Teenage Communication

Men are from Mars, and women are from Venus, according to relationship counselor John Gray. The way men and women interact with the world around them is SO different, that it’s almost like they are different creatures from different planets. I’ve long been aware of these differences because I was the only boy in my family growing up with four sisters.

I was reminded of these differences again today when I went with Carl to Central High School to officially register for his sophomore year. By the time he signed in, picked up his class schedule, and got his picture taken, we had waited in lines for nearly an hour, so besides chatting with my son, I also got to observe plenty of teen behavior.

There was a girl in front of us who must have been very popular. She was always watching the entry way for familiar faces, and at least 30 times she jumped up and down while shrieking some girl’s name. This expression of delight was usually followed by the words “Oh my gawd” before she rushed over to her dear friend for a frenzied hug. I started to notice that most girls, but not all, greeted each other in similar fashion.

There were also a couple of boys ahead of us who were quietly chatting while they too waited in the long line. They weren’t looking around, but after one particularly loud outburst from the shrieking girl, they turned around to look at her. It was at this time that one of them noticed Carl and in a barely audible voice, he whispered “Hey Carl” while giving a slight nod with his head. Carl whispered “Hey” and returned a barely perceivable head nod. The boys turned back around and the greeting was over.

It wasn’t too much later that Carl turned to me and calmly observed “Girls are sure weird!” I agreed that it may seem that way, but pointed out that girls were simply different than boys. He added that they were getting more “different” each year, and that if this keeps up, he will be afraid to leave his room when he finishes High School. I told him that he was also changing and that in a few years he would understand girls a little better, and that girls would also understand boys better by then too. He shrugged his 15 year old shoulders to communicate the fact that he doubted my prediction, and just like that, the conversation was over. Maybe I need to write a book of my own: “Teenagers are from Mars, and parents are from Venus!”

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