top of page

Learn the Lingo by Fern Weis, Parent + Family Recovery Coach

Learn the Lingo by Fern Weis, Parent + Family Recovery Coach, Bergen County Moms

Whatever. Fine. I don't know.

To a parent, these expressions can feel confusing and confrontational. It’s baffling when you don’t understand, and aren’t sure how to respond. Don't take it personally. They are speaking "teen", a foreign language with unfamiliar nuances. It’s time to learn the lingo.

Phrases like these vary in meaning, from "You have no idea what my day was like" to "I'm confused" to "I'd rather be with my friends" to "I can't hear you when you lecture me".

Initiate a conversation with your child. Explain how these kinds of responses feel to you and ask for their help in translation. Instead of guessing, go right to the source. Then you can come up with a response that is less emotional and keeps the brick walls from going up between you.

* Resource: Teenage as a Second Language -- A Parent's Guide to Becoming Bilingual, by Greenberg and Powell-Lundner.

Fern Weis is a certified life coach who learned that caring and good intentions are not enough in parenting. In fact, they are often the problem! Fern supports parents of teens and young adults who are going through difficult situations, including addiction recovery. She helps parents release guilt, end enabling and confidently prepare their children to thrive through life's challenges. Her articles are featured in Thrive Global, Medium, Motherly, The Teen Mentor, and Bergen County Moms.

Learn more about coaching and classes at And then download your free guide, "Five Powerful Steps to Get Your Teen to Talk." For information on Family Recovery programs, visit

bottom of page