Have you ever wondered what your teenager is thinking or saying? I have a fresh perspective for you that may help you see into their world a little more clearly.
Teenagers seem to create their own culture. It changes with each new generation. They act and speak a language that only they know.
Adults usually struggle to figure out what their words actually mean, and now, especially with technology like computers and smart phones, it has become even harder for adults to decipher what their teenagers are trying to communicate. Some of the teenage language or “slang” they are using today can be harmful to themselves and their friends, so it’s always good for parents to try to learn what the slang words mean so they can make sure their children are safe. However, it’s probably not a good idea to say these words yourself while in conversation with them because if will probably backfire on you.
While observing some teenage girls recently, one thing that I noticed was how they interacted with each other and their smart phones. Taking selfies of each other and posting the pictures on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are very important to them. According to a U.S. News article, selfies have become a teen’s online identity. They even use selfies to communicate with each other. The teenagers that I observed doing this new ritual were making what they call the “duck face”. So the next time your teenager says something strange to you and takes a selfie on his or her phone, don’t freak out. It’s just how they are communicating with each other, and they really don’t want you to try to understand what they are saying.
They have their own language and their own lives apart from yours, but there’s something you need to know. According to the Opinion Research Corporation, “about 67% of the teens in America want to spend more time with their parents.” Now, most of you will disagree, but that’s because you think that will manifest in them spending their free time with you. Let’s be clear… They want you to be in their lives, but they may not want to hang out with you when there’s Friday night home game. Reggie Joiner (writer for The Parent Cue) puts it this way:
“They are teenagers. Just because they may not take the initiative in working on their relationship with you, does not negate that they desire and value a positive relationship with you as a parent. Don’t make the mistake of assuming, when there seems to be a shift of loyalty and attention to other friends, that their relationship with you is not important to them. Don’t take it personally, and choose to believe, that your teenagers need time with you, regardless of how anyone is acting. And decide that it’s your responsibility as the parent and the adult, to take the initiative to pursue a healthy relationship with them.”
Even though they aren’t verbally communicating it, they want you in their lives. Your teen’s years are crucial ones for you to be involved in. Let them have their own language and their own goofy duck-face interactions, but be sure to get one thing right:
They may never express it, but they’ll be thankful you were.
Written by Cheryl Romans
Cheryl is a very fun loving, easy-going kind of girl with a passion for God, family, animals and writing. Her three beagles are considered her “fur babies”. Life might get a little crazy for her at times because she juggles a full time job with finishing up her degree in journalism while trying to take care of her house. When she does have spare time, she loves to read, write, spend time with her husband and family, and just relax at home.