cellphoneRemember when you were a teenager, and your mom sat you down at the table for a talk? And she always wanted you to "look at me when I'm speaking to you young lady?" Welcome to your daily dose of "today's kids have it sooooo much better than we did."

Face-to-face communication is dead y'all. You won't get anything out of them until you give them a cellphone. Because -- get this -- in a new study on kid/parent communication, 70 percent of teenagers said they talked on the phone with their parents at least once a day. Once a day! I know several teens who would go weeks without talking to their parents if they could!

OK, not such a big deal? Hold the phone. Literally! Because I'm not done! The kids who said they feel like they can reach out to their parents via cellphone when they need them also had more positive relationships with them!

Now I'm no social scientist, but I was a teenager once upon a time. Back when cellphones came in giant black bags and I thought I was cool for rocking my dad's beeper (which he forbade me from actually sharing the number to ... making it more or less useless, but dangit, it completed my look!).

I remember very clearly what it was like to have to talk to my parents about something I wasn't terribly comfortable addressing. With all those roiling hormones, being in the same room, being forced to look them in the eye, just made me feel more like zipping my lips. I would have killed for a way out, some way to not be branded a disrespectful brat but still get my point across.

The beauty of the cellphone is the distance. Whether it's a voice conversation or text, you don't have to look someone in the eye and face their judgment. For a naturally narcissistic teenager who just knows feels like EVERYONE is judging them, that can make all the difference between spilling their secrets and shutting you down. And a kid who opens up is a kid who will call you when their ride home has been drinking or they're thinking about smoking up. That's worth losing the ability to give my kid the evil eye AND the hefty texting bill.

Of course the study warns the kids whose parents call them constantly just get shut out anyway, so call your kids at your own peril. But if you treat your kids like you wanted to be treated as a teenager, you'll know when to draw the line! Shut up and share your digits, Mom and Dad!

Do your kids text and call you? How has it affected your relationship?

 

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