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Have you heard of tv show 'I hate my teenage daughter'? ... oh please

Mothers of teenage daughters all know "the look". Eyes reaching upwards into the back of their sockets, sharp intake of breath, followed by a seven syllable rendition of the word "Mum!"

You are old, clueless and can't be trusted to say a thing. That's the message you're hearing in spades. We've all been there. The vast aeons of time that have passed since you, yourself, were a teenager leave you with no opinion worth hearing.

But when they want something, it's a different kettle of fish.

The "Pleeeeease Mum", is wheedling, high- pitched, smiley-faced and, depending on your reaction, following by either a hug and "you're like, so the best mum ever!" or a grimace, feet stomping, "That is SO unfair".

It's bewildering. Being a parent is hard enough. By the time they turn into the alien race known as teenagers, you'd want to catch up fairly quickly or you'll be left, reeling, behind.

A new show in the States is focusing on the sometimes fraught and always complicated relationship between mother and adolescent.

The tongue-in-cheek comedy I Hate My Teenage Daughter will most likely be imported here but if you're expecting to learn anything from it, you're still pretty much on your own -- like all parenting.

The Washington Post sums up the relationship nicely in reviewing the show.

Showing the edginess that can exist, it says, "They may argue and issue ultimatums and passive-aggressively text each other from opposite ends of Forever 21, but the daughter wins on a technicality every time, which is this: The overprotective, youth-obsessed matriarch of today wants desperately to be her daughter's BFF".

And if you don't get the teen Americanisms, that stands for Best Friend Forever. Ah yes -- the classic mistake.

Don't you hate those parents to claim to be their daughters' "best friend"? They go shopping together, wear each others' clothes, link arms and 'friend' each other on Facebook.

If you're like Sarah Ferguson, the former Duchess of York, you famously go "on the pull" together too. Recent research from the US has shown that women in their 40s are so desperate to stay looking young that they follow their daughters' lead in fashion, make-up and hairstyles.

They're in Hollister or River Island at the weekend, trying on clothes that should never appear on a body over 20 years old. They're cringeing at the loud music and tripping over things in the darkness but trying to look as if it's where they shop all the time.

They're so worried about looking older themselves, as they see their fresh-faced, taut skinned daughters beside them that they are constantly dieting, worrying about face lines and wonder why they end up with self-absorbed, nervy girls who can't pass a mirror without checking themselves in it.

"Self-esteem" has replaced mothering. Where we should be disciplining, we're giving in. We're "helicopter" parenting -- hovering nervously as they try to get through the awkward stage of life and terrified of denying them anything in case they don't like us, instead of realising that they don't like anything, except their friends at that age and even then, it blows hot and cold.

In the show, the daughters of the two middle aged mothers/BFFs, Sophie and Mackenzie, are "scantily clad, thumbs-a-textin', lips-a-poutin', eyeballs rolling in disgust" teenagers.

Normal, then.

The mothers are busy trying to find a way to cling onto them, creating co-dependent relationships they think will substitute for all the mistakes they made in their own lives.

I'm not sure I'll be watching if it comes to our shores: all a bit too reality-TV for me...


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