Mom & Dad Texting Kids: Parenting Mistake #4,546

Sheri Reed

girl texting bicycleWe all know teenagers are seriously into texting. They're texting their friends. They're sneaking to text one another in class. They're texting while they're supposed to be doing their homework. It's pure texting mania out there.

However, who knew PARENTS were a big part of their kids' texting problem?

In a recent survey of how people text today, textPlus asked 650 respondents aged 13 to 17 about their texting habits when it comes to mom and dad. According to the survey, 43% say they text with their parents, and 90% of those said they text with their parents one to five times a day. A day!

What's going on out there, parents? Don't you know this dependence on texting is a huge parenting mistake?

Here's what I'm thinking about this texting thing: Can't parents simply talk to their kids?

The kids in the survey reported that the most common reasons to text with mom and dad were "rides," "scheduling," and "practice." Whatever happened to "I'll pick you up at Sally's at 5:30 p.m." or "See you after school. Usual spot." or "See you after practice. Meet you at the corner." That always worked when I was a kid. And then texting is always a nice option, of course, if one of you is running late or whatever.

I don't know. I think we're as addicted to texting as our kids. And texting is so convenient. It's so much faster and you don't have to get in conversations when you don't have time.

But wait, these are our kids. Shouldn't we be taking every opportunity we can to converse with them? I think we're letting them win out here: 42% of them prefer to text with their parents rather than call them. Oh wow, they're brilliant. The little master minds have totally got us. We're playing right into their evil plan to avoid speaking to us at all costs.

And truthfully, how are you going to know they're at the arcade (or worse, Bobby's house!) and not the library if you're just texting them? How will you play that dirty parenting trick on them where you say: "So you're at the library studying. Can I ask the librarian a quick question?" Or, "Oh, you're at Jimmy's house, huh? May I speak to his mom for a second?" Oh yeah. Texting is totally getting them off the hook.

Go now. Hurry and go call your teenager. Force them to talk to you. They'll hate it, and they're supposed to. In fact, their hating it means we're doing our job, right?

Do you text your kids? How often and for what reasons?


Image via moriza/Flickr


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