SOUTH SALEM, NY (WCBS 8880) – To help decode the English language, South Salem mother of two Dr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder has co-written a book called “Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual.”

WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi with Dr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder and tips for parents

“The best example is ‘fine.’ What does that mean? You really have to take into account the nonverbal language, the context, the tone,” says Dr. Powell-Lunder.

"Teenage as a Second Language"

"Teenage as a Second Language"

She says sometimes a teenager will say, “I hate you,” but it’s because they’re angry or upset and what they’re really saying is, “I’m disappointed” and they don’t truly mean that they hate you.

She says that when a teen feels misread, he or she will just shut down. It’s up to the parents to keep the conversation going.

“There’s always an opportunity, no matter what has come before. An honest open line of communication is the healthiest way for all of us to live,” she says. “A little bit of tiger mom is fine, but you don’t want to go on one side or the other. It’s got to be somewhere in the middle.”

The other coauthor of the book is Dr. Barbara Greenberg.

Watch & Listen LIVE