His hood adorns his head to conceal his eyes shifting downward. His body remains stone-still in an effort to fool you even as those thumbs are going 90-to-nothing.
He’s not fooling you or anyone else when he tries to be discreet about it, yet he insists on the ruse because, at some level, he remains aware it’s something he shouldn’t be doing in some situations.
In other words, he knows better, but that doesn’t stop him.
Now before we get into the reasons why you should kill your teen’s texting plan, let’s precursor everything we’re about to say with this: In no way, shape, or form, are we endorsing you do this for every kid. Some are intelligent and appropriate enough to “get it” and having your child text you updates on their whereabouts and activities can be an incredibly convenient way of easing your mind. No, we’re saving our judgment for the kids who are out of control. Typically, they commit these texting atrocities:
1. Not Paying Attention
If the only eye contact you’re getting from your teen during a conversation is when he quickly glances up to try and fool you into thinking he’s still listening, cancel that sucker. Besides, it can set them back at school, work, and life.
2. Acting Shady
If he’s highly secretive about what (or whom) he’s texting, then it’s your right as a parent to do something about it. Where this idea came from that he deserves privacy at all costs, we’ll never know, but it doesn’t come close to resembling good parenting skills. It’s your job to know what’s up with your teen. If they give you reason to trust them, feel free to lax up. If they’re acting like they have something to hide, it’s not only your right to invade their privacy; it’s your duty. You’re not their friend. Your house is not a democracy or a republic. If you think it is, then please, take a parenting class.
3. Bad Company
Care enough about your child to know who the “good” kids and the “bad” kids at their school are. Take an active interest in their life as well as the people and places that have an influence over it. And even if you’ve heard someone they’re hanging out with is one of the “good” kids, remember that teens will be teens, and that doesn’t place them above making bone-headed decisions. You can trust people, but don’t be an idiot about it.
4. Irresponsible Driving
Considering that a likely majority of adults are guilty of texting while driving, it’s almost a certainty that your child will be as well, unless you lead by instruction AND example. You need to impress upon them the dangers of this activity, and you should never do it yourself, especially when they can see you do it.
Your kids may think you’re the lamest person ever, but they still look up to you, and the example you set will stay with them long after they’re grown.
And if that’s not enough, check this recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, wherein the risk for crashes as a result of texting while driving is four times greater than it is for adults who engage in the same behavior.
5. Disruption And Disrespect
“But I’m paying attention”, is a common retort from your teens when you tell them to set down the phone and listen to what you have to say. Being of the multitasking generation, they may even be able to repeat every word you said. Doesn’t matter. The issue isn’t, “Are they listening to me?” The issue is respect. Teen texting often disrupts others and it’s a sign of disrespect to anyone who tries to engage them in a conversation. If they do it, cut it.
That’s why we think a teen’s texting plan should be dropped. Any reasons we forgot?