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There’s nothing worse than seeing your child upset, and knowing there’s nothing you can do about it. Unless it’s knowing that, even if you could do something about it, you really, really shouldn’t. Teenage girls get themselves in a terrible tangle with their social arrangements, and learning to dig themselves out of holes, even deep ones, is all part of growing up.

Still, it gave me enormous pleasure this morning to see one of my darlings texting┬ásomeone who has just let her down. She pressed send, and a little smile appeared on a face which still bore the signs of a long night of tears. ‘Feeling a bit better now, darling?’ I ventured, trying not to pry when, of course, all I want is to know EXACTLY what is going on. ‘Yes. I sent X a message – and I didn’t put a single kiss at the end.’ The triumphant look in her eyes said it all. This is obviously the modern equivalent of posting a large turd through the other girl’s letterbox. Richly deserved, say I.

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