Dear Lola,

My teenager uses words that I have never heard of. Sometimes I ask him to clarify what they mean but he usually rolls his eyes and then explains the definition as if I’m slow-witted. He’s even been caught muttering about his parents being from the time of dinosaurs. Context doesn’t really help since his sentences are short or littered with other vernacular I don’t understand. Should I start googling these words that I hear him using? I worry about the ones I overhear when he’s with friends, the ones I never hear him use around me.


Prehistoric Parent

Dear Prehistoric Parent,

When it comes to words your Miniature Human uses in your presence, the solution is actually quite simple. Continue to ask for an explanation of these words as he uses them. Yes, he may roll his eyes. Yes, he will likely mutter unflattering opinions of your ancient years. He may even sound like nails on a chalkboard due to his gently mocking tone of voice. Ignore all of these things and focus on one fact. You are having an actual conversation with a member of your species who are known to be mute when in the presence of an adult.

That kind of feat deserves a gold medal in parenting!

Do not, I repeat, DO NOT Google words that you hear your Miniature Human use when he is not aware you are listening. First, you’ll have to throw away your computer and all your social media accounts and start over from scratch. Your targeted ads will be forever linked to that foolish search into the dark side of the internet. Second, you’re likely to find out things about your Miniature Human that you can never, ever forget – no matter how hard you try.

Pouring bleach into your eyes will blind you, not erase your memory.

I am sure you engaged in many conversations with your peers that would mortify your parents. In fact, I’m absolutely positive they have overheard things that have made eye contact at the dinner table a tense affair. I would even go so far as to bet that you have conversations with your adult friends that you would never want your parents, or even spouse, to know about.

Unless there are reasons for concern in your Miniature Human’s behavior, trust that you have done your job to raise him into a good human being.


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