What Parents Need to Know About 12 Teen Texting Abbreviations

mom texting in front of teenage daughter

You are a parent of a teenager and unfortunately, that fact alone makes you totally uncool. No matter how hard you try, or how much your kids' friends love you, you are never going to fully understand their world. Knowing and using some basic texting acronyms may not get you an invitation to chaperone the prom, but it might keep them from ROFL* at your total lack of swag.


I don’t know
If your teen asks what time you’ll be home, this is as good an answer as any when you and your husband are out for dinner on a Saturday night. Keep them guessing – you don’t want your open crib to become the party house.

Oh my god!
A universal response for everything from “I got an A on my history paper!” to “I just backed into a car in the parking lot.”

Shake (or scratch) my head
Good for commiserating in times of confusion – like when your son gets benched the game after he hits a walk-off homer or a lesser candidate wins class president. 

Just kidding
Careful with this one, cause your jokes are never as funny as you think they are!

What the freak?
Though you know they are reading it with a totally different word, it’s a perfect response for when your daughter’s nemesis wins Homecoming Queen.

I know, right?
A perfect response to your son’s "But that's not fair, mom!" when you deny him the right to sleep over at his girlfriend's house.

Why one less letter makes a difference is a mystery to our generation, but go ahead, when he asks if he can stay out an extra 15 minutes, shoot back an occasional K or KK. 

XD  :D  ;) <3
Sometimes sending a symbol is worth more than its weight in words. And don’t forget the power of an emoji!

Laughing out loud
Sometimes you just have to suck it up and send back a LOL, even when you find absolutely nothing funny about the teenage tale you’ve been told.

To be honest
LOL. TBH, I’d really like you home before midnight. TBH, I wish you’d stop rolling your eyes at me. TBH, I like the green dress better than the blue. But know that she’ll then surely choose the blue!

Best friends forever
You can tell your daughter you’re going shopping with your BFF, but don’t make the mistake of saying, “I thought Kaitlyn was your BFF.” Cause BFFs can change in a New York minute. 

Talk to you later/Got to go
This just may be the most important texting term of all. When you’re dealing with your children, the wisest women know when it’s time to end the conversation


What crazy abbreviations do your teenagers use when they text?

*Rolling on the floor laughing

Written by Betsy Voreacos. An overly-involved mother of three active children, Betsy has always been acutely aware of her shortcomings as a parent, not to mention those of her children. A freelance writer and blogger, she documents her life at Old Minivans Die Hard.

Image ©iStock.com/MachineHeadz

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