Another wonderful article about how we really need to think about the way we communicate with our kids each day. While I do resort to texting once in a while, it's only a very small percentage of the overall communication and interaction each day. I do enjoy hearing from them during their day at the high school and want them to feel free to text me whenever they have a concern like "forgot my lunch", "are you taking me to dance", etc. yet I also try to balance that out with face to face time. Texting doesn't replace real parenting, yet it is a nice option to be able to say "I love you" and "have a great day today" when you cannot be there in person.
I have a different attitude about texting than I used to. Like you, it was very much against it as a means of really communicating with my kids. While I don't substitute texting with personal conversation and real life contact with my kids, I have come to find that texting can be a wonderful means of communicating with them when they need me "there" in an emotional way. For example, when my daughter found out that she had be selected as student body president at her junior high, she texted me the news. It was such a cute message and I was able to forward and share it with those in my family. In a more poignant example, this morning, this same daughter (now 16) left the house for a weekend trip with some family friends. She had not packed the night before and she had slept through her alarm, resulting in a mad scramble to get ready when her ride arrived. I was not at home for all of this, but my husband reported that he and she had a rather heated exchange about being responsible and prepared. (These two topics tend to be common in our conversations with our teenagers -haha!) Anyway, I called her and talked to her briefly, but she was still very upset with her dad and started ranting on about it, so we weren't able to have a rational conversation. I wanted to give her some help and talk things through, but she was just too emotional. So, I waited an hour or so, and then sent her a loving text with some scripture references and ended with "I love you - have a great time this weekend!"
(Kissy face and heart) Texts can be like little mini love letters to encourage and validate. And, unlike spoken words, they can be read again and again. (Not to mention how fun it is to send pictures back and forth!) So, while I don't propose texting as preferable to a big hug or a shoulder to cry on, I do think there is a place for it in our relationships with our techno-centered kids. It's a way of injecting ourselves into their world and having a presence without hovering. I like texting with my kids!
The very successful false doctrine Satan is pedaling today is that we can be absentee parents and "all is well" with our children. Many of us must work to feed and clothe our children, but too many have fallen into the trap of working longer hours than necessary or for better homes or more material possessions. This will ALWAYS be detrimental to our families. Although I was home most of the time when my children were growing up, I deeply regret the part time work I did outside my home. I wanted to "get out of the house" and DO something, and now I wish I had respected that season of my life and the need my children had to be with me as much as possible.
I know one very busy professional mom who is very caring but is not able to keep track of her very busy children. (not just her responsibility of course) the latest casualty is a 17 year old boy who is to become a father. I'm sure she must have sent him countless texts in the hope of reminding him of parental expectations as well as divine ones.(btw, I am a stay at home mom and have my own sad stories to tell) Texting is something I am vehemently against as a means of regular communication. It does not build relationships, it is a convenience that should not be mistaken for real conversation, and personal connection.
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