Anne: W U?
Mom: Your cellphone bill is what's up, all this texting--!
Anne: Omg INBD!
Mom: It is a big deal! Who are you texting 50 times a day??
Anne: Idk, my bff Jill?
Mom: Well tell your bff Jill that I'm taking your phone away.
Anne: TISNF! (this is so not fair!)
Mom: Me paying this bill, that's what S..TNF!
- Cingular Commercial
One of the hardest things to understand in life is teenagers. It has often been said that we even have our own language. Parents spend years trying to figure out what we want, and don't really get far, but at least they try (usually). And when parents are at a loss and hanging onto their last nerve with their 16 year old daughter, they can get pretty desperate. That's where they turn to the books. Parenting books, on how to deal with, understand, and manage teens. There are hundreds of thousands of books that say they have the answer to your "troubled, moody teenager." They promise that after reading that manual, you won't have problems anymore.
A friend of mine (who is also a teenager) says, "it's like a training manual for a pet."
Truth is guys, those (the books/articles) are all lies. They may be on the right track, but they're barely ever spot on. Here is the most recent article I've read on how to decipher what we mean with things we say. Take a minute to read it, it's very short. I'll wait.
Done? OK, moving on.
In the article, a couple psychologists have claimed they know what teenagers mean when we say these often-used responses. They also said, and get ready to laugh, that you should, "take the time to learn teen talk the same way you'd go about learning Spanish or French."
Quote of the year right there! They weren't even into the translations yet and I was already calling bullshit. That's not a good sign, people. Then I got to the "translations," and they were so off it's sad. I've used all of those responses, and not once did I mean what they said we mean.
Exactly, what they say we mean. I'm really tired of adults saying that they understand teenagers, that they know our tricks and think they've got us figured out to the core.
Attention adults : you're wrong.
Shocking, right? A teenager is saying the adults are wrong. Nothing new, but please, if you're going to try and understand us, how about reading it from an actual teenager, and not someone who just thinks they've got us figured out? Hell, even when us teens try to explain anything to you about us or what we're feeling or trying to say, you ignore it and say it's childish and that we're too young to know or understand anything.
And you wonder why we're like this, eh? You'd rather turn to someone who isn't us, to try and explain us. "Professional" or not. A psychologist is a professional on human nature and how the mind works. They're not professionals on how teenagers work.
See, us teenagers don't have our own "language." There is no one way to define those responses, they're always changing depending on the situation, your teenagers personality and your home-life. They only people who will understand what a teenager is saying between the lines is other teenagers. (Or if you're extremely close to your kid and know them really well and aren't assuming you know your kid well, but we're talking about the parents who don't). While some, or a lot, of us claim to be mature and act older than we are, we are still able to, I guess change our mentality. We're used to it, we can understand it better. It's kind of like being bilingual.
Adults, they're already grown up and were raised in a completely different generation, with a different environment, different idols and everything. And here they are, claiming they know everything about a generation with a 25 - 30+ year gap that they've never experienced themselves.
Please understand that things have changed. A lot.
Teenagers do not have their own "language." You don't need to study the things we say, we are not a specimen you should observe under a microscope. If you want an idea of what we mean when we say these responses, then I'll tell you. But again, it can depend on the situation.
Fine/whatever - I am now highly annoyed and trying to hide it for the sake of making you shut up and let me be. I will comply with what you want so you'll STFU / I don't care, I am now letting it go.
And, yeah... - That is my story, the end.
I hate you - I hate you in this current moment but will probably forget about it and not hate you by tomorrow at dinner if you let it go or fix what you did / I am angry because you're right and I don't want you to be because you never let me be right. (This one depends on the situation, though).
Thanks, thanks a lot - I am sarcastically thanking you for whatever you just fucked up in relation to me or my plans because you thought it would be "for the best" and ignored my side of the situation/embarrassed me enough to be unforgivable for the next week or so. AKA, you don' fucked up, mom/dad.
There is no real way to fix these, just mostly let us pout and seethe in your general direction until we're happy again. Or apologize. Again, depending on the situation.
And truthfully, we do want to be "treated as adults." We mostly want to be listened to as you would listen to one of your co-workers or colleagues. It would behoove you to not belittle us or make us seem like we're overreacting and being childish, even if we are, we will know it but want to be listened to anyway and would appreciate if you did so. (Yay run on sentences!)