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What Did You Just Say?

January 29th, 2016     By Dr. Tanya Martin, Director of Special Education and Transition Services at Boys Town High School

Parent-Child Relationships, Parenting Skills, Social Skills, Teens, tween, Understanding Behavior

Have you ever been riding in the car and had your children utter words or phrases that make you think, “What did they just say?”

Every generation has its vocabulary of slang; it’s one of those things that sets the youngsters apart from their parents. Tweens and teens enjoy the secrecy of their own “private” slang language, thinking that parents and adults are too “uncool” to understand what the kids are talking about.

So if you feel you have been left behind and are unsure about what your child is talking about sometimes, relax – it’s normal. Slang has been around for decades, and we all used it when we were kids. Remember “Totally awesome,” “Gag me with a spoon,” and so on and so on?

As a parent, though, it is okay to ask your kids the meaning of their slang terms, and maybe even do little research on your own. This can help you know whether the words and phrases your kids are saying or texting really are harmless or are something you should be paying more attention to and be concerned about.

Here are some helpful sites where you can find the most up-to-date slang terms and search for unfamiliar words and phrases:

It is important to know what your child is doing, who they are talking to and what their slang words and phrases mean. This kind of knowledge gives you the power to have good conversations with your kids about what’s going on in their lives.

And who knows? You may learn some new and interesting words along the way.

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