5 Seconds to Better Teen Texting

By  0 Comments

Teaching Teens about Texting Etiquette 

Yep, some of our teens are sending up to 50 or even more text messages per day. This is concerning because, as we know, lots of information can be lost or misinterpreted in a text. There are no faces to read, no eyes to look into, no sighing  and no crying to hear. 

We have got to help our teens with this way of communicating. Surely, we can teach them some things that will make their preferred mode of communication easier, safer, and more likely to come across as intended. 

I suggest that we teach them about the “Five Second Rule.”

1. They should pause for five seconds to re-read a message before they send it. They might catch something that would be hurtful. 

2. Perhaps, they can use these five seconds to see if their feelings last for that long.

3. During those five seconds they can make sure that the text is going to the right person. I have personally gotten into trouble with this one. I sent an “I love you” message intended for my daughter to a male co-worker. YIKES. 

4. During these five seconds they can select an emoticon that might help clarify the tone of their message. 

5. They can use these five seconds to consider whether or not the message should be delivered via a phone call rather than a text. 
Your thoughts?

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

Barbara R. Greenberg, Ph.D. is currently a professional consultant on teen issues at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, CT. She also maintains a private practice in Fairfield County, CT. She served as a clinical administrator on an adolescent inpatient unit at a private psychiatric hospital for 21 years before dedicating herself to private outpatient practice and consultation work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *