The many ways in which kids use texting has been a well-covered topic by psychologists, educators, parents and the media. It seems that many of our children communicate through text. They ask each other out, they date, they fight and they break-up all through texts. This process is leading them to communicate impulsively and to say things without actually considering the impact their words will have on another.
Last night I was thinking about this generational development of using texts to communicate and I found myself having a conversation in my head with Caidin about the downsides to this: there is a lack of responsibility and ownership of words chosen, it’s impersonal, it’s disconnected, it doesn’t allow one to develop the ability to talk, discuss, debate in a face-to-face situation. Then I realized that this conversation would be much more meaningful if instead of telling Caidin what I thought, I found out first, what he thought about it. I decided I would ask him on the way to school.
Before we headed out this morning, we did a little reading which always sets a great tone for the rest of our morning routine. We are reading this book called ‘Wings of Fire: The Dragonet Prophecy’ by Tui T. Sutherland and both of us are enjoying it very much. We finished Chapter 4 and then gathered all of Caidin’s things for school and got in the car.
We started driving and Caidin said ‘look at that little dark cloud there, isn’t that funny?’ As I looked, I laughed. It was funny. This morning the sky was crystal clear blue, with the exception of one little lone wispy dark cloud. This led Caidin to ask ‘do clouds disintegrate or what happens to them? ‘ Hmmm, with no answer for that one, I said, ‘I don’t know, maybe ask your science teacher or we can look it up when you get home?’
We drove a bit in silence and I went to turn on the radio and then I remember my question. I started by telling Caidin about all the articles I’ve been reading lately about the ways in which kids use texting, explaining the dating and break-up aspects and then I said ‘what do you think about that?’
To which he responded, ‘I don’t understand that. If you really like someone asking them out should come from the heart and should be done in person.’ I asked another question, ‘why do you think kids use texts to have conversations like this, conversations that matter, like dating and breaking-up?’
He thought for a bit and then said ‘maybe it’s easier to not have to see the other person.’ This opened the door to a conversation about life and life lessons, and about whether or not ‘easier’ should be the deciding factor about the way in which we choose to do things.
All-in-all it was a great conversation about many things – dating, texting, communication, life lessons. What made it great was that it was a conversation. It wasn’t me telling him what I think or telling him the ways in which I think he should handle himself in life. I got to see what he believes and what his own sensibilities are, because I asked a question.
This approach can be used at any age. Remember though, if you ask your child a question it is important not to discount their thoughts or position. If you ask them what they think and then you tell them they are wrong, you’re not going to get anywhere and you run the risk of them shutting down. But if you ask them what they think and then share your thoughts as well, you can move into a meaningful conversation about the principles behind each of your positions.
(C) 2012 Christine Agro
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Christine Agro is a clairvoyant, naturopath, Master Herbalist, conscious mom and author of 50 Ways to Live Life Consciously as well as of The Conscious Living Wisdom Cards (Special Moms’ Edition). Christine is founder of The Conscious Mom’s Guide , a membership site where she helps support you on your own journey of living life consciously and on your journey of being a Conscious parent. You can also join Christine on Facebook. To contact Christine, invite her to speak or to schedule an appointment with her please email her.