Quit Telling My Teens Not To Text
Image source: iStockPhotos
I hate when I hear know-it-all adults (ok, like me) condemn "technology" and "screen time" as destructive to family life and "real" communication between kids and parents.
Technology is one of the best parenting tools going. I first learned to text when texting emerged as the critical success factor for parent-to-kid communication. My darling offspring would NEVER answer a call from me in front of their friends. A surreptitious text message allowed them to save face.
But of course there were a few mishaps.
The best ones, in the chapter of family life titled "Mom Learns to Text," went like this:
Mom: "Son, where R U?" [I sure was proud of my quick pick up of handy text abbreviations.]
Son: "At Matt's. Can you pick me up at 10.30?"
Son: "What do you mean? Because I need a ride home? Because Matt's parents said I have to leave at 10.30?"
Mom: "I said YYYYYY!"
Son: "Mom, I told you why. Why do you need to know all this? I just need a ride home!!!!"
Mom: "I MEAN YES I WILL PICK YOU UP AT MATT'S HOUSE AT 10.30PM TONIGHT YOU MORON!"
I could go on, but fortunately the good folks at Life Buzz have compiled an anthology of the Funniest Texts Between Parents and Their Children Ever Sent. Take 30 minutes out of your life right now and laugh until tears drain out your sleep-deprived eye sockets. It sure is good to remember that parenthood is a comedy, not the high stakes drama it often feels like instead.
Lastly, I want to survey those adults who condemn kids' usage of technology. You know, all those paternalist speeches in the media, on parenting blogs, and at those helpful educational roundtables put on by my kids' schools.
NPR Morning Edition recently ran a segment, "For the Children's Sake, Put Down that Smart Phone," detailing how children respond when their parents pull out their phone or Droid in the kitchen or while they are zooming up the field to score their first peewee soccer goal.
The easiest way to be a good parent? Never forget what it is like to be a kid.
The easiest way to be a bad parent? Be a blatant hypocrite.
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