Language Lessons

In honor of the beginning of another school year and in hopes of enhancing communication with your children, I offer you the following “Teen-Speak to English” translations:

TEEN – “Death Metal rules!”                     ENGLISH – “I’ll listen to any music that you do not like in order to help establish my separation and drive to independence.”   Alternate: “This music helps me process and release some of the anger I hold during these difficult developmental times.”                                                                           

TEEN – “You hypocrite.  How come I can’t smoke when I know you have tried it?”         ENGLISH – “I am supposed to challenge rules; that is part of my normal teen development.” Alternate: “I really want to look older and look cooler.” 

TEEN – “I hate you because you won’t let me buy those shoes.”               ENGLISH – “I so wish I could feel that I fit in without needing stuff.” 

TEEN – “I am so mad at you.  It’s your entire fault.”             ENGLISH – “There are things I am scared of don’t understand and don’t like about myself but I can’t tolerate those feelings so I’ll put them on you.”

 TEEN – “I can’t go to bed so early.  I am not tired at the bed-time you set.”         ENGLISH – “This is actually true; look it up.  As a teenager I am built to go to sleep later and wake up later. That is why I really need structure around bed-times.” 

TEEN – “Leave me alone.”                        ENGLISH – “I totally want your help but I am too cool to ask.” 

TEEN – “Joey gets to do it, why can’t I?”      ENGLISH – “Please say no because I do realize this is a very bad idea.”

 TEEN – “School is boring and I don’t care if I fail.  Who uses Geometry any way?”            ENGLISH – “I am struggling with some kind of problem in school but it is way too embarrassing or humiliating to admit that or ask for support.”  Alternate: “I am really smart and need to be challenged more, but why would I ever ask for more work?” 

TEEN – “I play video games all the time because they help me calm down and focus more.”             ENGLISH – “My brain is still developing; an important area that is able to inhibit impulses to pursue more enjoyable activities does not fully develop until  I am in my 20’s.”  Alternate: “I am having trouble feeling calm and focused.”

 TEEN – “What’s wrong with weed?  It’s totally natural.”             ENGLISH – “I have no idea what I’m talking about but most of us do experiment with drugs or alcohol at some point.  It is scary and I would like advice but I can’t ask for it.”  Alternate:  “I don’t feel good and I want something to make me feel better.”

 TEEN – “You are so stupid.”                            ENGLISH – “I know I need your guidance, but I also really want to learn to become independent.  I know you know more than me.  This is tough.”

 TEEN – “You are such a dork.”                    ENGLISH – “I wish I had self esteem like you do.”

 TEEN – “You are the devil.”                  ENGLISH – “I love you and I need you and I promise I will work this out.  Don’t give up on me.”

 TEEN – “You don’t know what you are talking about.”                    ENGLISH – “Young men think old men are fools but old men know young men are fools.”  (This is a quote from Truman Capote.)

 TEEN – “You don’t understand!”                  ENGLISH – “Sometimes, I just want you to listen to me and acknowledge my feelings.”

Good luck to all with the upcoming 2010-2011 school year.

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