To text or not to text with your teen? That is the question

To be the mom of teens is not easy work, particularly with the fine line between their growing independence and your need to continue to parent. They might be young adults with clearly marked opinions about how the world revolves (usually around them!), but it is important to talk to our teens and keep the lines of communication open. Now, let’s be honest, how do we manage that if when they’re not with us they won’t even answer the phone?

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According to a recent Nielsen study, “teens see voice calls as better suited for adults and usage has declined the most among this group.” Meaning we have no other option than to talk to them in abbreviated text messages? Teens say they prefer texting because it is faster, easier and more fun but it is hard to feel close to your kids via text message. But we go and try anyway only to get a simple and reduced “K”! (Short for “OK”, as if the two letter word needs further abbreviation!).

Aware that my 15 year old daughter’s attention span when texting with me is limited, I write a long text hoping to have some questions answered: Talk to your dance teacher and ask her how much we owe for your competition costumes. Do u know how many dances you will be on? Do u have shoes for each? Shld I pick you up this pm?

Her answer: K

“K??!!” Which one of my q’s what that supposed to answer?

Just a few minutes ago, as I was reading in bed before going to sleep, I get this text from my daughter:

Can I use ur gr bts?

I answer:

Where r u?

She texts:

In my room.

Of course I would have rather she took the 10 steps to get from her room to mine to speak to me in person! So soon we learn that the short moments they do spend with us are to be treasured. Communication with them must go beyond a comment in Facebook and texts here and there. But I’m happy and feel fortunate to know that I do have healthy communication with my three children. Even if it’s over text! And I luv them!

How do you prefer to communicate with your teens?