Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do you know the signs?

If your son’s friend comes to your door wearing a hat with FML emblazoned on it, do you know what that means? Are you aware of what your teenage daughter is saying to the world when she goes out in a t-shirt which has the numbers 187 on it? What if your son comes home talking about his friend, the Emo? Does this mean anything to you? When you overhear your teenager talking about a pharm party or special K, do you think they are talking about the petting zoo and breakfast cereal?

All of these phrases, logos and expressions have very specific meanings to our teens, and while they may sound foreign and even a little silly to us; to our adolescents they are real, and can be very scary.

I don’t want you to think that if you hear of one these expressions or see one these logos your child is running in a gang, or is on drugs. But I do want you to look at them for what they are; clues, or signs as it were, that we should pay extra attention. We as adults must be informed as to what’s on the street, what the drugs are, what the lingo is so that we can have a fighting chance.

It’s scary not knowing what is going on; we feel powerless as adults. We want to feel that our children can talk to us about anything, but we know, deep in our hearts that they aren’t; just think back, did your parents know what you were doing at 16?

So get informed! Learn what the drugs are (www.streetdrugs.org), what the lingo is (www.noslang.com), and be proactive. Yes, you may make a mistake, maybe even over react and risk having your adolescent mad at you, but an angry teen is a lot better than the alternative.


  1. Thanks for the write up Bar. You highlight an important point here for parents. I think it extends to professionals as well. Could somebody create a translation dictionary for all the slang teenagers are using these days? It would be very helpful in our work with teens and young adults.

    Mike Sullivan
    Pacific Quest

  2. Mie, try www.noslang.com it does a prety good job of tranlation...good luck