Teens, Trends, and Terms – A Helpful Glossary for ParentsAug 18th, 2012 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Featured Articles, Teen Issues
The youth of today are in a constant state of flux, and teen trends can change literally overnight – in part because of the viral ability for news to spread online through social media or at the light-speed of texting fingers. As a parent, you are bound to feel out of the loop at some point no matter what, so try to let go of exasperation and just go with the flow.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. And, don’t hesitate to keep your eyes wide open as danger does lurk around every corner – and your teen is going to be exposed to the dark side of growing up in some way or form. You need to prepare yourself, as well as your teen, with the solid moral ground and clear-headed thinking skills they will need to make good choices about their own health and welfare.
- Social Media. Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. You likely have heard of these platforms, and they are one of the main ways teens stay in contact after school, and share information instantaneously amongst one another. It is important to teach your teen that every online comment leaves its own “digital footprint,” and that the written word can be taken the wrong way or used against them down the road.
- Drugs & Alcohol. This one has certainly been around for awhile, but it sure has not gone away. Teens today are exposed to drugs and alcohol in many more forms than most of us were. Drug slang is peppered through many popular songs and television shows. And teens seem to have the knack for finding new methods of getting high that aren’t illegal – but can be even more deadly than the traditional forms, including ADHD prescription sharing, and high doses of weight-lifting supplements to get a rush.
- Body Modification. Piercings, tattoos, plastic surgery… although you may think a parental signature is required; it is all too easy for teens to get a tat or piercing without the necessary requirements. Have a frank discussion with your teen about the permanence of body modification. They may have loved Dora the Explorer when they were 5 – but now, 10 years later – would they want a tat of Dora on their bodies? Doubtful!
- Attention/Adrenaline rush.This topic is one of the more frightening aspects of modern youth culture. Let’s just take a peek at a few of the things some teens are participating in these days.
- I-Dosing. This attempts to alter a teen’s consciousness through sound. Teens plug in their headphones to listen to downloadable MP3s that are said to have effects much like getting high on actual drugs. There are various tracks designed to elicit the same “high” as specific drugs.
- Purple Drank. By adding cough syrup with codeine to a soft drink and candy (usually Sprite and Jolly Ranchers), teens create what they consider a quick high. The drink can be made with the over-the-counter medications like Robitussin DM, which contains dextromethorphan. Normally used as a cough suppressant, in large doses this substance causes hallucinations – and can be potentially deadly in a strong enough dose.
- Planking. This activity consists of lying face down — stiff like a board — on any and every surface teens dream up. Participants snap a photo and upload it to the internet, where planking groups have proliferated to immortalize the most daring or silly pictures. It has caused numerous injuries and at least one death.
- The Choking Game. This potentially lethal “game” involves the assistance of a friend to choke the player in order to shut off blood flow to the brain. The goal is to obtain a “high” that results from the lack of oxygen, but can cause long term brain damage, comas, strokes, and bleeding in the brain – because nobody really knows exactly when to let go.
- Cliques in Schools: Emo or goth (dark, depressed, black hair, makeup and clothes), jock, straight-edge (no drugs, sex or alcohol), loners, drama geeks, populars, specials (physically or mentally disadvantaged).
- Baked: Baked (or Jacked up)
- Biters: Cheaters or those who copy tests
- Bo Bo: Something of poor quality
- Dumb: Very (“it’s dumb hot out today!”)
- Inked Up: Tattooed
- Krunk: Wild and exhilarating (“that party was krunk!”)
- Marinating: To chill out or relax
- Off the Hook: exceptionally good
- Peeps: Friends
- Slammin: Very attractive
- Sick: Very cool or awesome
- Trippin: Upset
These are just a few of the most popular terms – texting lingo is a whole other dictionary!
Although homeschooling can definitely remove teens from a wide variety of negative opportunities, when they DO get the chance to co-mingle with other teens of the same age, they may feel especially under the gun to prove themselves to others or to appear cool.
The best thing to do for your tween or teen is to arm them with the knowledge and power to make informed and positive decisions about their own health and welfare. Peer pressure is ever present, as it always has been. Yet the choice of whether or not to participate is ultimately in their own hands – and is not to be made for them by their friends. Remember to have patience with your teen– it is hard to live in a world where it feels like every decision could be life-altering or monumental. Open dialogue is essential to a trusting and loving relationship with your teen.
Additional homeschooling posts:
Homeschool Teens: Feel Isolated? Tips and Tools for Social Success
Nearly every teen feels the need to fit in and be a part of a larger social community.
Teens: 5 Tips to Make the Transition from Homeschooling to College a Success
If you are planning to leave home for college in the upcoming year, you are probably wondering if it will be the epic adventure of your dreams or your worst nightmare.