Do you know what your teen’s text messages really say?

Photo: WKRN

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Communicating with your teen son or daughter can be difficult these days with social media and text messages.

In fact, just knowing what they’re talking about can be a mystery, especially with the use of emojis and acronyms.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN
By the time you, as a parent, catch on to the shorthand, the chances are it’s old news to your teen.

“The puff of smoke. We see that one used quite often,” School Resource Officer Casey Frazier said.

While the puff of smoke is a pretty common reference to smoking pot, not all teen slang is as obvious.

For example, anything green, such as leaves, clovers or plants, could also be a reference to weed, while a pencil could equate to a joint and mushrooms to drugs.

Photo: WKRN
Photo: WKRN
In addition to using emojis, teens are constantly coming up with new ways to communicate by using key words such as “lean,” which is reference to drinking cough syrup to get high.

“You have to constantly stay up-to-date on the types of messaging systems that your students or kids are using,” Technology Assistant Professor Kathryn Spellar advised.

While the phrase, “Netflix and chill” may sound like an invite to hang out and watch TV, it can also be a request for sex.

“[Parents] see it, they just don’t understand what’s going on. They pass up on it, seeking it’s a slang term they don’t understand,” Frazier said.

While there’s no secret advice or one set way to always know what your teen is talking about, experts suggest that constant communication and keeping up with what your child does online goes a long way.

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