According to the United Nations Agency, the International Telecommunications Union (2009), "between 72 and 84% of the approximately 41,000,000 American teenagers have their own cell phones, and the percentage increases with age." With cell phones becoming more and more reasonably priced and the need for multiple phones within a family, texting has become a common method for parents to communicate with their children. Texting can be considered a very impersonal method of speaking to one's offspring but there are certain advantages to using this modern and efficient mode of communication.
One of the best reasons to use texting is that it can be noiseless. You can send messages to your children while they are in a movie theater, on a date, in a class or talking to friends. It generally does not interrupt ongoing conversations or activities. Texts do not have to be responded to immediately as phone calls do -- teens can simply review and respond to their messages between classes or while they are on breaks from their part-time jobs.
A parent can become extremely angry and frustrated with a child over an issue but the use of texting will hide that tone. Yes, it may appear in the wording of the message but the overall angry voice that you would be using if you actually spoke to your child would be very much a stress point for your child. With texting, this stressor is removed and the message can be received in a calm and much more receptive manner.
Clear and Documented
Texts are usually much more clear than vocal messages. Meaning can be lost with background music, others conversations or poor reception. You can also go back to the message if your teen claims that he did not receive it. The documentation will assist in clarifying and ensuring that your child gets the message you want him to receive. Gone are the days of leaving scribbled, hard-to understand notes on the kitchen table.
Parents can be assured that their teen can get a message to them even if they are in a meeting or church service with phone volume turned off. Kids can notify their parents right away if they get out of a game early or have an accident or illness. You do not want your child to have to wait in rain or snow because you fail to hear a ringing phone. Knowing your child may need your assistance at some point will cause you to check your text messages discreetly and often, resulting in ability to react if there is a change, a glitch in plans or an actual emergency.
- Journal of the Research Center for Educational Technology - Text Messaging and Teenagers: A Review of the Literature
- Education: Cellphones, Texting and Cell Phone Distractions
- "The Parent's Guide to Texting, Facebook, and Social Media;" Shawn Marie Eddington; 2011
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