A child’s acquisition of slang is a highly influential factor in not only their overall development but also in their individuality. In other words, slang is often a primary factor in a child beginning to distinguish themselves from their parents, which creates a gap between the two that only language can bridge. Here are some tips on how to bridge some of that gap and keep a connection with your growing teen.
Clearing Up Communication
Language is a dynamic, relative, and constantly evolving phenomenon in its nature. According to Saundz, you only need a passing familiarity with the concepts that language tries to describe in order to understand how dynamic and mutable a phenomenon language is. Slang serves many purposes in a language. It can satisfy our creative impulses, disguise illicit activities and/or forms of speech, and also, maybe most importantly, foster community through common terms.
Parents of teens would be well-served to attend to this last function of slang. Speaking a similar dialect as your child will inevitably lead to a stronger relationship with them, as both of you will be able to communicate more accurately and compassionately with one another. The hope that language provides us is that we will gain the ability to understand, forgive, and love what would otherwise be hidden and menacing.
Identifying Red Flag Activities
Slang is a byproduct of language’s mutable nature. It works kind of like nicknames, but for a substance and/or activity rather than a person. Slang generally serves to disguise some illicit activity because the slang user fears the consequences the public knowledge of that activity might incur. This illicit function is one of several reasons why parents of teenagers might want to become hip to their teen’s jargon.
If you understand how your teen speaks—if you understand how anyone speaks, for that matter—you will naturally come to a more profound understanding of what they do and how they think. If your child is using drugs, knowling slang will help you be much more adept at identifying what kind of drugs are being spoken about and to what extent you should be considered. If drug use is happening, Transformations Treatment Center advises that teens are more likely to overcome addiction with help from others. Knowing the terminology can help you to relate more to your teen and help them to overcome red flag activities like these.
Understanding Slang for Yourself
Understanding slang will not only increase the prospects of a good relationship with your child and help ensure their safety, but it may also combat those nagging feelings of middle age and time gone. To stay current in your usage of language is to stay current in your perception of reality, which is to trust in yourself and love living. Having a connection to the present world around you can make you feel grounded and present.
Having a teen can be an isolating situation at times. However, by understanding your child’s use of slang will potentially lead to a stronger relationship with them. If you’re able to understand their world, they’re more likely to let you be a part of it.
Having trouble relating to your teen and understanding them? Read more advice here.