We are driving to a book signing. The car in front of us slows down. We pass it and see that the driver is an adult woman with two teenagers. The woman appears to be texting while driving. Oh no! She is putting all of us at risk. Is her text really as important as our collective safety?
And, coincidentally, a 14-year-old boy told us this week that he is furious with his father for texting while driving him and his friends around. He is aware that it compromises their safety.
That got us thinking about the etiquette of texting. Here are some of the ideas that we came up with. Do you have anymore?
1. Driving and texting are never okay for parents or teens. If it's an emergency then pull over.
2. Don't text or check text messages in the midst of a conversation. You dislike it when your teens do this, so practice what you preach. As always, remember that modeling appropriate behavior is key and you want to model being present and attentive.
3. Your teens want to hear from you but be wary of excessive texting particularly when they begin college.
4. Think before sending the text message. Remember that neutral messages are often perceived as negative.
5. Be clear regarding the times during which texting is acceptable. For example, do you allow your teens to text during dinner?
6. Important messages should always be delivered face-to-face if possible! Consider the pain of a boyfriend breaking up with you via text message.
7. Don't send a text that you wouldn't want to receive.
8. Ask yourself if you would say the same thing in person.
9. What you intend to send to one person may easily end up on the screens of many. Be mindful that your texted messages and photos can be forwarded.
10. It is not good manners to text while with a group of friends. It may make others feel excluded and is simply not good manners. If it's an emergency, that is, of course, a different ball of wax!
More from GalTime:
- Emergency Response Apps: Use Your Smartphone to Stay Safe
- Teens and the Silent Treatment
- Teaching Your Kids the Value of "Netiquette"
- Prom: What Your Teen Should/Shouldn't Take
Barbara Greenberg and Jennifer Powell-Lunder are authors of the hit book, "Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent's Guide to Becoming Bilingual." They've set up an interactive website for parents and teens to listen, learn and discuss hot topics and daily dilemmas. You can find it at www.talkingteenage.com.