Well, putting this out there…..
I am struggling these days regarding the texting of teenagers – my own and their friends. What is a good balance? Is there one? Should there be one? Different places – different rules? School, work, home?
With summer here and more family gatherings, I have seen adults/parents expecting teens not to text during the visit. My own have been “called out” on this too, and it has left me conflicted and concerned. I can understand how older adults feel offended by this. I don’t want them to feel disrespected, or my teens to lose their respect.
But maybe I am too new in this. My oldest didn’t have texting on her phone until she was done high school (two years ago). My younger teen has had it for two years now. I seldom text. When they have friends over, I admit, the checking of phones/texts gets to me. Should I have different expectations with girlfriends vs. boyfriends while they are in our home? Can I? Should they? I have some clear rules for my own, eg. not at the dinner table, for one.
My biggest concern is some anxiety/discomfort I have seen because they know they have a text that they haven’t responded to yet. I admit, I love my mobile phone, but I can decide to ignore a phone ringing just as easily as a blinking red light…I think :). I simply worry about how accessible my teens feel they need to be via these texts from friends. Are these pressures that only I see, or I don’t want them to have….yet? What “little things” are they and their friends not attending to because of this connectivity? How much does this matter?
Am I just around an age range/group that didn’t have much guidance with this? Will boundaries/norms become clearer ahead? Will I ever find a comfortable place with this?
I would welcome and appreciate any wisdom or reassurance with this! Preferably before the next family gathering 🙂