With a teen, a tween, and one “almost” in that tween zone, my ears perked up (do I have puppy on the brain, or what?), at this new title: Teenage as a Second Language. I asked the authors, Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, Psy. D. (Mom Since 2000, MS ’00) &
Barbara R. Greenberg, Ph. D (Mom Since 1987, MS’87), to share some tips on talking to teens and also to decode some of the top “shorthand” phrases kids use here at The Lounge. Enjoy!

Teen Talk Tips:

• Say what you mean, and mean what you say
• When your parents aren’t anxious, life is beautiful
• Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t
• Talk with your teens not at them
• Structure and predictability ensure comfort and safety
• Try hard not to criticize, judge or become angry
• Subtlety always trumps coercion
• It’s not always what they say but how they say it
• Dress your role, your teen is watching
• Shame and disapproval equal lies and deceit
• Listen to both their successes and their failures
• Communication is always the key to success
• Your teen is not your confidante
• You are their most important role model

Teen Texting & Talking Acronyms:

P911 – Parent Alert
POS – Parent over my shoulder
KPC – Keeping parents clueless
420 – Marijuana use or sometimes “let’s get high”
DOC – Drug of choice
A/S/L/P – Age/Sex/Location/Picture
411 – The story, the information.
WC – Who cares
BFD – Big “freaking” deal
BD – Big deal
511 – Too much information
NW – No way
HOAS – Hold on a second
BTW – By the way

Editor’s Note: I find this short list very helpful. I’d presume that city-to-city, teens develop their own lingo, so the rule of thumb would be to realize that they’ve developed a shorthand for underground communication. Deciphering it is our job, especially when safety is involved. The book will have you “talking teen and tween” in no time!