Bridge the Text Gap: Dos & Don'ts for Parents and Teens

teens parents textNow that we know 43% of teens text with their parents, it's time to step in and give some guidance in this new world order. As someone who is just getting the hang of this texting thing, I can't believe I'll be communicating with my children in this manner. What happened to notes in the lunch box??

That's why Drew Olanoff, director of community and resident "textpert" at textplus, came up with a list of dos and don'ts for kids and parents alike. To save dopey parents like me from embarrassing myself further.

Here's how you communicate via the SMS.


Tips for Mom and Dad:

DO clarify: No idea what LYLAS, ROFL, or MULU means? Don't risk misusing one of these popular SMS acronyms. Google it or just ask your kid. (We knew a dad who thought LOL meant "lots of love." Very sweet -- until he used it in a text to his son about a sick relative.)

DON'T wait to respond. Kids and teens expect instant responses when texting. It's the beauty and the appeal of the format. In their world, nothing is worse than waiting for an SMS response.

DO keep your phone on. To respond in real-time, you have to get the message when it comes in (see point #2!).

DON'T over-emoticon. This -- ;-) :) :( ;) :>) -- can get really annoying when it's from a mom.

DO keep it snappy. The whole point of a text is to keep it short and to the point. Skip the pleasantries and flower-y prose.

DON'T text during school hours. We found that 66% of parents were texting their kids while they were in class. Some parents told us they expected their kids to wait until after school to reply. Wrong! Kids are hardwired to reply instantly to texts (again, see #2!), even if it means it's in the middle of Calculus.

Tips for Kids:

DON'T mock. Cut your parents a break for being dorky texters. They're from another era.

DO teach. If you don't, you'll just get called all the time. (And please -- don't sit there and let your dad text with his index finger!)

DO skip the texting lingo. They won't be able to translate LYLAS, ROFL, or MULU (see above).

DON'T text them from class.They'll wonder why you're not paying attention.

DO look before you send. 40% of texters admit they've accidentally sent a text to the wrong person. Mom doesn't want to see a lovey dovey text meant for your BF.


Did you know all of these dos and don'ts?


Image via ECI Photography

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