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Tips for Speaking With Your Teen

By Randi Morse

I remember thinking, when my children were little, that the days were the longest days I'd ever dealt with and that nothing was more frustrating than dealing with a toddler. It turns out, I was mistaken. More frustrating than dealing with a toddler is dealing with a teenager. My children's pediatrician once told me that toddlers prepare you for teenagers, and she was not wrong. One of the most difficult things about teenagers is getting them to talk to you. The teenage brain is going through a wide array of changes, but most teenagers feel uncomfortable talking to their parents about their problems. One of the most important things when it comes to speaking with your teens is to learn how to speak the lingo.

Learn the Language

Remember when you were back in high school learning a foreign language. Some people are great with languages; others, like me, have a difficult time with it. One thing you need to realize is that teenagers speak a different language than adults do. This might seem like a strange idea, especially since your teenager seems to have the same language capabilities that you do. They might speak the same language, but the teenage culture is so vastly different that a word that means something to you might mean something completely different to your teenager.

For example, if you ask your teenager how their day went and they respond with, "fine." The word "fine" can mean a lot of things; with teenagers, it's all about the tone they use when saying the word. Is their tone flat and emotionless? Is it a little higher pitched and bouncy? A flat and emotionless tone often means that there is more going on inside of your teen's head than they are letting out, while a light and bouncy tone often means that the teens day went as it normally does. 

Text Speak

If you're trying to talk to your teen, they often respond best via text. They've become a text-heavy culture so learning how to speak the text language will go a long way toward helping you understand your teenager. This website is a great one for people who are trying to understand the meanings of all the shortened words and abbreviations their teenagers are using. 

Don't be discouraged if your teenager doesn't talk to you immediately, and don't push them too much. Make sure they know you're there for them by telling them that regularly. Head to text messaging if you want to start a conversation that they're more apt to answer, but remember that if you try using online teen speak you'll definitely cause them to laugh!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in North Richland Hills, Tex.

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