TEXTING TEENS

October 2, 2009 at 3:42 pm Leave a comment

Embracing our new world!!

As a mom of three teenage girls, I have my own internal battle with the technology that fills our kids lives. On one hand….it’s amazing!! Our connections to each other, how our kids do homework and stay in touch, the information that comes to us at an astounding speed by a few key strokes. This is what our children are growing up with! But for many, this new world leaves much to be desired. I love when my entire family eats together (rare…rarer now that my oldest is in college)…but it doesn’t always include the type of conversation I want. In fact more often than not, it includes me telling them to but the phones away.

It is amazing….but these kids can’t bear to be without each other for even a few seconds. If you have children 13 and older…you know what I’m talking about! TEXTING!!! They put the phone in their lap, under that table, in their bag on their lap…and act like addicts when you tell them to shut it off. I’m waiting for the seizures to begin…the drool to come down the sides of their mouth, until they are allowed to turn their lifeline back on again.

My girls sleep with their phones under their pillows….they are absolutely connected 24/7. Should we discuss how often they are somewhere…and I call looking for them, asking why they didn’t call to inform me of their whereabouts. Their answer…well, I sent you a text! To them, it’s amazing if I miss a text.

Hasbro clearly knows my kids (and yours) and is tapping into this audience! They have introduced a new Clue game called Secrets & Spies Edition. Before beginning this game, kids input their cell numbers and throughout the game, they receive texts back on their mobile phone with clues (or game changing intelligence) to help them win. (It’s a 9+ game, so don’t worry about your little ones not having a cell phone yet).

I can text my kids anytime….and then sometimes I wonder how they are answering me so quickly. I will text “where are you”…and the response quickly comes back “n cls” (translation: in class). In class???(does your teacher know?)

This of course leads me to spelling….and more importantly, handwriting (or lack of!) Now I did read somewhere that it’s like learning two languages…the real one and the text one…I say the jury is still out on that.

I recently took down my “minute allotment” on my plan, because kids don’t use time….just unlimited text.

I guess adults aren’t much better…let’s face it, the term “crackberry” was made for adults, not kids. But the widespread behavior of children connected at all times make us realize that much of this is out of our control. As a mom, I want them to have phones and I want to be able to reach them anytime, as I work in the city. I want to be connected to my oldest who is now 6 hours away at school. But I also want them to learn how to talk to each other face to face. They should be able to say goodbye to friends and find quiet times for themselves. They need to call to check in…not text. I watch my 16 year old as she’s reading or doing homework. She has her itunes playing….she is “I m”ing (instant messenger), and texting…..all while getting her work done. I’m not sure if this will eventually do her in…or make her an incredible multi-tasker.

Our young generation of future leaders and decision makers will probably put all this to good use…eventually.

The Toy Insider Mom

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