Just the other day, I was on the phone with someone who insisted on texting and not talking. I am a communicator and need to talk things out from time to time. If I’m not given this option, it is tempting to fall into the “Texting Trap” as what might seem to be the only option of communication. This texting era makes it almost impossible for both people to understand what the other person is thinking and feeling. This even applies even to adults. The results of texting a concern that can lead into a potential conflict, can be even worse or just as bad when texting with tween or teen.
One of the problems is that when a person wants to express a point of view it is so easily misconceived and almost impossible to clear up once the message has been misunderstood. Everyone has their own pre conceived notion of what you mean and how you’re trying to come across even if it is not accurate, especially teenagers! Just think about it. How many times are you talking face to face with an adult and they are waiting for you to stop talking so they can begin. They are not considering what made you feel the way you did then respond based on what they have heard you say. Now, get teenagers involved. Communication can be even more reactive than it is with grown adults!
Once teenagers think they have you figured out…bam! They are going to accuse you of thinking and acting in an accusatory way. If you have a daughter, she may more than likely go back at you guns blaring. If you have a son, he may say 1-2 words then shut down and not hear anything else you say. The problem with texting is if you try to defend or explain yourself it may sound like you’re guilty. If you “go there” and try to recount the events that lead you to feeling a certain way they may see it as an attack of their creditability and you will find yourself in an argument. I encourage you to say to your teen, I realize we disagree so when you get home we will talk about it. This will give you and your child the time needed to calm down and not misinterpret one another.
Remember to talk not text especially during times of disagreements. Facts, feelings and intentions are lost and before you know it a bigger situation has grown and reconnection can be much harder than it should be.
Wait to text, let your child hear the concern and love in your voice. They will hear that you care even when you are angry.
Avoid getting caught up in the “Texting Trap”!
Lisa Navarra M.A. Special Education offers Workshops, Professional Development and Support Groups teaching how to manage challenging behaviors in school and at home. With over 20 years of experience, Lisa is the Founder/President of Child Behavior Consulting, LLC. For more information, log onto www.childbehaviorconsulting.com, email Lisa@ChildBehaviorConsulting.com, or Verizon Fios Push Pause LI Parenting: Setting Limits.