Disgusted mother

Dear Queenie,

  My 12-year-old son has gotten so rude and mean he is hard to live with. We are going to counseling but I can’t ever leave him with a sitter because he will treat them the same way he treats me.

  Queenie, how do I get through all this?—Disgusted mother

Dear Mother,

  A change like this, especially if it came on suddenly, could be more than just the onset of puberty. Discuss it with your counsellor, and also with your family doctor and/or your son’s paediatrician.

  Meanwhile, are there any family members – your son’s father, aunts, uncles or grandparents – who might be willing to look after him now and then and put up with his behaviour briefly, although he might (briefly) behave a little better for them, while you take a little time for yourself?