By Kristin van Ogtrop
Updated January 26, 2015
Joe Ciardiello

A highly subjective list, from this mother of three boys:

It is not worth fighting over…
1) Wearing a winter coat instead of that flimsy springlike thing, even though it is 25 degrees.

2) Rearranging his room so it’s more aesthetically pleasing to you.

3) Cutting his hair in a way that’s more aesthetically pleasing to you.

4) The ability to hang out with that kid who is harmless but sort of annoys you for reasons you can’t explain.

5) Revealing the name and all other significant details of the person he has a crush on.

It is absolutely worth fighting over…
1) Texting at the table.

2) Chewing with his mouth closed.

3) Writing thank-you notes after Christmas, especially to grandparents. Typing and printing out and putting in an envelope: ok. E-mailing: no.

4) Apologizing to his younger sibling when he uses, shall we say, excessive force.

5) Coming to talk to you when he gets in at night (you’ve never smelled alcohol on his breath, but there’s a first time for everything).

To those who have (or know, or love) teenagers, please add (or subtract, or discuss amongst yourselves).