Do you text?
I love it. What started out as a little foray into babysitter communication has turned into a way to communicate that surpasses practically every other way I communicate.
I love the immediate response. I love that there doesn’t have to be an immediate response (on either end) if it’s a bad time. I love that, for an introvert like me, I don’t have to get myself psyched up for a “real” conversation.
A few of my friendships are built almost entirely around texting.
Group texting is, like, the best thing since sliced bread. A group of friends who went away together last month started a group text while we were at our location that had most of us rolling in tears of laughter throughout the weekend.
I know, it seems strange that people who are together would need to group text while together. But we did and it was uproariously funny.
I love being in a meeting from Hell and texting a friend, either there or not, about the Hell-like aspect of the meeting.
And I’ve just started letting my 11 year old text.
According to her, I’m way behind and making her way behind her friends because I won’t let her do Instagram yet, but I think I’m making amazing strides with allowing her to text.
And interestingly, my love of texting doesn’t extend to her. I don’t love that she’s texting. I want her to learn to communicate the old-fashioned way. I want her to practice her interpersonal skills IN PERSON and not on a screen with emoticons. (GAWD do I love emoticons).
Why the double standard?
Probably the same reason I don’t want her (either one of them) to drink. Or eat dessert for dinner (as I’ve been known to do on occasion).
What I choose to do as an adult has come from years of practice and “putting my time in” in other ways. Allowing kids to just jump in to the things we adults do just because 1) we do them or 2) everyone else is doing them is rife with pitfalls the size of canyons.
I thought parenting was hard when my kids were little and I NEVER. GOT. A. BREAK. I didn’t sleep enough. Tantrums were a daily occurrence.
Now? I don’t sleep because I worry about the decisions I make with my tween. Am I too lenient? Too harsh? Do I say yes to things that other parents have said yes to because “it can’t be that bad?” Or do I say no and risk alienation from two of the greatest loves of my life because I’m too strict?
I often say to people that sleep deprivation is one thing to talk about in an academic sense. But to live it in the first year of a child’s life is a whole different experience. Something that no amount of expectation setting can prepare you for.
It’s funny, because that’s how I feel about kids growing up now. It’s one thing to talk about “letting kids grow up and away from you” in an academic sense. It’s a whole different story to see it happen and allow it to happen. And pray that you’re giving them the tools to handle life without you.
When my kids were babies I didn’t think I’d ever get a break from the monotony. Now the breaks come, but I don’t get a break from the emotions of parenting.
And I guess I’ll take my chances on not letting her join Instagram yet. She may continue to be mad at me for “not getting it.” No parent does, even though we’ve all lived “it” (growing up) ourselves. I imagine that’s going to be the norm for the next several years.
Gotta buckle up and be ready, I suppose.
What decision have you made with your children that they don’t like?
At what age do you think Instagram’s fine to join?