英語趣談:如何應對你家的teenage monster?

加拿大都市网

SOURCE都市报

Adolescent可用作名詞或形容詞。 Adolescent用作名詞,解an adolescent boy or girl,少男或少女;用作形容詞,adolescent解(of a young person) in the process of developing from a child into an adult,由孩子發展成為成人的過程、青春期的。

Adolescence是名詞,解the period following the onset of puberty during which a young person develops from a child into an adult,青春期、青少年時期。有英國專欄作家寫道,孩子進入青春期,作為父母的可能會有這樣的感覺:

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(漸變) into a teenage monster.

Mourn解哀悼,除了是人,為逝去的事物傷感也可以用mourn這個動詞。例如mourn a relationship that didn’t work out(為沒結果的一段關係感到傷痛),而父母就可能會為孩子由小可愛變成小魔怪而感到哀傷。

但家長和師長都知道,孩子變為adolescents,可以是個很富挑戰的時期。有時真會覺得他們的行為有點像monster(魔怪)。但青少年的魔怪行為與成年人有關:”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.”(青少年並不是魔怪。他們只是在學習怎樣在成人世界中自處,但很多成人連自己也不知道怎樣自處。)

為處理家中青少年問題而覺得頭痛的父母,可看以下的分享:

Our youth now love luxury(生活奢侈). They have bad manners, contempt(藐視) 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(駁斥) their parents, chatter before company, gobble up their food(狼吞虎咽) and tyrannize(專橫地對待、欺壓、虐待) their teachers.

這段話是對這一代adolescents十分貼切的描述,不過說這話的是古希臘哲學家蘇格拉底,原來adolescent的問題不是今天才有,幾千年前的adolescents也是一模一樣,沒有分別!

被了解或誤解?

Oxford Dictionary解釋adolescent的例句是:Many parents find it hard to understand their adolescent children.(很多父母覺得十多歲的孩子難以了解。)事實上,這亦是家長對青少年孩子的感覺。

有人試從幽默的角度看問題,說:”No adolescent ever wants to be understood, which is why they complain about being misunderstood all the time.”
Adolescent和teenager很多時會交換使用,teenager是a person aged between 13 and 19 years,13至19歲的人;與adolescence的時期相若。但Tony Little和Herb Etkin在合著的Adolescence: How to Survive It中指出,adolescence可以早過13歲開始,有時竟到28歲才結束。他們說,家長對孩子問題不用灰心:

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是英國貴族學校Eton的前任校長,Herb Etkin是兒童和青少年心理學專家,他們在書中解釋adolescent的心態,分析問題的本質和根由,再為家長提供處理的方法。

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