Written by: Joanne Lowe
It’s a pattern that’s been repeated through the decades. Why do teenagers think their parents are stupid? We have may have qualifications, challenging jobs, and manage the family budget, but we don’t know what lol means! Yes of course its laugh out loud, but until recently I did think it was lots of love. So if you have a teenager moving moodily around your house can you do anything to get down with the kids?
Social Media isn’t for everyone, but it’s a massive part of life now and our teenagers devour it. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Ask.fm are all popular platforms. Most adults now have a Facebook or Twitter account which is probably why teens are moving on. Nobody wants their parents seeing drunken pictures from last night’s house party. Being aware of different types of social media and how they are used may help you understand why you child is giggling into their iPhone 24/7.
It’s also responsible as a parent to know about the potential dangers of some sites and apps. More youngsters are using apps like Snapchat and Kik/WhatsApp to send instant messages and photos for free hidden from the eyes of parents and teachers. These apps are being used more for ‘sexting’ (sending flirty pictures) by teens which can be a cause for concern.
Technology and Gaming
This is another big area of teen life. We live in an age of ‘super technology’. Long gone are stacks of cd’s and cd players. I fondly remember walking to school wearing my walkman thinking I was fantastic. Today kids download music, store it on their phones, or listen to it via YouTube. The world of pc’s, consoles and gaming is also huge so make the effort to know what game they are into and who they are playing with if online. This requires effort;
For example my 2 year old wanted to dance to the Ylvis song ‘What Does The Fox Say’. After asking non-stop, I caved in and turned on the Xbox and use a feature called Xbox Bing. It enables you to search the web for things on your telly (yes, I’m struggling to keep up too!) I managed to connect the telly, via the Xbox to YouTube and find her favourite video. This took me 40 minutes to do. The whole time my toddler kept saying, “Come on mummy daddy find it”. Well daddy wasn’t in and I was! This is a 2 year old – imagine what a 14 year old with the hand eye co-ordination of Bruce Lee must think when you can’t even strafe your Call of Duty 2 figure around a warzone?!
Fashion, Music, TV
Adults will never fully understand teenage fashion or music. It’s our role in life to be slightly bemused by the size of a young girl’s hair and heels or to wonder why boys wear jeans half way around their bum! Of course we are stupid because we don’t dress that way and we’d become highly embarrassing if we did. Not knowing your Lady Gaga from your Katy Perry or One Direction from Union J will also render you stupid as will never having watched an episode of The Only Way Is Essex.
It’s Just What They Do
Even if we did know all of these things teens would find another reason to think we were a bit dumb. We don’t get their unique language first time round. We tell them that boy or girl isn’t worth crying over. We urge them to save not spend their money. We call their favourite song noise. No matter how cool a parent you are, something will trip you up in the teen world, so I say why try to change an age old recipe?