My Teen and Text Messaging

Don’t we all want to have the perfect life? The beautiful home, the studly husband, great kids that never fight or do anything wrong, enough money to be comfortable…You get the picture. Do you find yourself looking at other’s lives and thinking, “Boy have I got it good” or “If only I had that”? Are you the person that walks through the mall looking at other families teenagers thinking “My child will NEVER dress like that, look like that, act like that”? Have you ever had a small portion of your “perfect” world explode in your face, making you wonder where you went wrong? Tuesday was that day for me.

I received my cell phone bill online on Tuesday. I opened it up and started looking at how many minutes the 5 of us used, who text messaged the most, just did the basic review. Upon my inspection I found that my 13 year old daughter had 13,664 text messages. About that time I started thanking the Lord that I had signed up for unlimited texting. She in the past had her phone taken away for having excessive text messages. I wasn’t looking forward to talking to Craig about it but another part of me was glad for the support.

After really digging into the bill with him, we had a list of numbers that we wanted to know whose they were. We had also noticed that she was text messaging as late as 1:30 am and that it appeared that she would start receiving messages at 4:30 am. At this discovery we started to realize that this issue is more then just the number of texts that she is sending and receiving. When was she sleeping? I felt like a failure when I looked at that because I live right here with her. I still tuck her in and check on her before I go to bed.

When Hope got home on Tuesday from school she threw her backpack and stuff on her bed and came in to tell us she was home. Craig asked her to sit down and started talking to her about her text messaging. I got up and went to her room and got her phone. I rejoined the discussion and started going through her phone. (I know it is almost as bad as reading her diary. Oh Well!!) When she noticed what I was doing she told me that I was not going to like some of the stuff that I would find on her phone. Don’t you love an honest child….Boy was she right!!

I found texts that were sent to her from the 14 y/o daughter of a good friend telling Hope she had slept with 4 guys. Other texts with questions about sex. Picture texts of boys standing in a bathroom only wearing boxers really low. Boys texting Hope about loving her and stuff. Just things that are really inappropriate especially at the age of 13. I took lots of deep breaths and said my Thanks Yous to God that Hope didn’t have a camera on her phone.

After having a few long discussions with just Hope and I. I believe that she is still not sexually active. That she may be experiencing crush-love. Also she no longer has a cell phone if she ever gets it back there will be no texting on it. I am going to take her to experience the wonderful female physical with an GYN. We are starting a study together of a book that I purchased last August in Oklahoma called Eyes Wide Open-Avoiding the Heartbreak of Emotional Promiscuity. Hope is close with her Pastor and his wife and she will be seeing him for some counseling sessions. I am praying that the Village of People that I am going to be surrounding her with will help remind her that she is a blessed child of God and she needs to protect herself.

I must admit that the saddest part of this experience is the broken trust that I now have were she is concerned. I love my daughter so much but she has crossed a line with me that will forever make me cautious as to what is really going on in her life. The other sad part was calling my friend and informing her thather daughter told Hope that she had slept with 4 boys. She wasn’t surprised by what I told her and informed me that they had a pregnancy scare last week with her. That broke my heart.

My only advice is if you are going to give your kids a cell phone do one of two things… 1 get the Disney Phone which only lets you program in 4 numbers and nothing else…..2 be nosy, know who they are talking to, know what they are saying and never get them a camera phone or text messaging!! I have heard on the news a lot lately about teens taking naked pics of themselves and sending them to their friends who then send them to their friends and so on and so on.

Just remember….It can be your child. Don’t ever sit back complacently and say not my kid she/he knows better. Hope is an A student, involved in drama & youth group and aside from having her phone taken away for too many text messages, the worst thing she has ever done is have a dirty room.

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Published in: on February 20, 2009 at 4:05 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Oh, dear. I’m going to have a teenager in just two months. There’s a lot for me to “look forward to,” isn’t there?!
    I think it’s great that you were nosy and took a firm line with Hope. Wish my mom would’ve done that. (Of course, not at the time…)

  2. I will definitely be praying for continued wisdom for you guys, and want you to know how my I respect you nipping this in the bud and being zero tolerance. Matthew is only 9 and I’m already praying for the Lord too protect his purity and keep him from the perversion that runs so rampant in this generation.

  3. Joining her village…. praying like a nun!!

  4. Either break her fingers or chop her hands off, that will sort that little worry out 🙂

    or, just trust that you have taught her well 🙂

    x

  5. scary stuff. We didn’t even have cell phones when I was 13…

  6. Wow, my girls will just have to be okay with a land line!

  7. If I wasn’t convinced before, I am now. No cell phones for a VERY long time for my boys. VERY LONG.

  8. […] and Tech After writing my last post regarding text messaging and my teenage daughter, I started looking at research. It was quite […]

  9. yeah….read their texts. We have never allowed our kids to have cells before driving age. And then it’s with boundaries…they know we can pick it up and read the texts any time. And we do 🙂

  10. I read texts, email, all of it. It’s a boring read so far, but I won’t stop!

  11. Thank you Theresa!!! This has been on my heart also. My son is in gr 7 and will be 13 in August. he claims everyone has a cell, and from what I see on the hockey team, that is close to true.

    Driving the boys to the rink, etc, I am always shocked how addicted these kids are to their phones. They have them in their hands at all times. Making a big show about texting, calling friends, taking funny pictures of themselves and friends and sending them to girls.

    I had wondered (before seeing your blog today) about the secret aspect of this cell phone use and had tried to talk to other parents about it. I don’t get a very warm reception, but I won’t quit!!!

  12. Theresa,
    This post strikes right at my heart. I have a 13, almost 14 yo daughter and have seen some of the dangers of texting. Kids feel they can text whatever they want, without regard for common sense or crossing the line. They initiate conversations they would NEVER say face to face. Often times this opens a huge can of worms!!!

    There are no easy answers when it comes to teens. You want to give them freedom, but they have to prove trustworthy. I’m praying for you and for your daughter. You’re a wise, godly mom! Hang in there.

  13. Theresa, I totally understand what you are going through. I am taking away the texting off one of my daughter’s phones because of telling a lie. She had been warned that the next time she told a lie, texting would be taken away.

    It’s a scary world. I always prayed that Jesus would come back before my girls got to be teenagers!


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