Texting Teens: Preferred Form of Parenting?Cathy Hale
In an interesting story from The Coloradoan, a family illustrates how texting may not be so bad after all. As long as it’s not sexting or texting while driving, of course. You see, these parents use texting as a reliable and discreet source of communicating with their kiddos and they seem to be on to something big.
Imagine getting a text from your teenage son, “Wuz4dina?” Yep, “What’s for dinner?” Or maybe you’re shopping together and they text you, “Sooooo boring.” You’d much rather read a text proclaiming boredom than hear about it, right? You might say texting is a blessing for parents who want to stay involved in their kids day-to-day activities.
Psychologist Thomas W. Phelan, author of “Surviving Your Adolescents: How to Manage and Let Go of Your 13-18 Year Olds,” reminds parents that teens typically don’t like to communicate. In other words, if your teenager willingly texts you, go get an iPhone post haste and master it.
“Instead of seeing the whole text thing as an enemy, see it as an ally,” Phelan said. “I’ve had parents say to me, I can’t talk to my son very well face to face.”
But if the kid is willing to use texts as a medium, go for it. “My philosophy is, Stay in touch.’ E-mail, cell phone or text — it makes no difference to me,” Phelan said.
Instead of being a “helicopter” parents who calls every five seconds, you can text “R U OK?” if they are in transit and they will probably text you a quick response. That way you won’t embarrass the crap out them in front of their friends by calling too much. “Are you there yet?” ” Are you okay?” “Who’s with you?” “When are you coming home?” Let’s face it, it’s hard to answer those types of calls discreetly when you’re friends are around. As a teenager myself, I’d have been much more responsive to my mother’s endless questions had I been able to text.
The article gives tips for parents who want to learn the collest texting lingo. This is my favorite part of the article. Parents can visit sites like http://LGDTXTR.com and http://www.lingo2word.com to be as hip as possible with the latest abbreviations and meanings. As the mother of little kids, I certainly hope texting stays around so I can communicate with my kiddos like this.
What do you think? Should parents strive to get with the texting phenomenon or just stick to old-fashioned phone calls?