My head is spinning. No, I haven’t hit the prosecco early, I have been watching my eldest child ‘shuffle’ her way around the lounge, mobile phone in one hand, fidget spinner in the other while muttering the word ‘legit’ under her breath.
Sound like gobbledy gook to you? Well, let me help, as best I can, to explain the trends, crazes and jargon the ‘kids’ are using this summer.
Fidget spinners (and fidget cubes) - Fidget spinners are gadgets which are held between the index finger and thumb and were originally designed to relieve stress and aid concentration in children with autism and ADHD. Their popularity is soaring thanks largely down to their size (they fit inside a pocket), the fact they come in a range of colours and the price (you can pick one up from Amazon for less than £2). Like loom bands before them, it’s only a matter of time before the world is taken over by spinners and cubes that click.
Shuffling - We have wooden floors in our house so my eldest child has plenty of opportunities to practice ‘shuffling’. I can only describe it as a modern interpretation of the Charleston dance, with the shuffler putting one foot in front of the other and walking forwards and backwards while standing on tiptoes.
Dabbing - Another dance move, along the lines of the ‘NaeNae’ of Silentó fame, which apparently started in Atlanta, USA, by rappers from the group Migos. (Hello? Are you still with me?) The dabbing craze sees people point one arm upwards towards the sky while also bowing their head into their other arm.
For the record, I can’t dab, nae nae or shuffle.
Music.ly - If you have spotted your tween walking around with their phone set to ‘selfie mode’ while lip-syncing to a really annoying snippet of music over and over again, making heart shapes in the air with their hands or generally posing, chances are they are making a Music.ly clip. Music-what? Music.ly is a social media platform that allows users to upload videos of themselves singing, dancing, making comedy skits and lip-syncing. Users are rated on their ability to look cool. It’s definitely not an app I’ll be downloading anytime soon.
Fashion - If your child hasn’t begged you to buy them any of the following, think yourself lucky:
Girls - Adidas Superstar trainers; high waisted jeans with ripped knees; T-shirts or sweatshirts with holes in; a bomber jacket; a black cap, preferably emblazoned with the Nike logo. I have no idea when the craze for wearing new clothes that look like Edward Scissor Hands has designed them started but I am happy for it to go away, now.
Boys - The good old football shirt never seems to go out of fashion, that and Adidas tracksuits (either in black or blue). Things don’t really seem to have moved on for boys in the fashion stakes since I was at school.
Apart from hair. - The boys I went to school with modelled themselves on Kevin Keegan circa 1980 – who sported long, curly locks. For the modern tweenage boy, it’s all aboutThe Quiff, the higher the better. This look is achieved using gallons of Boots hair gel and a constant smoothing action to make sure it stays ‘high’ and ‘over’.
Hair for girls is swishy, clean and long. Younger girls will probably own at least seven JoJo bows (oversized bows) in a variety of fabrics and colourways.
Makeup- Let’s just say your average tweenage girl will have watched hundreds of ‘how to’ videos on YouTube and know exactly what strobing, contouring and highlighting is. My advice, if you have a daughter – let her do your makeup for you. In my experience, it’s as good as going to the Benefit counter in Debenhams (and cheaper).
Dining out - With a social life better than yours, youngsters don’t hang out at the park anymore, well, they do but they prefer to visit establishments likeNandos, Zizzis and Harvester with their friends. Younger children are still easily appeased by a visit toMcDonald’s, thank goodness. Have you seen how expensive chicken and chips is? No wonder they call it a ‘cheeky Nandos’.
The lingo - Words du jour include ‘legit’, from the word ‘legitimately’ meaning ‘honestly, truthfully, I am not kidding’. This is dropped into the conversation at regular intervals, like, every other word. Legit. ‘Cringe’: This is used for any situation that makes a child feel uncomfortable, usually when you are embarrassing them. I hear it a lot. ‘Yaaasss’: Like ‘yes’ but slower.
Snapchat ‘streaks’ - I have no idea what they are but I know if you lose a streak of 100 that is a really bad thing.
Texting - Mobile phones should come with a comprehensive glossary of text speak for parents to refer to. Here are a few typical phrases to get you started. OFC (of course); GTG (got to go); WYD (what are you doing?) Don’t ever use the hashtag (#) when texting your child. They are, apparently, used by ‘old people’.
YouTube - Children don’t watch TV. They seek out their favourite ‘tubers’. Little children can’t get enough of watching videos of other little children opening ‘surprise eggs’. I know, say what?
My daughter subscribes to channels hosted by Amelia Gething and Zoella. Both are clever, funny and entertaining. I sometimes watch their clips when my daughter’s not with me.
Instagram - The current ‘Insta’ trend is to post pictures that are rotated on their side (or upside down) so you have to turn your phone around to view them properly. Tweens and teens also take pictures of themselves from the neck down. Why? Making sure your head is in the frame is the golden rule of old school photography – which is probably why no attention is paid to it.
Smiggle- This funky, cute stationery brand has a new store in Lincoln. Stay away, unless you are happy to spend £50 on packs of highlighter pens and four notebooks.
And the trends we wish would go away...
The Minions- With the new Despicable Me 3 movie out this summer, expect the under 10s to go minion-mad come July.
Bottle flipping - It’s slowly dying out but if my daughter flips another half-filled bottle of water onto the kitchen table I may have to confiscate her phone (the one threat that actually stops her in her tracks).
The trend you hope doesn’t catch on...
Teddy Ruxpin. You remember him - the talking teddy with staring eyes who would randomly switch on in the middle of the night and freak you out as a small child? Well, he will be back in time for Christmas 2017, sporting a host of modern features like LCD eyes and an animatronic mouth, guaranteed to terrify a whole new generation of youngsters.
You heard it here first.