For years, parents have struggled with finding an effective method of communication to reach their teenagers, but one parent has found the key.
It’s a well-known fact that teenagers stop speaking plain english for a period of about 6 years, starting at the age of 13. Scientists are baffled by this temporary transition between child-ish english and adult-english. “It’s like, they are almost able to speak regular english at around 12 years old, and then suddenly their brain just freaks out and they start speaking martian. Don’t get me wrong, it SOUNDS like english coming out of their mouths, but all the words are jumbled and used with totally different meanings.” said Dr. Sarah Powell, who we interviewed. “Words like “wicked” become a good thing, and “totes” is no longer a group of bags for carrying groceries. But what is really remarkable is the fact that at the age of about 20, usually mid-college, they suddenly start speaking plain, fully-conversive english.”
It’s a real problem. The good news is that there may be a recent breakthrough that will allow parents to communicate more effectively with their teenage children. The technique has been called “leaning” by the mother who discovered it. The concept is simple, when you wish to communicate with your teen, just assume a stance with your feet shoulder-width apart roughly an arms-length from them, then lean forward until you can feel their breath on your face and shout at double your normal volume. The first few times that you practice the method, your teen will likely back away, so you will need to adjust your stance to keep the distance between you to a minimum.
The intrepid parent who discovered this new method is Debra Massey*, an unemployed mother who put “has babies” under the employment field of our interview request form. Obviously, since she spends all of her time working with her children, she has a firm grasp of how to treat them appropriately. Here’s what she had to say about the new technique:
“Since I was a teenager myself, I’ve wanted to be a mother. The only real challenge to the job is communicating with your kids. When they’re little all their words sound like they’re making fun of foreign languages, and then as they get older they slowly start to turn into little trash-talking monsters. I considered just beating them, but as they get older they started being bigger than me, so I figured I would avoid any kind of physical altercation after about 13 years old. At this point, I needed to find a new method of communication to get them to do what I want. I tried texting them, but I don’t know what a ‘rofl’ is, and I’m concerned they were just making fun of me. I tried ignoring them, since that’s what I did to my parents at that age, and that seemed to work, but they constantly need attention, which is awful. Then one day, out of sheer luck, one of my kids started telling me about how he needs something for school, and I honestly didn’t care, and I just leaned in, and yelled. I think it was the first time my son actually understood what I was trying to tell him. It was great. He stopped talking and I didn’t have to deal with him until we got home and he was hungry again.”
After her discovery, Debra* immediately went to her local community college to see if she could claim the discovery. She was told that yelling in your child’s face isn’t copyrightable.
“I was shocked! I hadn’t ever seen any other parents doing it, and I felt sure that I could claim it as my own. The government checks are always so shrimpy, even though I pushed out five kids! They did say they would put in a call to ‘DHS’, which I think is a law firm that might try to help me make something off the idea.”
We attempted to try Debra’s* technique for ourselves, but just got a lot of mean glares, and one teen coughed in our face. It was super uncomfortable. Let us know if you have better luck.
* Name changed for anonymity