I have no idea.

It gets worse. My daughter was furious recently when I emptied her bin. Imagine. I emptied her bin.

'It's private!' she said.

'It's rubbish,' I said, bewildered.

'It is still,' she said icily, 'private.'

Every so often, parents have to negotiate this fog of extreme mystification - mostly because our teenagers' schools ask us to.

'I had an email from your form tutor,' I said to my son, 'saying you weren't at school yesterday.'

He frowned. 'But I was,' he said.

I struggled on, feeling I had to get the bottom of this somehow.

'So why does he think you weren't?' I said.

There's a pause. My son thinks about this. 'I don't know,' he says.

My daughter's school wants to know her A-level choices next week. I don't dare ask her. I don't think I've got the strength.