You’re sitting in traffic on the way to a soccer game, and aside from the radio, the only noise you hear are different clicks, beeps, and notification sounds. Your toddler is in the back, playing on your old phone that he uses as a tablet in between drinks from his sippy cup. Meanwhile, your daughter is next to you, scrolling through her texts so she can send a group message reminder about her 13th birthday this weekend. This day and age, even toddlers are learning how to text, so it’s about time to jump on the bandwagon and join the texting revolution.
When it comes to your children, especially your teens, keeping the lines of communication open is an essential part of parenting. And why not do it through texting? It can be an efficient way to communicate; not to mention you have a paper trail, and “I didn’t hear what you said” cannot be an excuse. Did you know that the average teen sends over 3,300 texts per month, according to research? For some reason, this method of talking is the most preferred. With that in mind, it is a good time for parents to come on board and learn not only the texting lingo like “LOL”, “BFF” or “BRB”, but also how to text effectively. Since texting is a cheap, easy, and convenient way to remain connected as a family, start connecting by learning the basics.
Don’t overdo it: Take the magnifying glass off and get out of helicopter mode. You are your child’s parent, not a spy. Keep a watchful eye, but provide a little space.
Have patience: Do your best to give your child time to respond and don’t jump to conclusions.
Feelings are for talking: We often are able to express ourselves through writing, but the problem with this in text is that you cannot hear someone’s tone, connotation, or overall mood in the text. This can lead to a communication disaster. Stick to basic questions, important memos and positive notes like “I love you XOXO!” And never, under any circumstances, argue with your child over text; this will blow up in your faces.
Know the lingo:
BRB – Be Right Back
BFF – Best Friend Forever
BTW – By the Way
TTYL – Talk to You Later
ILY – I Love You
JK – Joking (or “just kidding”)
NP – No Problem
TMI – Too Much Information
TN – Tonight
LOL – Laugh Out Loud
ROFL – Rolling on the Floor Laughing
SMH – Shaking my Head
Don’t forget to talk: With every part of communication being summed up to just a click away, it’s important to remember how to talk (in person). Hopefully, these suggestions will serve as the beginning of healthy communication between you and your kids. W