Between the time I wrote Teens and Texting Part 1 and Part 2, I wasn’t aware that Psychology Today also published a 3-part series to serve as a parent’s guide to teen texting. The series covered similar questions and concerns that I had.
Part 1 focused on “dating and talking”. The author, a therapist who works with adolescents, asserted that “both are influenced by texting and both concepts are not what we adults remember them to be.” The article provided good insight into how dating and talking may have become redefined with technology. This segment also explored the impact on teens, as compared to adults.
Part 2 covered distraction aspects of technology and devices and offered some tips to help in this area.
Part 3 is a perspective from a parent and adolescent therapist. This segment presented some good points about boundaries for texting between parents and children. Identity and independence are also discussed.
Although the focus of the series is on texting, there has been some recent suggestion that texting is now “so old-school”. However, children and teens are still using various platforms to instant message privately. Regardless if it is “Snap Chat” or “Kik”, etc., it is connectivity and communication access that our youth may now have. Even if parents are more familiar with this communication technology, supporting young people often needs a collaborative effort of parents, educators, and community.
There are many resources and supports available for parents regarding online safety, privacy and social media, but texting and instant messaging are not as public or as easily monitored. I am not saying that all should be, but I hope the posts and articles that I have shared help awareness and encourage family conversations. If you have other resources or insights, I welcome contributions and comments.