Learn the Lingo by Fern Weis

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.


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

~Fern Weis, Certified Coach and Middle School Teacher, helps parents break down the walls their teens put up, so they can have a great relationship and better prepare their kids for success in college and beyond. Learn how Fern can help you with your parenting concerns through coaching, classes and workshops at Your Family Matters.


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