Teens and texting. Those two terms go hand-in-hand and as a parent of four teens, I don't think they will be inseparable until the next, greatest technology breakthrough occurs that surpasses texting.
As a parent, I wanted to be able to text my kids. I could see that was the direction I needed to head in if I wanted to be able to keep in contact with my kids when they weren't in the same house as me. Especially as my oldest headed off to college, I knew texting would be key in maintaining our relationship. Even with mine that still live with me, my middle son who tends to be quieter and much more reluctant to enter into conversations with the family will text me when he is not here and is rather chatty.
So, we text. But as anyone who has spent any time around teens knows, their texting isn't always quite like the parent's texting. First of all, they are fast. I'm astounded at how fast my daughter can text. She can also text with complete accuracy and never look at her keypad.
The other difference is that teens tend to use shortened lingo when they text. Sure, we see some of that on blogs as well. I think we are all fairly familiar with LOL and even LMAO. But what in the world are those shortened forms our kids are using?
Have you read any of your kids texts to their friends? Accidentally or because you had reason to believe you might need to be a little more aware for their safety or well-being?
If you have, I bet you have come across plenty of shortened forms you were at a loss to define. KPC apparently stands for "keep parents clueless" and it sure seems to be working as far as texting goes.
In my online searching for this post, I found a wonderful resource by LG where you can enter your teen's texting lingo and up will pop the translation. Additionally, the site has a glossary containing hundreds of terms - many of which were submitted by parents. If you saw "420" on little Brittany's phone, would you know it was a drug reference?
Again, as a parent of teens, I feel like it is our job to be diligent. We give them this technology - this ability to stay in constant contact with anyone anywhere without us having any idea of what is going on. Once we give them this ability, I think it is our responsibility to help them learn to use it wisely and safely. Knowing what they are saying is just the tip of the iceberg.
I'd love to hear about your experiences. Have you gone onto your teen's phone to read any texts? Have you seen him or her using texting lingo? Have you ever gone online to search for what an acronym might mean? I feel that by sharing our experiences, fears, and successes, we can help each other learn to navigate this texting road. Ours is the first parenting generation to travel this road and we can support each other on the trip. I can't wait to hear your thoughts.
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