英语趣谈:如何应对你家的teenage monster?

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SOURCE都市报

Adolescent可用作名词或形容词。 Adolescent用作名词,解an adolescent boy or girl,少男或少女;用作形容词,adolescent解(of a young person) in the process of developing from a child into an adult,由孩子发展成为成人的过程、青春期的。

Adolescence是名词,解the period following the onset of puberty during which a young person develops from a child into an adult,青春期、青少年时期。有英国专栏作家写道,孩子进入青春期,作为父母的可能会有这样的感觉:

Maybe you quietly mourned that sweet little boy or girl who played and chatted happily when family life was fun. Until the hormones kicked in and your baby morphed(渐变) into a teenage monster.

Mourn解哀悼,除了是人,为逝去的事物伤感也可以用mourn这个动词。例如mourn a relationship that didn’t work out(为没结果的一段关系感到伤痛),而父母就可能会为孩子由小可爱变成小魔怪而感到哀伤。

但家长和师长都知道,孩子变为adolescents,可以是个很富挑战的时期。有时真会觉得他们的行为有点像monster(魔怪)。但青少年的魔怪行为与成年人有关:”Adolescents are not monsters. They are just people trying to learn how to make it among the adults in the world, who are probably not so sure themselves.”(青少年并不是魔怪。他们只是在学习怎样在成人世界中自处,但很多成人连自己也不知道怎样自处。)

为处理家中青少年问题而觉得头痛的父母,可看以下的分享:

Our youth now love luxury(生活奢侈). They have bad manners, contempt(藐视) for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict(驳斥) their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food(狼吞虎咽) and tyrannize(专横地对待、欺压、虐待) their teachers.

这段话是对这一代adolescents十分贴切的描述,不过说这话的是古希腊哲学家苏格拉底,原来adolescent的问题不是今天才有,几千年前的adolescents也是一模一样,没有分别!

被了解或误解?

Oxford Dictionary解释adolescent的例句是:Many parents find it hard to understand their adolescent children.(很多父母觉得十多岁的孩子难以了解。)事实上,这亦是家长对青少年孩子的感觉。

有人试从幽默的角度看问题,说:”No adolescent ever wants to be understood, which is why they complain about being misunderstood all the time.”
Adolescent和teenager很多时会交换使用,teenager是a person aged between 13 and 19 years,13至19岁的人;与adolescence的时期相若。但Tony Little和Herb Etkin在合着的Adolescence: How to Survive It中指出,adolescence可以早过13岁开始,有时竟到28岁才结束。他们说,家长对孩子问题不用灰心:

For the family, all is not lost(尚存希望), even though it can sometimes feel like it. As long as adults do what they are supposed to do – playing by reliable(可靠的) rules and acing as fixed points on the landscape – young people, on the whole, feel safe and secure.

Tony Little是英国贵族学校Eton的前任校长,Herb Etkin是儿童和青少年心理学专家,他们在书中解释adolescent的心态,分析问题的本质和根由,再为家长提供处理的方法。

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