Depending on the day or incident, there are a variety of powers within the teenage mind that as an educated woman, I would think I could understand, yet I continue to be amazed. I will not use the word dysfunction because I am fully aware my children have been blessed and do not struggle with learning disabilities. I would never want to deplete the seriousness of children and parents struggling with true issues in the areas of processing and learning abilities.
These are my own experiences with my two children and my satirical definitions of “powers” they have. This is my way of moving through these phases of child development without feeling personally attacked, ignored, and possibly moving to Fiji to run a bar the rest of my life.
Ghosting While Physically Present (GWPP)
The ability to think and function in the same house as other humans but never acknowledge their existence within the same living space — I think we all know the term “ghosting” by now. Wikipedia defines this as “a colloquial term used to describe the practice of ceasing all communication and contact with a partner, friend, or similar individual without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out or communication made by said partner, friend, or individual.”
Teenagers have an inherent power to be able to “ghost” while being physically around the parent with which they are attempting the above technique. Although considered negative and basically rude behavior, it’s an amazing ability that my children use frequently, especially when there are plans for a gathering, project or chore deadline approaching.
Mysterious spontaneous laughter
An example of this would be my teenager watching a video or reading a meme and suddenly laugh out loud. However, when asked what was funny or attempt at joining in on the joke, apparently, it’s “nothing.”
This has happened in while I’m sitting directly across from them eating dinner or in the car. Sudden burst of laughter at an obvious thought or memory they have, yet, it’s “nothing.” This can lead to the condition of “spontaneous mood change.” When I ever so slightly push for more information, “C’mon, tell me. What did you think about that made you laugh?” There is an instant mood change and suddenly the condition of “empty mind.” “Nothing, Mom… I wasn’t thinking of anything!”
I know my daughter and son listen to music and this is apparent when the bluetooth speaker is being used as well as when they are using headphones or ear buds accurately placed within their ears. I know they are using the hearing device correctly, yet when I ask what they are listening to, still “nothing.” It is very concerning that the sound waves are directly flowing into their ears yet they still hear “nothing.” (Note to self: Get their hearing checked.)
Obsessive decrease in vocabulary use
My son is especially gifted in this area, although my daughter is in training. They have the ability like no other creature on earth among those who communicate through sound, to use the least amount of words to answer a question or develop a description. This may not seem strange at first, considering many animals only use a small amount of sounds to exist and survive in their habitats. The obsessive decrease in vocabulary was found when there was a high amount of vocabulary and use of sounds, sometimes to the detriment of my own hearing, when my children were younger, especially during the ages of 4 and 8 years old. We might consider their vocabulary obsessively used and be astounded at some of the actual vocabulary being used!
The typical words they are able to and limited to use now would be similar to “good,” “bad,” “nothing,” “maybe,” “alright,” “nah,” and my least favorite…. “bruh.” Usually “bruh” is used when I enter their habitat without knocking. Once they have decided to release the power of GWPP, they yell, “Bruh!?!?!”
I have been involved in a variety of focus groups, basically discussions with other parents, who experience similar behavior and many have other, interesting teenage powers I have not experienced. Luckily, I hear that teenagers do grow out of Ghosting While Physically Present (GWPP) and obsessive decrease in vocabulary use as they mature. Some of the others I’m not too sure about. I do hear that children start enjoying being around their parents again at a later age. I’m sure mine will love to visit me in Fiji.