A Practicing Parent

28 Jan 2019
A Practicing Parent

Does Your Teen Mumble Too?

“What? I can’t hear you,” I say to my teenage daughter, Jessie.* We are in the kitchen and I’m rinsing dishes. I turn off the water. Maybe it’s drowning her out.

We try it again. I see her mouth move, and then, “Mumble, mumble.”I head to the bathroom to get a Q-tip. Maybe my ears are clogged.

The next day, walking on Third Avenue, Jessie gestured, “You know….”The rest of what she said was garbled.

“What did you say? I didn’t hear you,”I said.

OMG. How many times in the last few days, weeks, months have I said, “What?”to her? It’s annoying. When Jessie was a little girl, her voice carried, she made herself heard.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I need something more powerful than a Q-tip to clear out my ears. Maybe it’s that she is now TWO WHOLE INCHES taller than me and her voice must travel down to me. Could that be it?

Or is it that she somehow became a teenager and it’s a teenager’s job to become self conscious and not speak up? Why does this happen? I hear from a friend that her teen son has also started muttering and won’t come out of his room. At least that’s not happening…yet.

I assume this behavior comes along with the onset of caring what others think and trying to figure out her identity. But, maybe I am being too hard on her? I assume this adolescent phase will pass, and hopefully her voice will return to previous decibel levels.

I mean, really, what’s a little “What did you say?”occasionally throughout my day?

Just in case though, I will admit, I just made an appointment for a physical—it can’t hurt to have my hearing checked. And maybe I’ll invest in a pair of taller heels.

* Name changed

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